I love my boyfriend. He’s a great man who’ll do anything for me. He’s supportive of my career, while motivated in his own. He’s affectionate, can always make me laugh and is just an all-around dependable, good guy. But there are times when you need to get away from your man to show your girlfriends some love!
Spending alone time with your significant other is important in any relationship. You need time together to grow and bond, both in and out of the bedroom. You want to become comfortable and confident in your relationship as you build on trust and respect. If there’s a chance your boyfriend is going to be your future husband, you’ve got to know each other’s everything - the good and the not-so-good - before committing to a ring, a home in the burbs and a pink or blue nursery.
When you start seeing someone new, falling head-over-heels quickly can happen to even those of us who are usually the cautious type. Many of us have been guilty of spending all of our free time with our new beau, and cancelling plans with our best gal pals - the ones who are always there for us, those friends we depend on for more than just Friday night happy hours and boozy brunches. Your very best friends and closest confidants can get put on the backburner without you even noticing as you blindly fall for Mr. Right Now.
As your relationship gets serious, the phase when you’re having that “should we move in together?” talk, women also tend to spend more time with their boyfriends than their closest friends. Sometimes it’s just out of pure laziness; because it’s easier to stay home in your pjs, watching Dexter and ordering takeout with your man than getting dolled up to meet the girls for midnight drinks downtown.
We’ve all been the “single girl” - the girl who gets forgotten, ignored or cancelled on by her friend who’s so in love, she’s blind to the fact she’s let down her best friend. When you’ve found the right guy, remember how it felt to be that single girl, so you can avoid disappointing any of your friends who are unattached.
Friendships with other women are important. Don’t let anyone tell you that they’re not. The special relationship that you have with your girlfriends is different than the one you have with a boyfriend and even your husband. Women are frankly just different than men. They can provide each other with emotional support that’s nothing like the support you’ll get from a man. It may be cliché to call your closest friends your soul mates, but I believe it’s true.
So how do we avoid leaving our girlfriends in the dust? How do we balance our early relationship excitement or serious relationship obligations with our commitment to our girlfriends? Here’s how to always make time for your girlfriends.
Plan monthly dinners. It may sound silly to plan so far in advance, but by setting a date in your calendar for a girls’ night each month, you’re confirming your dinner as more than just any ole’ meal - it’s a planned event that you can’t cancel on to spend time with your friends. Believe me when I say you’ll look forward to these nights out to catch up and dine together as just the girls.
Practice girlfriend therapy. Make phone calls (not texts or emails) to a girlfriend to lend an ear when she’s going through career, love or family woes. Venting to your girlfriends about your douchey boss, annoying ex boyfriend (and his new model girlfriend) or a recent weight gain of 5lbs, is always acceptable with your best friends. Remember your boyfriend (no matter how much he loves you) does not always want to hear trivial drama or gossip. Make time to check on a friend who may be in a mini-crisis, who just needs someone to listen or to give logical advice that only girlfriend therapy can provide.
Host at home happy hours. Here’s another instance where you can plan ahead to spend some quality girl-only time. Invite your gals over for a weeknight happy hour. Supply the appetizers, while each girl brings a bottle of her favorite cheap wine. Sure, happy hours as a group of couples can be fun, but leave the boys out for a night of juicy gossip and scandalous sex talk. These can happen monthly or seasonally - rotate apartments taking turns as hostess. Added bonus: These at home cocktail parties are not only fun, but also affordable!
Begin an email chain. It’s important to make time to see your girlfriends in person and to chat on the phone, but a routine email chain among a group of close friends is another great way to stay in touch and up-to-date on what’s happening in everyone’s daily lives. Whether you email to encourage each other when starting and maintaining a new diet or just begin general email chains to share what’s happening with your families, jobs and new apartment, keeping each other in the loop (in more depth than you can read on Facebook) is a fun way to give everyone a chance to share their story and respond to one another.
Put yourself in her shoes. As mentioned earlier, we’ve all been single. And many of us have been unattached during a time period when it seemed everyone else was part of a couple. So, make a conscious effort to remember how it felt to be on your own, then make an effort to reach out to and include your single friends in upcoming activities and just with a phone call now and then to say ‘hello’.
No matter how in love you may be with your boyfriend, remember that things can change. Love can last forever, but that doesn’t mean your relationship will. The women in your life will always be your support system, as long as you respect and love them back. You don’t want to alienate your best friends when you’re in a relationship, only to need them when it’s over and they are no where to be found, because you didn’t make them a priority.
And let’s be honest here ladies, no matter how in love you may be, a break from your guy to spend hours laughing, gossiping, cheating on you diet and boozing with your girlfriends makes us pretty darn happy.
Here’s to having some of the most amazing girlfriends a girl could ask for - and making time to show them just how important they are! xo