Why it's important to make time for your friends

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By Advice from a Twenty of Something

We've probably all been guilty of this at some point in our lives. When you first start dating someone, it can be super exciting. All you want to do is hang out with your new boy (or girl) and continue to explore the relationship. But sometimes we get so caught up in it that we forget about our friends and realize we haven't hung out with them in months. When I had my first boyfriend in college, I was certainly guilty of this. I didn't see my roommate for way too long and she voiced her frustrations with me. Now that I'm a few years older (and wiser, hopefully), I realize how important it is to balance your time between your friends and your boyfriend, especially in the beginning of a relationship. Here's why:

We've all heard it before – that your boyfriend/fiancé/husband is your best friend. In a way, they are, but they don't give you the same thing your friends give you. You cannot get everything you need from one person – it's just impossible. You can't enjoy a girly night in with face masks, manicures, and chick flicks with your boyfriend like you can with your friends. Your friends understand you in a different way and bring out different parts of your personality that need attention just as much as your other parts. Balancing your time with all of the people you love will help you feel mentally and emotionally balanced.

It's easy to forget to make yourself a priority when you first start dating someone you really like. It's fun to do things that make the other person happy, but don't forget about yourself. Make yourself a priority. Just as they say on airplanes, you need to put your mask on before helping others. In other words, you need to make sure you're happy and feeling your best before you can offer anything to someone else. Taking care of yourself is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with someone else. Spending time with your friends is something you do for yourself, and should become no less important when you have a boyfriend.

Since we're just beginning to truly discover who we really are in our twenties, it can be easy to lose yourself in a relationship. It's tempting to become dependent on his plans, to only hang out with his friends, and to think about him before you remember to ask yourself what you want. It's common for a couple to become "one person", but this can cause both of you to lose a part of yourselves that once defined you. Making it a priority to maintain strong relationships with your own friends is a great way to be true to yourself, and keep your individuality. You are not defined by your relationship with your boyfriend. You are your own person. Making time for friends (or anything that makes you happy) will allow you to be a better, stronger version of yourself, which can only help strengthen your relationship.

Have you gotten so deep into a relationship that you didn't spend enough time with your friends?
Or do you have a friend in a new relationship who you feel like you're losing touch with?
Let's hear some of your experiences in the comments!

Read more.

More from Advice from a Twenty Something:
5 signs you're exactly where you should be
How to handle confrontation like a lady
How to get better at making decisions
On finding happiness

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