She’s your partner in crime. The Mary-Kate to your Ashley. The Kendall to your Kylie. Your best friend is usually the person you spend the most time with, the one you tell everything to, and the source of your daily ab workout from making you laugh so hard. Gym hacks, man.
But one day the cutie from the supermarket asks you on a date. And wha-bam. Soon you’ve got yourself a boyfriend.
A lot of girls will have their first serious relationship in college, and the experience can be intoxicating, thrilling and fun. However, the not so pretty part about having a significant other is that sometimes your friendships can suffer.
I can confirm.
I had my first serious relationship during my sophomore year of college, and let’s just say I got a little swept up. As a major nerd, time management was never my forte (we’re talking school mode all day erryday), and suddenly the time I set aside for my friends had to be divvied up. I felt pulled in both directions and since I had never done the whole girlfriend thing, I focused my attention there. I would come home after hanging out with my boyfriend only to find that my friends were off doing their own thing. This happened more and more, and when my significant other was out of the picture, two of my best friends had practically become strangers.
And that made my abs and me sad.
Now I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum. One of my best friends has a boyfriend and I’m single. She’s great about including me and trying to make sure I don’t feel like a third wheel, but it’s still hard because things just aren’t the same.
So here’s what I know, ya’ll.
Time is essential to all relationships.
We’ve got to spend time with people if we want them to be a part of our lives. That means spending time apart from your significant other to hang out with your friends, and vice versa. So schedule date night with your sweetheart and girl’s night with your pals. And don’t forget to set aside some time for yourself because that’s important too. Ya know, get some takeout, put on your footy pajamas, get weird, whatever.
Mix things up.
You don’t have to keep your significant other in one box and your friends in another. Hanging out in a group can be a great solution when you don’t want to have to choose between your gal pals and your man. It’s healthy for them to have a good relationship as well so integrate those groups, chica. If it’s just you, your fella and your bestie, make sure you tone down the PDA and make your friend feel comfortable.
Straight up tell friends that you don’t want your friendship to change because of your relationship status. They will appreciate it so much more, even if things inevitably alter a little bit. Be up front with everyone when you’re feeling pulled in too many directions and it’s stressing you out. Honesty is always a win. Shout out to Abe for making it cool.
No matter how great you are about nurturing your friendships during a romantic relationship, it’s still going to be an adjustment for everyone. Plain and simple. You may not be able to grab chips and queso at the drop of a hat if you’ve already made plans, and your girlfriends know that. *Insert a moment of silence for the abandoned queso here.* Just keep in mind that it might be hard on your girls, and it will make you all the more wiser.
Maybe you’ll marry the person you’re with. Maybe you won’t. So don’t forget to make your friends a priority because a) you love them and b) they’ll be a constant in your life even if your relationship doesn’t turn out to be.