In the second part of our series of how to be a good friend, we look at keeping your girlfriends when you have a boyfriend. You have a great group of girlfriends and you are able to work through misunderstandings most of the time. But when one girl starts dating it changes the group dynamic, and sometimes friends seem distant, jealous, or even upset.
Why do you think your girlfriends get upset with you when you have a boyfriend?? Is it because you act differently around them when you are in a relationship? Could it be that you spend less time with your girlfriends when you have a boyfriend? Or maybe it could be because they don’t like your boyfriend.?
Carrie had started dating a boy and was having a hard time maintaining her friendships. Talking to some of her friends, we heard comments such as, “I hate it when Carrie is in a relationship because she acts completely different." "She is so fake. It seems like she is trying too hard to impress her boyfriend." Or, "we all stopped hanging around her because she was so annoying.” ?
Carrie's friends feel she acts differently and they think she is being fake. Is there some truth here?? Let’s look at all of the reasons why it’s hard to keep girlfriends when you have a boyfriend, and see if there are any behaviors you can shift so you can keep both relationships.
- We act differently when we have a boyfriend. Why do we act differently? Maybe we are trying to impress him. Are we being ourselves? It’s important to always be yourself in a relationship so your boyfriend gets to know and like the real you. If your self-esteem isn’t developed, you might be insecure around him and think that he wouldn’t like the real you. Be the real you and if he likes you... great. If he doesn’t, he’s not the right guy for you.
- We stop hanging out with our girlfriends. What usually happens when we first get into a relationship is that we want to hang out with our new boyfriend all the time. If your sense of self is intact, you don’t give up your current life for anyone; you keep it balanced. Your girlfriends are important because they are always there for you. Boyfriends can come and go. If you stop hanging around your girlfriends because you have a boyfriend and then 3 months later you break-up, it’s going to feel weird to take up where you left off with your friends at a time when you really need them.
- Our friends don’t like our boyfriend. The first question to ask yourself should be "is your boyfriend a good guy?" Be really honest, and don’t defend his bad behavior. If your friends don’t like your boyfriend because he treats you badly, this could strain your friendship with your girlfriends. Don’t get upset with them if they don’t want to be around him because they feel he isn’t a good guy. If they don’t like him because he is pulling you away from them, talk to them. Come up with a way you can have both your boyfriend and your girlfriends in your life.
It may take some reflection, but it’s easier than you think to maintain a relationship with your boyfriend and still stay close to your girlfriends. It just takes you looking at the situation and taking the action to make it happen. Girlfriends are pretty important, and they will be there for you... even long after a boyfriend has gone.
Keep Loving Yourself, Debra
Teen and parenting mentor Debra Beck, who has spent over 20 years working with teens and parents, is a devoted mother, sought-after presenter, and author.? She has helped thousands of girls develop their self esteem. She now runs her popular parenting website,? EmpoweredTeensandParents.com, encourages girls to be the best “young women” possible, and gives moms and dads the understanding they need to help their girls mature with pride and confidence.? Her award-winning book “My Feet Aren’t Ugly: A Girl’s Guide to Loving Herself from the Inside Out”, has been revised and updated for re-release in September 2011 with Beaufort Books.