Last month, I was with one of my best friends. Her little sister has been like my little sister for as long as I can remember. We went out for coffee and were talking about friends and relationships. I noticed that the conversation kept coming back around to how all of her friends from college kept dropping off the face of the planet for their man of the hour. When I left I felt inspired to write about this…balancing your NEW significant other and your friends.
Not everyone is looking for love, but for the vast majority of people on the planet, this is one of the most important things they will ever do.
Because this is such an important life venture, when people first find love and have a new girlfriend or boyfriend, they treat the entire process very delicately.
it’s like a fragile egg
You don’t want to leave the egg too long and have it stolen, broken or feeling abandoned. You also are worried about sitting on it too heavily and suffocating the egg, because you really stinkin’ want it to hatch one day. (I know you love the egg analogy).
When you first enter a relationship (within the first year) and you really see it going somewhere, you are willing to do just about anything to keep it on track and this includes totally ditching your friends.
Your friends loved you before your new significant other, and if they really love you, you expect that when your “egg” is a bit more secure, they will love you again. But this really is not the best way.
so, instead of ditching your closest friend for a season, what can you do?
1.) Set boundaries from the beginning so that they know your friends are a priority. Then no one ever has hurt feelings when this comes about later.
2.) Schedule it out. Perhaps you make one night “friends night” every week. Then you know ahead of time, that is the night you hang with your respective friends. If that’s too often, make the same plan but bi-monthly instead.
3.) Allow your significant other and friends to hang out together. This works great if they also have a significant other, but even if they don’t. The two most important people in your life, can hopefully be civil enough to hang out together (if they can’t you need to consider why).
4.) Keep some perspective. Realize that while your “egg” is delicate and does need to be nurtured, if it’s the right “egg” then you will have a lifetime together. If your “egg” is so fragile that it demands all your time, it might not be the right “egg”.
5.) Listen to your friends about your “egg”, but also listen to your heart. If your friends are true and have your best interest in mind, then their feedback about your significant other, (while sometimes hard to hear) is probably valid. When they express concern, they are doing it cause they love you. Listen to what they have to say, without being defensive and allow it to make you and your relationships better.
finding balance in any area of life can be hard
However, when you are intentional about keeping perspective it’s more likely to happen. Your best friend is also a lot more likely to be in your wedding party if you didn’t ditch them for a year.Published in