Dates before mates?

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Picture this; you’ve just started a new relationship. It’s all exciting and lovely; you’re spending all your time together and you think everything is going swimmingly until the inevitable Facebook messages and texts start coming through. “We never see you any more!”, “How come you disappear on nights out?” and that old chestnut, “You’ve changed.” Just when you think it’s all perfect, your friends bring you back down to earth with a massive bump. This is the problem; it’s not your friends, it’s not you, it’s just a question of balance.

At one point in your life, with either a boyfriend or a girlfriend, this will most likely happen to you. Whether you’re part of a loved up pair or you’re at the friends end, it’s a difficult situation. From the relationship perspective, it can seem hard. Your priorities have changed because you now have to factor the amount of time you want to spend with another person quite heavily into your life. What’s important to remember, speaking from experience, is that your friends will be the ones there if or when it’s over. What is also necessary to realise is that time apart can be very healthy for your relationship.

I know if I go out without my other half that it’s fun to be able to let your hair down and have a good night out with the girls. Same with boys, if a night out with the lads is on the cards, you don’t want to be the one with the tag along girlfriend. You should make time for each other but you have to make time for yourself and your friends too. From the friendship side, sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth. It isn’t just you noticing that people change in relationships, they do and it’s completely natural. Understandably it can sometimes be too much to hear how wonderful it is to be with a new person or for those with over sharers as friends, the bragging details relating to a new sex life. Breathe and try to remember that this is a phase; the honeymoon period should eventually wear off. Have patience, if they make it past three months and you aren’t seeing your friend as much as you used to then that is the time to realise there could be problems.

For all parties, it’s a case of balance and patience. Whatever happens, you all need to make sure that relationships don’t suffer because you’re being pulled in all sorts of directions. If it all goes wrong, sit down and have a chat with your friends and partner. I’m not saying do everything together, but maybe if your friends knew your partner a little better then maybe they will understand your changing situation.

Whether mates before dates or sisters before misters the age old debate of dates before mates will probably stick around forever; so it’s up to you, if your faced with the problem, to muddle through and try your best to solve it.

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