Falling in love is one of life's most electrifying experiences. At the mention of our significant other's name, we smile uncontrollably, become weak in the knees and eagerly begin planning forever in their arms. So where do our friends fit in our timeline? Often times, they don’t.
To prevent the inevitable urge to choose a side, here are two ways to mend the gap between your boo and your crew:
1. Treat your friends like priorities, not options.
Although the honeymoon stage of a new relationship makes us feel like the best version of ourselves, we make a grave mistake when we neglect the ones who appreciated us way before we entered into that delightful stage. Taking the time to balance our friendships and relationships is a surefire way to avoid either party being left out. Similar to the way we plan date nights with our mates, girls/guys nights are needed with our friends. Whether it be grabbing a quick bite or creating a self-care haven and planning a spa date, quality time is the main objective. Life can be extremely hectic, and instances like those are the perfect time to recap past events, reflect and release all stress in a safe space, void of all judgement and multiple opinions.
2. Combine your worlds
Your friends respect your happiness, but they'll need time to learn about this new person in your life. At your discretion, invite your mate to outings where your friends will be in attendance or organize a group date with your friends who are coupled up. This will introduce an opportunity for both worlds to mesh and feel each other out. Any inner angst you may have about them meeting will be calmed once they meet and naturally get to know each other. Do not feel pressured to do or say too much. Just let it all happen as it should. If possible, repeat this scenario multiple times (unforced) so anxieties fade away and it becomes easier for both sides to be in each other's presence. Then, in the event that a friend asks your mate a hard question about their upbringing or something they weren’t expecting, your mate will be comfortable enough to answer it, and ideally, respect will be built. One interaction at a time. On the off chance that your friends and mate don’t click and you still believe your mate is the best thing ever, it is absolutely okay. These things happen. However, respect must not be lost. If it’s extremely important to you, consider being the mediator and invite both parties to discuss the underlying issues. If they value you, they will take you up on this suggestion for a conversation, extend an olive branch or at the very least be cordial.
Today, I encourage us to thoroughly evaluate ourselves and make sure we’re spreading our affections equally. Even in the healthiest partnership, we need our core supporters to keep us grounded. Protect this relationship at all costs.