Friday, April 13, 2007

Balancing act: Friends and lovers

So you call up your best friend, and you ask him to go to the bar with you. Hey, it’s been awhile since you guys have hung out – just the boys, drinking, laughing, playing trivia – and you’re dying to get out of the house and leave the stresses of bills, work and family alone for a couple of hours.

When you get your buddy on the phone, he tells you he and his girlfriend are going to dinner and then are going to the movies. That’s fine – no problem. OK, how about tomorrow night, you ask. Nope, won’t work – the lovebirds have concert tickets already. So, getting desperate yet at the same time understanding that your friend is totally gaga over his new chick, you ask if next Saturday is doable. His reply? Her parents are in town. Geez!

Bottom line: Your buddy and his girlfriend won’t spend any time apart because they’re glued at the hip. Your role as the friend (or third wheel) just isn’t that important now that they have each other.

I’ve always wondered how often friendships are derailed because of a relationship. Can the friendship ever be truly repaired when it’s been put on an indefinite hold?

The worst is the lovey-dovey stage when a couple first meet and they ache to be around the other 24-7. But once the relationship grows more serious and breaks out of the spend-every-waking-moment with the significant other, then where does the best friend come in?

Some people can handle having best friends while at the same time having a serious relationship. Others, not so much.

I think the key to balancing it all is to be honest with your intentions and with yourself, and to make those parties aware of your own feelings. At least do your friend a favor and let him know your girl comes first rather than keep him guessing.


Anonymous said...

My best friend does this really well; she's obviously into her relatively new boyfriend, but she definitely stays up with her friends and always has. I think that's healthy and very adult. It may be an "age" thing. Mid 30's understands better than early - mid 20's that life is a compendium of things, and many relationships are important, not just the one with your significant other.

Anonymous said...

I think it is important that your friend and gf or wife get along. From experience if that can happen then there are many activities you can do together and you spouse is more tune to let you out of the house.