7 Ways to Balance Love and Friendship

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I should probably begin by saying that I have never been in love. I’m not a cynical, non-believing opponent—you can catch me watching Hallmark movies and crying at weddings; but I have never been head over heels in love. So my viewpoint in this is COMPLETELY one-sided, as I almost always find myself giving the love advice to my girlfriends, as opposed to living it. Irony at its finest.

That being said, I’m pretty sure that all women (and men) at one point in time have been of witness to watching their friends get into a new relationship… and then falling off the face of the earth. I used to think this concept was normal: “I am now dating (insert douchey name here) and you will never see me again. Goodbye.” Recently, however, I’ve met some pretty amazing females who have proven otherwise. I’m even beginning to believe in a little thing called balance.

I’ve picked up on some of their tricks in how they go about managing the see-saw of love and the life they’ve built, and was able to conjure up the 7 most consistent things said powerhouse women do. I think we can all learn from them.

7. Before things get serious, the introduction happens.
Nobody wants for their boyfriends and girlfriends to dislike each other. Assuming that all parties are equally mature, then all they really want is for their common denominator (you) to be happy; meaning their acquaintance should be a piece of cake. On the reverse—if all of your friends seem to think that  Mr. Wonderful is a total wiener, they’re probably right.

6. Honesty is the best policy.
You telling me that you’re staying in tonight and then posting a picture with Gary at 10:30PM really doesn’t help me like Gary any more. Be honest. Tell me Gary is making you a romantic dinner, and I’ll wait up to hear about it later.

5. Girls nights are actually still girls nights.
Nobody likes when you bring your boyfriend to girls night. Nobody. Plus, now’s the time for you to dish out all the details and make us feel all included and stuff. When’s the last time you invited your girlfriend out on a date? Sounds ridiculous, right? Why is there a double standard? Don’t do it.

4. Not every conversation revolves around him.
Don’t get me wrong—we can talk about him. We can totally talk about him. I will listen, listen, and listen some more. But if me telling you about the new dress I just bought somehow circles back to “The cutest thing happened the other night . . . “ I will roll my eyes—that’s what friends are for.

3. We know things about each other.
A few of my girlfriends who are in relationships keep me updated on what their boyfriends are up to—obviously, that’s girl talk—but they also do the same about me to their boyfriend’s. So when I see Karen’s boyfriend Eric out at the bar and he asks how my new job is—I realize they are concerned about the world outside of each other, which is pretty grand.

2. Being there for each other is always a given.
I have friends who are married with kids, who I know would be there for me if I really needed them to. Of course that doesn’t mean I expect you to leave your daughters dance recital to help me get ready for my date; but when it comes down to it, my balanced and powerful girlfriends always let me know they are there when I need them.

1. Maybe it’s actually right this time.
I have been blessed with so many extraordinary girlfriends in my life. I have seen relationships on every end of the scale and in between. It’s in my experience (or theirs, really) that when we fall off the face of the earth for a relationship, it almost never works. And probably not for any other reason than we weren’t ready. Of course things will change; people get married and stop doing beer-bongs. I get it. But change doesn’t have to mean giving up who we are entirely. Because maybe the trick is to find that validation and balance within our own life; and then maybe, just maybe, we won’t accept anything less.

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