Balancing Your Friends and Your Significant Other
Share this article
Balancing Your Friends and Your Significant Other
Table of Contents
Friends are Forever …………………………………………………………………3
When the Relationship Ends ……………………………………………………4
Let Your Love Meet Your Friends……………………………………………..4
When Your Friends Don’t Like Your Love…………………………………5
How to Treat His or Her Friends………………………………………………6
When You Don’t Like Your Love’s Friends………………………………6
Girls’ and Guys’ Nights Out ……………………………………………………7
Focus on the One You’re With ……………………………………………….7
Don’t Make Him into “One of the Girls” or Her into “One
of the Guys” ……………………………………………………………………………8
Turn Her into a Matchmaker ……………………………………………..….8
Recognize Sacred Occasions…………………………………………..…..…9
Best Friend of the Opposite Sex ………………………………………….10
Keep Her Friends Happy ………………………………………………………11
When you start out on a new love relationship, one of the things you will have to do is balance your friends and your new lover.
Your friends are tolerant of your Friday night dates. But, will they be as tolerant with you spending a considerable amount of your time with a boyfriend or girlfriend instead of them?
Too many people throw their friends by the wayside when they embark on a new love relationship. But this can backfire, especially if the love doesn’t last.
So, this report will focus on how to balance your friends and your significant other.
Friends Are Forever
There’s a saying among women that “friends are forever, guys come and go.” This can apply to both men and women equally though.
Most people will go through several serious relationships before they settle down into a marriage. Indeed, they may even go through two or more marriages. But some people have friends for life.
That’s not to say that your love relationships aren’t important, because they are. If you end up living with or marrying a person, he or she becomes the central figure in your life.
When you commit to someone seriously, you will make life decisions together. Together you may decide to move to a new city. That means that while you may keep up with friends through email and phone, they will become less important in your life.
Also, when you have children with a person, your circle of friends changes because you do “family” things instead of “single people” things.
As you can see, there is a delicate balance here. You want your friends and your lover.
You need to be able to remain friends with your closest confidents. The power of friendship is important.
Most of the time, your most important friends will be of the same gender. There are things that you can’t do with your new love because he or she won’t understand or appreciate the experience. Girls may want a spa day and getting a facial is not their boyfriend’s idea of fun. And, a girl may not understand her boyfriend’s obsession with Texas Hold ‘Em.
That’s okay. In fact, realizing that both friends and a lover a part of a complete life is an essential part of striking the balance.
When the Relationship Ends
While it’s odd to talk about a relation’s ending at the beginning of a report, I’d rather not end on a sour note. So, I’ll talk about it here.
When a relationship ends, you are going to want to turn to your friends for emotional support to help you through it.
But, if you have abandoned your friends by pouring yourself into a love relationship, your friends aren’t going to be happy to accept you back into their group right away.
In fact, you are going to have to regain their trust.
And, since most love relationships do end, you need to maintain your ties to friends.
Let Your Love Meet Your Friends
So, since your friends and love are important, you want them to continue to be important parts of your life.
One way to handle this is to make sure that your friends and your love get together. It may be awkward to have a guy’s night and bring your girl along or vice versa.
Therefore, plan an event where he can bring his friends and you can bring yours. A backyard Barbeque is an excellent way to do this.
Make sure that you specifically introduce your love to all of your friends. Encourage them to spend time together.
At the same time, encourage your friends to mix with your love’s. If anybody hooks at the party, that’s a bonus.
But, there are other ways to get your friends and love together. Try holding a seated dinner party with a handful of friends and their dates.
If most of your friends belong to a organization of some sort (church group, writing circle, alumni group), take your new love to an event that requires an escort.
Also, you can introduce your new love to your friends one by one or in very small groups.
Remember as well that three’s company too. It’s okay to invite your friend and your boyfriend out for brunch or drinks. You don’t always have to pair everyone up every time.
Whatever you do, don’t overwhelm him or her with new faces that they’ll have to incorporate all at once.
When Your Friends Don’t Like Your Love
What should you do when your friends don’t seem as taken with your new love as you are?
First of all, you should listen to them. They may see something that you don’t. It might not just be jealousy.
For instance, your friends may see you repeating a pattern that is bad for you by falling for the same kind of guy or girl that always hurts you. Or, they may know something about his or her past that they’re not ready to come right out and tell you.
But this isn’t necessarily the case. They may just be jealous that you are no longer spending 100 percent of their time with you. This may be especially true with friends who have difficulty attracting dates themselves. You should have compassion for those people.
But you need to be able to stand up for your new love. You are obviously attracted to this person for reasons that your friends may not understand. He may be shy and they don’t see the brilliant sense of humor that only comes out when he knows someone well. Or, you may find something special in your new man or woman which your friends lack. Because they don’t understand why this is important to you, they man not appreciate in your new love.
Remember, your friends are entitled to their opinions. You should listen to them. But, you shouldn’t let their opinions run your life.
How to Treat His or Her Friends
Tell your new girlfriend or boyfriend that you would love to meet his or her friends because they’re so important to them. Just as you would like your partner to meet and like your friends, you should show an interest in meeting theirs. Of course, everyone needs their space, but it’s always a good idea to join each other’s group of friends once in a while.
Suggesting a night out with his or her friends is a great way to prove that you’re not a threat to them, and that you want to be familiar with that part of their life. This can be anything from dinner with her friends and their respective dates to a get-together at your place with your man and his closest friends can work wonders, and score you some much-deserved bonus points in the process.
When you do finally meet the friends, show a sincere interest in them. Ask questions about where they’re at and what they’re up to, and ask them about their interests.
For extra brownie points, next time you run into them, ask them for an update of whatever they were talking about such as how a job interview went or how the trip to London was. This requires that you actually listen when you are talking to his or her friends, so be on guard! Even a simple, “tell Julie I say hello” to your girlfriend can get you on your significant other’s good side.
When You Don’t Like Your Love’s Friends
You are not always going to like all of your significant other’s friends. In fact, you may not like any of them.
It’s not the ideal situation when this happens, but it’s important to remember that you’re going out with your girlfriend or boyfriend, not their friends.
Do not badmouth them or insult them. Do not involve your love. Do not be rude to them if you happen to see them.
Simply try to separate your relationship from his or her friendships, and suck up whatever dislike you feel during important events of your partner’s life, like her birthday, promotion, or your wedding.
Girl’s & Guys Nights Out
You won’t be spending 100 percent of time with either your partner or your friends. In fact, making sure that you have time for girl’s or guy’s nights out is quite important in any relationship.
In addition to having time with your friends, you need to respect your love’s need for time with his or her friends.
If your partner asks to join you on your night out, consider asking him to get a group of his friends together to meet you for drinks at the end of the evening. Don’t let him intrude on the time you have set aside for your friends (and vice versa).
If she does absolutely insist on going to your weekly poker game, you may have to give in. But, don’t cater to her just because she’s there. In fact, try to make the whole experience as boring for her as possible. That way, she won’t ask again and you’ll have your guy’s time secure.
If your love is somewhat suspicious about what you do with your friends, let them know where you’ll be and when you’ll be home. Drop a quick text or phone call if things change. While some people might consider this controlling, you can deter a lot of fights by just keeping the other person informed and not suspicious.
One final thing, if you have a fight before you are scheduled to go on a girl’s or guy’s night out, sort out the issues and clear the drama before you leave home. You don’t want the evening with your friends to be disturbed by an upset partner, and you don’t want to go home to yet another fight.
Focus On the One You’re With
One thing that will help you develop and maintain strong relationships with both your friends and your partner is to laser focus on the person or people you are with at the moment.
When you are on a date, turn off the phone or train your friends to only call in an emergency.
If you are with your friends, ask your love to respect that time as well.
Only talk about your friends or love as it is appropriate in the conversation. Don’t make your friends listen to long descriptions of your undying love. Don’t make your partner delve into all of the details of a good gossip.
Respect that your friends and your partner are different and they need different things from you. While they will naturally be curious about each other, don’t overwhelm them with details from your “other life.”
Don’t Make Him Into One of the Girls or Her Into One of the Guys
It is important to understand that a girlfriend is, at her core, a girl and a boyfriend is a guy. It’s not to your advantage to turn him into “one of the girls” or her into “one of the guys.” You should appreciate the masculine or feminine traits they offer.
For instance, if a guy wants his girlfriend to be “just one of the guys,” he’ll force her to take on roles she’s not suited for. Instead of having time with your real guy friends, you’ll be placing her into it. You’re better off watching March Madness with your guy friends than insisting that your girlfriend who doesn’t like basketball, watch with you.
Similarly, a woman shouldn’t try to force her boyfriend to be “one of the girls.” No, he doesn’t like shopping and probably doesn’t want to have long gossip sessions with your friends. You should appreciate him for that.
While it’s okay for your significant other to be your “best friend,” you shouldn’t expect them to change genders for you.
Turn Her into a Matchmaker
This is one section that works better for men than women. The idea is for a guy to set up his girlfriend as his “wing woman.” A Wingman is a guy you bring along with you on singles outings (like to bars) who can help you out with women. Your girlfriend can play wing woman for your friends in these situations.
One way to balance your friends and your girlfriend is to plan outings with both parties. For example, try taking your girlfriend with you when you go out to the club with the guys. Turning her into a wing woman can be a great opportunity for friend-girlfriend bonding. Your girlfriend can actually be an asset for your friends in the pickup game. Single girls will feel more comfortable talking to your male friends if there’s a woman in your group. Also, the sight of your friends talking comfortably with your cute girlfriend is sure to trigger a single girl’s competitive nature.
Your girlfriend will enjoy these outings too because women can’t resist playing matchmaker. She’ll also be happy to lend a hand to your friends because, generally, girlfriends want your male friends to find girlfriends. When your friends start pairing up with girls, they’re less threatening to her as you can start doing things like double-dates (instead of having them steal you away to prowl for women). Turning her into a wing woman is a win-win situation.
Alternatively, she can play match maker for your guy friends. Women like nothing better than to “set people up.”
Let her try to arrange dates for your friends. Your friends will appreciate having someone with their interests at heart match them with beautiful single girls. It’s much better than trying to hook up with a girl at a bar.
Recognizing Sacred Occasions
Every relationship – from that with members of your family, to your friends, to your significant other – has “sacred occasions” associated with it.
For instance, if you miss Mother’s Day, you are in trouble with the whole family.
Similarly, there are certain kinds of days that are unique to a relationship. Valentine’s Day, for instance, should never be spent with friends if you have a significant other. New Year’s Eve is another day that couples should spend together.
But your friends may also have their own calendar. For instance, if the “girls” always have spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach, it would be bad form to make her spend it at a picnic with your family. And, woe to the girlfriend who breaks a SuperBowl Sunday tradition with his buddies.
There may be conflicts between “sacred days.” If this is the case, you need to talk through them. Try not to let the situation end up pitting your friends against your significant other.
When the Best Friend is of the Opposite Sex
What do you do when his best friend is a girl or vice versa? How do you handle the platonic pal that is always in his life?
Whether or not men and women can truly be best friends has long been a subject of debate, and there’s no way that we’re going to settle it here. Suffice it to say, for the purposes of this report, we’re operating under the assumption that heterosexual men and women cannot be best friends; sex always gets in the way.
Therefore, if a guy and a girl appear to be best friends, it’s necessarily because one of them secretly wants to see the other naked.
So what do you do if you meet a guy or girl, start dating them, and find out that her best friend is of the opposite sex? Their commitment to their friend might make you jealous, but if you get too possessive too fast, you’re bound to lose them. The trick is to assess whether or not her best friend poses a threat to your relationship, and then deal with the situation accordingly.
First things first, don’t express jealousy. It’s likely that your love has dumped many previous boyfriends because they couldn’t handle the fact that her best friend is of the opposite sex. It’s especially important to note that if you issue an ultimatum early on in the relationship, you will lose. Besides, jealousy makes you look insecure, especially if it’s unfounded. You need more information before deciding how to act.
Tell your boyfriend or girlfriend you want to meet the best friend. It’s the only way you’ll be able to accurately assess their relationship. Does he stare at her longingly? Does she flirt with him? Remember to keep your jealousy in check. He or she is her friend, so she’s naturally going to be comfortable hugging and speaking confidentially to their friend. Your main objective here is to assess the competition.
You’d make an effort to be nice to her same sex friends right? So why should things be any different just because her best friend is of the opposite sex?
Your new love is going to judge you based on how you treat their friends, so make a real effort every time the best friend is around. Besides, if you’re consistently nice to the best friend, and he or she is consistently a jerk to you, you’ll be the nice girl or guy who’s making an effort, and they’ll be the problem one.
As you determine whether or not the best friend poses a threat, you need to find out more about their history. Casually ask whether he or she and the best friend were ever more than just friends. Keep the tone light and playful. Chances are that there was at least one drunken make-out session back in high school. Make sure to find out as much about the friend’s romantic history as possible too. If he or she “never seems to find the right person,” it could mean they’re still pining after your new love.
In the case of a man, if her best friend is a guy, it’s probably going to cause problems for your relationship, as there will always be another guy with whom she’s emotionally intimate. Ultimately, if you want your relationship to succeed, you need to gradually become her “go-to guy,” the first person she thinks to call whenever she has good or bad news. Here are some techniques to help you phase her best friend out of her life.
In the case of a woman, make it a project with your boyfriend friend to find his best friend a boyfriend of his own. Suggest that the two of you start setting her up with single ladies you know. Go on double-dates to facilitate the process.
Another useful technique for phasing the best friend out is to subtly get your love to talk about them. Encourage them whenever they start complaining about the best friend. Be there whenever the two of them get into an argument. Remember, however, to assume a passive role. Insulting the best friend is not the way to your partner’s heart, so don’t try badmouthing the friend yourself.
Keep Her Friends Happy and You’ll Keep Her Happy
This section is mainly for guys as women are much more likely to involve their friends in the details of your relationship. Gossip among women is more rife than that among guys.
When you and your girlfriend have a fight, one of the first things she might do is call her friends that night bawling because you chose to go out with the guys instead of her. Loyalty between friends runs deep and they will be on her side, as your buds would be on yours, but it never hurts to have them on your good side.
Let’s assume you’re starting off with a clean slate as her friends haven’t formed an opinion of you yet – either you’re still “the new guy” or you haven’t had the chance to see much of them. The world is your oyster and there are plenty of ways to get on their good sides right away.
Little gestures to prove that you’re considerate can really serve to put you in anyone’s good graces, especially those close to your significant other. You got free movie passes from an acquaintance? Give two to her best friend, so she can bring her boyfriend along. She’s looking for a job in advertising? Hook her up with your buddy who works at the best firm in town. Small favors like these will make you a prince in her friends’ eyes; so much so, they may want you for themselves.
Be nice to your girl. This one is a given, but oftentimes ignored. If you are out with your girlfriend and some of her friends, don’t be shy to give up the macho act and be extra nice to her. By showing them that she’s in good hands when she’s in your arms, they’ll welcome you into their circle with just that: open arms. So be sure to open doors for her, help her with her coat, hold her hand every now and then, and treat with her with utmost respect.
The bottom line is that getting along with each other’s social circles is an added bonus. It’s great if her friends like you, but hey, if they don’t, at least her family does, right? Her friends are not the be-all, end-all of your relationship, so if you find that you’ve tried to patch things up to no avail or you simply don’t like her friends, then simply explain that to your girlfriend.
The boyfriend – best friends or girlfriend – best buddies balance is delicate. If you want to have a good relationship with your new partner, you need to factor in that they bring a set of friends with them.
People are complex and have complex relationships. The people in your new love’s life are going to continue to be important to them even as he or she starts making room for you.
When you are considerate of these former relationships, you will go a long way toward cementing the relationship.
At the same time, you need to realize that the time you can spend with your own friends is going to be reduced as you spend an increasing amount of your social life with your new squeeze. But, don’t cut your friends out altogether.
Again, the goal is to strike a balance between your friends and your love. read more about love advice