We’ve all been there before: a friend gets a new boyfriend and you either never see her again, or her boyfriend is always around. Maybe we’ve even been that person (guilty over here!). Friends and romantic relationships are extremely important aspects in our life, but finding a balance—especially in the beginning—is tricky. You spend so much time with friends in your twenties that when a love interest comes around, it can be hard to transition gracefully. In order to not hurt feelings on either side and spread out your love, here are tips that can help:
Have 1:1 time
Though you definitely want to spend time introducing friends and boyfriends, continue giving each side alone time. Whether that means hanging with your BFF or BF, try not to involve everyone at all times. This will give you a chance to truly connect and prioritize whoever you’re hanging with.
Have considerate convos
Of course you want to talk to your friends about the guy you’re dating, but at the end of the day, there was a friendship before him. There’s more to talk about than your relationship. Be sure to discuss what’s going on in your friends’ life, ask questions about them, have fun! Especially if your friend is struggling in the relationship department, don’t be the person constantly talking about how in love you are. Similarly, most guys don’t want to hear about your girlfriends 24/7. Value personalized connections instead of always talking about others.
I personally have a friend who, when single, is hitting me up constantly, asking me to dinner or happy hour. Then, the second she gets a boyfriend, I only hear from her when I’m reaching out—and she’s NEVER free. Don’t be that girl! Initiate plans with your friends if you spend the majority of time with your guy. And if you’ve had a lot of friend events going on lately, brainstorm something fun that you and your dude can do together.
Think about small groups
When you DO want to include friends and your significant other, try smaller groups at first. This way, your friends can actually get to know your BF and vice versa. A baseball game or food truck event are both smart ideas; there’s time to talk but also other stuff going on so it’s not an awkward setting.
Don’t force it
Even if you think your friends are the funniest people ever or your boyfriend is amazing, sometimes personalities/interests simply don’t mesh. Instead of forcing your BFF to hang with your guys’ group of friends when you go out, if they don’t necessarily jive, don’t force it or take it personally. Find the groups that seem to get along naturally, and don’t worry about every single person in your life becoming the best of friends.
When I first starting dating my fiance, we had a lot of problems surrounding my friends. He loved them, but I was horrible about keeping our time together one-on-one, and included my friends in all our details. He was accepting and honest about the fact that he wanted more time with just us, and that as much as he liked my friends, they were too involved with our relationship. I wasn’t even aware of it, but as soon as he voiced his genuine thoughts, I totally understood. If he didn’t say anything, I might have never known.
When struggling with a friend who is only interested in her boyfriend or a partner who is only interested in their friends, be open about it. If they don’t take your words to heart, you may want to reconsider that relationship.
Who else has struggled with this balance?
How did you balance the two?