The Relationship Novice: How To Not Lose Your Friends

Being in a relationship can be a habit-changing experience. Your Friday nights scoping out the bar scene with your single friends has morphed into romantic dinners or movie night with your new boyfriend. So, how do you balance your new love life with your old social life? And most importantly, how do you not lose your friends?

Schedule, Schedule, Schedule: Scheduling “life” can be boring as hell…but as you get older and have more important people in your life, you realize it’s a necessary evil. Seeing your boyfriend on Friday night? Then schedule some much needed girl time on Saturday night. Is he doing something sweaty and active on Sunday (can we come??), then plan a girl brunch with lots of mimosas. But what happens if you live together? The same rules apply! If he has a standing date with the brahs to watch Monday night football at a bar, then make it girl’s potluck dinner at the love nest. Think of it as scheduling tango. Talk on the Phone: With all the text messaging and IM’ing we do these days, talking on the phone is like using a phonograph instead of your iPod. If you live with your boyfriend, and don’t feel like making plans with the girls (but you still want to talk to them) don’t be afraid to reach out and touch them…sonically. Hearing what your girlfriend did that day instead of reading it in an e-mail is much more valuable. Open a bottle of wine, send your boyfriend to another room, and pick up the receiver. (It’s that gadget-y looking thing gathering dust on your table.)

Mixers: It shouldn’t be the Great Divide when it comes to hanging out with YOUR friends or HIS friends. Your social lives should be able to mix easily. Are your girlfriends going out for drinks on Friday? See if your boyfriend wants to invite his friends to the same bar. That way when they’re talking about the Yankees you can talk to your girlfriend about the horrible date she had the night before.

Play Male Bonding Matchmaker: A friendship formed between your boyfriend and your friend’s boyfriend is the best of both worlds. If they haven’t met each other yet, set up a double date with your friend. It generally helps if there’s sports/music involved/and some sort of strong beverages to break the ice. WARNING: This could backfire, and the two boys could hate each other. If this happens, you’re pretty much screwed. Sorry.