Let’s be honest, it can be so difficult to balance your friendships when a new and exciting relationship begins to form! I know that when my boyfriend, Marlin, and I began dating last year, it was so easy to forget about making plans with my friends. And I’m sure you’re probably familiar with that feeling. Maybe your best friend gets a new boyfriend and you either rarely ever see her anymore, or her boyfriend is always around. Or perhaps you have even been that person?! (Guilty over here!🙋♀️)
Nonetheless, we need to remind ourselves that our friendships are just as important as our romantic relationships! Especially in your 20s! But I know how hard that transition between ‘single’ and ‘in a relationship’ can be in the beginning months of your relationships! And how easy it can be to put your friendships on the back-burner, unfortunately. So in order to make sure that doesn’t happen, here are my 5 tips on how to balance your friendships and your new relationship!
1. Spend time apart
I totally get it! When you are in a relationship, you want to spend as much time as possible with that person. And introducing your significant other to your best friends is an obvious must for you as well. However, to find a balance between your social life and your new relationship, it’s important to set boundaries and spend some time apart from each other. As well as, spending time apart from your significant other is actually very healthy!
It doesn’t have to be for long periods of time. I would just recommend setting a day or two aside in your calendar to have some “alone time” or to allow space for other important relationships. Like your friends and family. I’ve also found that spending time apart and setting important boundaries gives you and your partner time to appreciate yourself (your alone time) and the time you spend with each other. Just like they say, “distance makes the heart grow founder.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go a long time without seeing your partner! To me, this means that you and your partner are allowing space to miss each other in order to greatly appreciate the time you spend together. It allows you to truly connect and prioritize who you are spending time with. Not to mention, it creates a healthy balance between your personal life, social life, and dating/marriage life.
2. Make plans and commit to them
A big thing that I noticed when Marlin and I first began dating was my lack of reaching out to friends. Or even worse, when I would make plans with my friends, I would oftentimes cancel them if Marlin and I had the opportunity to be together that day. On the other hand, I have definitely had a friend who would always be texting me asking to hang out when she was single. However, as soon as she would begin dating, I wouldn’t hear from her unless she was asking for advice between her and her boyfriend…
Don’t be that type of girl! I know it can be easy to say no to your friends, I get it! Whether you don’t want to neglect your new relationship, make your partner feel bad, or simply because you just want to spend all of your time with your new partner. Let me tell you, girl, men love their space just as much as you do! Show your new man that you are independent and that you value your friendships just as much as your relationship – especially in the early stages of your relationship. I promise you, you’ll gain a lot of respect from him if you do!
So, make it a priority to initiate plans with your friends, and commit to them! Even if it’s just for the afternoon before you see your partner that evening. But remember, this goes both ways! If you end up having a lot of plans at one time with your friends, be sure to think of some fun things that you and your boyfriend can do together by yourselves!
3. Be considerate during conversations
Of course, when you are in a brand new relationship, you want to tell your friends all about him. Which, is perfectly okay to some extent. I know that when my friends get involved with a new guy, I want to hear all about it as well. However, we have to remember that this friendship existed before you and your partner got together. Try to remind yourself during conversations with your friends that there are many more things to talk about other than your relationship. Be sure to discuss topics that are relevant to their life as well, ask them questions about themselves, and keep the conversation positive. Especially if your friend is currently struggling in the relationship department!
This is what I mean by having considerate conversations. Don’t let the conversation be only about you and how in love you are. Even if you are feeling that way, which is wonderful for you, remember that it might not be the same way for your friend. Likewise, your partner may not always want to hear about your girlfriends 24/7 either. To keep that balance between your social life and your dating life, be sure to stay considerate and value personalized connections rather than always bringing up others.
4. Make use of group/double dates
I love group dates or double dates! And when first introducing your friends to your significant other, try starting off with smaller groups. One or two other couples are great! This way your friends can get to know your significant other and vice versa. Plus, you can spend quality time with everyone and engage in conversations with both your friends and your partner. For example, the first month into mine and Marlin’s relationship we went to a Halloween party that my friend was hosting. While I was talking with my friends he was able to meet and hang out with the other guys at the party.
Fun events like a baseball game, a tailgate, or even a game night indoors are great ideas for a group date or group outing as well. This allows you time to talk with everyone while you are all in a setting that is entertaining and not awkward.
5. Be open about your concerns
The best way that I have found to balance my friendships with my new relationship is by being open with each other! At the beginning of my relationship with Marlin, it was so easy for me to set aside my quality time with friends. As for him, on the other hand, not so much. But, I knew that I had to be understanding and honest with him. He was new to the dating scene and was finding the balance between our relationship and friendships just as difficult. Just in the opposite way. However, if I hadn’t voiced my concern for wanting more time with just us, he may have never even realized.
If you are struggling with a boyfriend who is only interested in his friends, or a friend who is only interested in her boyfriend, be honest and open about your feelings. In the end, it’s up to them to change it. If they don’t take your opinions or thoughts into consideration or to heart, then I would honestly reconsider that relationship. Whether it’s the relationship between your friend or your significant other!
Have you ever struggled with balance? And if so, what were some ways that allowed you to balance your friendships with your new relationship?
Let me know in the comments!