Your best friend is easily one of the most important relationships in your entire life. So when a romantic partner comes along, you have to learn how to balance a relationship and friends. Because before you had a partner, your best friend was the one who would talk to you on the phone late at night. Your best friend was the one who would bring you chicken soup when you were sick. Your best friend was the one who would cuddle with you after you had a bad day and come over to do nothing but eat Chex Mix and watch Netflix.
When you have a romantic partner, your relationship with your best friend will inevitably change. Now, there are two people who have a deep, emotional connection to you. Depending on your best friend's relationship status, you still might be the closest person to them. Even if they do have a partner, you still need to keep a close connection to your best friend in order to preserve your sense of self. In the flush and passion of a blossoming relationship, though, how do you make sure that you are maintaining enough space for your best friend? Here's how to make sure that your BFF doesn't fall by the wayside the minute you fall in love.
1. Make Plans To Hang Out
You only have so much room and space in your life. Especially at the beginning of a new relationship, you and your partner are going to want to spend a ton of time together. Making intentional space to see your best friend one-on-one is healthier for both relationships. It ensures that you and your new boo don't get totally wrapped around one another to the point where you isolate yourselves. It also tends the garden of your friendship.
When you hang out with your best friend, don't bring your partner along unless your friend has vocalized that they would like to meet them. Presumably, your bestie isn't close friends with your partner, and if they were, they could make plans to see them separately. When you are seeing your best friend, your priority needs to be actually spending time with them.
2. Talk About Them First
When you hang out with your bestie, don't flood them with the exciting new details of your new love. It's great to gush, but your best friend has a life, too. Ask them how they are doing and what they have been up to. Take extra care to comfort them if they've had a bad day. The two of you might be spending time together differently now, so you want to ensure that your relationship is still a nurturing one.
And if and when you do talk about your partner, don't go on and on about them. Give your bestie the highlights. It'll stop you from completely obsessing over your relationship and will give you other things to think about. It'll also make sure that you're saving relationship talk for the one other person who really cares about your relationship: your partner.
3. Compartmentalize Your Relationships
Don't ask your best friend what they think of your partner unless you really want their honest opinion. Don't ask them for advice if you need a counselor. Don't keep relating the conversation back to yourself and your relationship. If they have a new love interest, don't compare them to you and your partner.
If your best friend is still single, understand that being in a committed relationship makes things easier for you. You have someone who can cook you dinner, hang up a shelf, or offer you emotional support. Definitely don't pity your best friend for still being single, but don't take up all of their energy either. Be sure you continue to be there for them even when you don't need them to be there as much.
4. Remember Who Will Actually Always Be There For You
All different kinds of relationships can come and go throughout your life, but your best friend is the most likely to stick around. I mean, the person who befriended you after you threw up all over yourself at a party freshman year of college isn't just going to ditch you as soon as the going gets tough. We all know the stakes are much higher for a boyfriend or a girlfriend. They might be important to you now, but you don't really know what the future holds.
The relationship you have with your best friend can stay steadier. It doesn't require you to change yourself or be anything other than the person you are. In romantic relationships, particularly at the start of them, there's always an element of performance. But that doesn't mean that your romantic relationship is any more or less important than the one you have with your best friend. The two are completely different entities, on the same plane of importance.
So even if you're having trouble making time for your best friend right now, continue to make it. The person who will stick by you through everything deserves to have you stick by them, too. And even though it might be tempting to have your bestie come over and hang on your couch while you're cuddling with your partner, separating yourself for a few hours will just give you and your partner that much more to talk about when you reunite. Cherish your best friend and your partner equally, because personally, I can't imagine what I would do without my two true loves.
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