Sometimes sharing yourself between your friends and your partner feels like an impossible task. Here are some clever ways to enjoy the best of both worlds, without the drama.
Relationships can be full of hurdles -- from teething issues like agreeing on which film to watch on a Friday night to more serious problems like how you spend your money and who pays for what. Another very common snag is balancing your leisure time between quality hours with your partner and fun time with the girls.
Many women complain about losing touch with their friends after they get involved in a serious relationship and while the friendship flame can often be reignited, it's important to try to maintain contact with your mates from the very beginning.
Most problems can be resolved with honest, two-way communication. If you and your partner have differing views on how much time you should spend with your friends -- if you love going out for nights with the girls but he prefers to stay in with takeaway on the couch, for example, then this is something that needs to be discussed early on in the relationship. If you choose to ignore the problem, either party could be hurt and this may also set a precedent for the long term. If your partner doesn't understand why you value your time out with friends (and away from him), you'll need to explain that it has no reflection on your relationship with him, but instead it's simply that you're a social creature!
If you're struggling to fit everyone in, it may be worth allotting your time as you would for a busy workday. Set aside particular weekday evenings or weekend days to spend with your friends, family and your partner so you can fit everyone in. Record the dates in your diary and don't break promises.
Quality, not quantity
We often fall into lazy habits when living with our partners and fail to make a conscientious effort to spend quality "present" time with them. Next time you're both home together, make a special effort to set the table and enjoy a romantic meal (without the TV as a distraction), or head out for a bushwalk or a coffee date. If you can't have quantity, then boosting the quality of your time together should help ease anxieties.
Get your friends and partner together
Another clever way to ease the tension is to host regular get-togethers where your friends can bring their partners and you can all share a meal and a few drinks in a relaxed setting. This allows your partner to get to know your friends better, while also giving you ample time to catch up on your friends' news, without isolating your partner.