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Cady is a staff writer here at The Hudsucker. She is an English major and Writing minor at Grand Valley State University. Her dream is to be a novelist or to work for a publishing company. She enjoys reading, traveling, and watching Boy Meets World, The Voice and Back to the Future. Follow her on Twitter as @cadyelizabeth9

The Relationship Balancing Act

We’ve all been in the position of being “ditched” by a friend before. Maybe you’ll have to rewind back to high school, or maybe it’s happened to you as recently as yesterday, but no matter when it happens, it’s safe to say that it hurts. I bring up high school because that was back when romance in general was still all so new to most of us, and girls (and guys, I’m sure) were so quick to break plans with their friends on a Friday night because their crush asked them out to a movie. Maybe, sometimes, we were the ones doing the ditching.

Balancing a romantic relationship and our friendships is, admittedly, pretty difficult at times. Maybe your romantic relationship is new and exciting, but you’ve been friends with your best friends for years. You’ve been more interested in spending time with your new partner, simply because being in love is thrilling, and, let’s be honest, sometimes more appealing than sitting on the couch with your best buds listening to them tell the same stories for the hundredth time. Or, maybe you’re more interested in spending time with your friends than your S.O. because you need a little break from all the romance (hey, it happens) or lack thereof.

Image Credit – Getty Images

Whatever the case may be, the relationship balancing act is one that is incredibly important to perfect. All types of personal relationships hold weight in our lives, and it would be unfair to let one group feel like they have to fight for your attention against the other. If you feel like you may have been unintentionally ignoring someone in favor for another, it might be time to come up with a way to to make sure that your relationships don’t suffer because someone feels unimportant or neglected.

First things first: let both your partner and your group of friends know that your time with each person is meaningful to you. Simply hearing the words from you can go a long way since we all crave that positive attention and affirmation. And, since a huge part of any personal relationship is open and honest communication, it’s important to get a conversation going if there really is a problem in your balancing of relationships. Even if there isn’t currently a problem, talking about your wish to balance your time with your S.O. and your friends is still a good idea.

But, of course, actions speak louder than words. Telling your friends and your partner that both are important to you is great, and necessary, but actually showing them is what really matters. If you have to, budget your time. If you’ve spent the last two weekends with your partner, call up your friends and see if they’re up for some bonding next weekend. If your S.O. is the one feeling left out, plan a romantic weekend and make sure to turn off your phone so your friends’ texts don’t distract you. Your undivided attention will show them that you care about what they have to say and that you’re invested in your time together.

Really, though, your time doesn’t have to be divided at all. Who says you have to keep your relationships separate? The more the merrier, right? Unless there are some major hard feelings between your friends and your S.O. that would make everyone spending time together super uncomfortable, there’s no reason that a group hang out can’t be a great way to spend quality time with all the people you love.

If your friends and your partner are up for it, plan a group activity that you think everyone would enjoy, or invite everyone over for something easy like pizza and Netflix. Having everyone together might be a little overwhelming, especially if it’s not the norm, so it might take a little extra work to make sure that everyone feels included. There’s no point in bringing your friends and your partner together if you’re going to do something you know only one of them will like, or if you’re not going to work toward fostering a good environment between you all. Maybe your best friend has been bringing up all of your inside jokes or stories about people your S.O. doesn’t know. Steering the conversation toward mutual experiences or common acquaintances, at least at first, will make the transition easier for everyone.

Image Credit - flickr/ ^riza^

Image Credit – flickr/ ^riza^

Of course there will always be times in your life when keeping your relationships entirely balanced won’t be possible. Maybe you and your S.O. will go through a rough patch and will need to take more time together to work things out, or maybe your best friend is feeling down and will need extra time with you to lift their spirits. Whatever the case may be, communication is key.

It’s safe to say that once all of your relationships are in order, everyone around you will be much happier. They’ll know that you care about them. Your friends and your partner will appreciate your willingness to take the time to work toward balanced, healthy relationships.

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