By Natasha Burton
When you embark on the dating scene, it can be all too easy to leave your pals in the dust as you spend more time meeting up with potential lovers or significant others. But it’s important not to get too wrapped up in making a love connection and forget your friends in the process. Here are five tips for balancing your buddies with your intros.
Don’t stop making plans with your friends
As exciting as looking for love (or whatever it is you’re looking for — I don’t judge) can be, every night can’t be “date night.” As cliche as it sounds, your friends are the ones who will be there for you when a date screws you over or a relationship ends … that is, if you didn’t ditch your pals for the dating scene. Spending time with your friends also gives you some much needed time to recharge between meet-ups and will keep you from getting burnt out.
Never cancel on a pal because you got a last-minute date
This almost goes without saying but you’d be surprised how involved people can get in dating that they end up unintentionally disrespecting their pals. Telling a friend five minutes before you’re supposed to meet that you can’t grab drinks after all — when you had plans to get together all week — is just rude. This rule also applies to backing out of commitments like your pal’s band’s show or dinner for your buddy’s birthday: Don’t skip these important occasions just to go out on a date. Not only does it show your friend that you could care less about him or her (and your friendship), not showing up for your pals can end up making you you dependent on meet-ups for your social life: Once you ditch your buddies a couple times, they will stop calling you as often.
Don’t only contact your friends when you need love advice
Nobody likes the friend who is MIA all week (or month) then all of a sudden needs major help with a dating-related conundrum. You only get the perk of your friends’ advice if you are actually being a good friend — you can’t expect them to drop everything for you if you’ve dropped them to go out on dates.
Don’t leave your coupled pals out of your love life
While you shouldn’t reach out to your friends only when you need to dish about your last date, you also should be careful of making your coupled friends feel left out of your life by not confiding in them. Sure, they’re not “out there” anymore and they won’t have any juicy stories to swap — but they still remember what it’s like to go on a bad (or amazing) first date and they’ll love hearing about your meet-up adventures. Let your coupled friends feel part of your single life by letting them into it.
Invite single pals to go on group meet-ups or double dates
A great way to bridge the gap between your friends and your dating life is to round up your single friends and conquer the scene together. See if your intro has a friend and go on a double date, or suggest a group hangout with a bunch of singletons. This way, you and your friends get to spend time together and you don’t feel like you’re neglecting them in your pursuit for a partner.