• Tue, Oct 26 2010

Modern Etiquette: Tips for Not Alienating Your Friends When You’re In a Relationship

College Candy has a great post up about how to be in a relationship without losing your friends. As someone who once got dropped faster than a hot potato whenever a girlfriend met a new guy, I think it’s really important to maintain your sense of self even when you’re happily coupled up. Here are a couple other things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you still keep up your girlie rituals. As much as I like spending time with someone I’m dating, there are things that couples just shouldn’t do together. If I want to get a mani/pedi, watch a Teen Mom marathon, or discuss at length which celebrities are dating each other, that’s a thousand times more fun to do with a girlfriend.
  • Ask your friend about her life. If one of your friends is single, that doesn’t mean she’s a sad, pathetic hag who spends all her time knitting outfits for her cats. Remind her that you value her as a person, even if she can’t go on double dates with you and your man.
  • When your friend says “I’m going on a beach trip next week!” the correct response is not “Oh, Brad loves swimming!” That same rule applies to overuse of the word “we.”
  • Take nights off from your relationship. If you guys live together, make sure familiarity doesn’t become contempt by getting out of the house occasionally. He can’t miss you if you never leave.
  • Remember that your relationship shouldn’t be your hobby. The happiest couples I’ve ever met aren’t ones who obsess over each other, they’re ones who are each cool, interesting people who each bring a lot to the relationship. Don’t feel like you need to drop everything else in your life in order to dote on him. That normally ends up with guys feeling smothered. You know how you can keep from doing that? By doing all the things that made you cool beforehand – including spending time with your friends. Let me offer the story of “Carly” as a cautionary tale: when I was in college, I lived on a hall with Carly. Her boyfriend went to a different college and she spent every weekend visiting him. Eventually, Carly found out that said boyfriend was cheating on her, and they broke up. But she didn’t have any shoulders to cry on at our college, because she’d spent all her time with a guy instead of cultivating any female friendships. Moral of this story? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, particularly a boyfriend-shaped one.

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  • nolalola27

    UGH I am the WORST for this. I’ve been in a relationship for 4 years now, and I’ve had to make new friends with other couples because I am a terrible, terrible friend. To be fair, when we first got together we moved almost 900 miles away, but still. I haven’t been great about keeping in touch and I feel awful about that.

  • justme

    what if the friend who does the ditching is a lesbian? then she can get all her needs met by her significant other. they can be girly bff and in a relationship. well that’s how I got left behind by my “bff”….