If you’ve ever been the first or even only member of your group of friends to begin seriously dating, you know it’s a struggle. In today’s dating world, sadness and disappointment tend to ignite support, while happiness tends to invoke resentment. We band together around those with broken hearts. But the person in a committed two-year relationship? We want nothing to do with them.
There can often be hard feelings from even your best friends when you enter a relationship. Achieving balance and respect between everyone in your life can be tricky. But if you keep these things in mind, you’ll be able to make it happen.
When you begin, you’re considering the idea that the person you’re with may be the person you spend the rest of your life with. It’s only natural that your priorities shift without you even realizing it. However, it’s important to get things back in check if you’re going to balance all the people you care about. As long as you aren’t spending every single weekend with just your partner and not your friends, there is no reason for friends to feel dejected. Just be sure to let them know they’re still important by including them in your life. Coordinate wine nights or dinner dates with your girls. Don’t be blinded by your romantic relationship, your friends were there before your partner and should still be cherished.
Don’t talk sh*t
One of the worst mistakes I ever made was venting to a friend about my S.O. without realizing she already didn’t like him. The next thing I knew, the image I portrayed of him when I was frustrated was all she cared to see. Regardless of how crazy I was about him, she was never kind to him because of my mistake in confiding in her. This was a good lesson in teaching me the importance of keeping my personal relationship private. Go to a parent figure or trusted member of your friend group if you need to vent. This shows respect for all your relationships, and not just the one with your significant other.
Always remain emotionally available
A friendship can go south quickly without the continuous exchange of emotional contact. If they’re looking to vent while you’re in a heated conversation with your significant other via texting, feelings can be hurt and the value of your friendship could be put in question. When you’re with your friends, be all there. Always keep the bridge of communication open with your friends and show them they’re an irreplaceable aspect of your life.
Know when a friendship has gone from rocky to toxic
If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that friendships should bring you joy, not stress you out. If you’ve jumped through every hoop to maintain friendships and they still make you feel bad about how you spend your time, it’s time to stop putting in so much effort. Think of all the good you could do with the time you’ve spent investing in people who are too selfish to share you. At the end of the day, friendship is a two-way street. Your friendships should not take away from your other joys in life, or any of your other relationships.
As we grow older, our support groups become steadily more important as we take on everyday challenges. Balancing all the relationships in your circle is a tricky fact of life but creating an environment of mutual love and support is an invaluable life skill we all must learn to master.
Featured image via refinery29