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This topic is adapted from the FLEXTALK YouTube channel.

Dating relationships can be fun and exciting, but they don’t replace the close friendships with your girlfriends. Your friends deserve your time as much as your boyfriend and they can feel abandoned if you don’t make time to hang out with them, or worse, if you cancel your plans with them for a date.

[Related: Differences between Guy and Girl Friendships]

Keep Your Gal Pals Close

Here are three things to remember about balancing your friendships and your dating life:

  1. Schedule days to hang out with your girlfriends.
  2. Consider your friends’ feelings.
  3. Don’t be afraid to talk about it.

Keep Your Schedule

Having a boyfriend can be a good thing, as long as you keep in mind that you still have friends that you should spend time with. Make sure to schedule times that are only for girl time and stick to the plans. Setting aside specific time to hang out with your girlfriends can help you maintain that healthy balance between your dating life and your friendships. There are some things you can only do and talk about with the girls and it’s important that you don’t lose that part of your social life.

Consider Feelings

While you may be excited about hanging out with your boyfriend and have a great time building a new type of relationship, your friends can easily feel abandoned if you are spending all of your time and energy on your guy. If your boyfriend suggests date night but you already have plans with your girlfriends, stop and think for a moment about how your friends will feel if you ditch them for a date.

[Related: Homies]

Talk About It

This may be the toughest part, but you’ve got to talk to your friends when feelings have been hurt. Whether you are the one who’s been hurt, or you realize that you’ve hurt someone else, nothing will get solved unless you have an actual conversation about it. If a friend has pushed you aside for more boyfriend time, make sure you have at least a moment to tell them how you feel, but in an understanding way. Or, if you have a friend mention that she is started to feel left out of your life, set aside time to talk with her and ask her why she is feeling that way, and make sure that you listen to her concerns. Tweeting your feelings or making a vague post will get you nowhere. Girl talk can be enjoyable and silly, but it can also be meaningful and strengthen your friendships as long as you take the time to bring up the issues that really mean something to you and you commit to talking about them.

Balance

It is possible to balance your friends and your boyfriend, you just have to know how much each of them mean to you and commit your time to both. Even when hanging out in a group, you can ensure everyone is included. When your friends and your boyfriend get along, it makes group hangouts even more fun, so give them a chance to get to know each other. Keeping this balance in your social life will help to strengthen all of your relationships.

[Related: 4 Signs of a Good Listener]

Written content for this topic by Andi Dolinsky-Webb.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Have you ever felt abandoned in a friendship? If so, how did you handle it?
  4. What are some things you can only talk about or do with your girlfriends? How important are those things to your life?
  5. Have you ever had a new boyfriend and found yourself wanting to spend all of your free time with him? If so, what did you give up in spending time with him? Do you regret any of it?
  6. How can you make sure to include everyone when hanging out with your friends and your boyfriend in a group?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.