Falling in love, especially for the first time, is the best time of your life. For your friends, it can be the most annoying thing in the world. You’re never able to hang, if you are, it’s all relationship talk. That’s if you aren’t bombarding people’s timelines with selfies of you and bae or hashtags like #relationshipgoals. Here are 10 guidelines (five each) for how one of you can be drunk in love, and not let the friendship suffer.
To the lovestruck
1. There are other topics of conversation besides your relationship
In a new relationship, there’s the urge to want to talk about it, a lot. Your friends will ask about your relationship, but don’t take advantage. Ask yourself if it’s something they want to hear you rambling about.
2. Stop social media bombardment
Constantly posting selfies of you and “bae” can look like you’ve got something to prove. We’re not saying don’t post anything about your relationship, but not all of your 300 Facebook friends are interested.
3. Neglecting your friends is not cool
It’s normal to want to spend every minute with your new love. But try to balance the time between your partner with other important people in your life. This allows you to “miss” your partner, making the time you spend together more meaningful.
4. Life goes on
Young love can end abruptly, and then you must carry on with your life. This is when you need your friends the most. Being completely isolated from everyone if this happens, will only make it harder.
5. Remember, the bubble will burst
People rarely stay deeply in love forever. Although you feel content now, the bubble of bliss you and your partner created will burst. You both are individuals, so having and fulfilling your own aspirations will sustain you if/when it ends.
To the friend on the “other side”
1. Patience is key
Just give them some breathing room, especially in the first couple of months. Allow them to bask in their new love and come to terms with the overwhelming emotions that come with it. You’re going to need the same courtesy when you fall in love.
2. Don’t take it personally
Your friend doesn’t respond to your texts as fast as he/she used to or is reluctant to “turn up” with you on Friday, don’t take it seriously. There are going to be things that your friend does “wrong”. Don’t give them a free pass, but don’t hold a grudge.
3. Honesty is the best policy
Be honest. If you value your friendship you’ll be open and honest with them about any issues you feel strongly about. If they are a true friend, working to solve these issues shouldn’t be a problem.
4. Get out there
“Losing” a bestie is tough, but it’s likely temporary. There’s no point in sulking about it. Try to broaden your horizons, go out, meet new people, or take the opportunity to hang out with different people. You never know where it could lead or what opportunities could emerge.
5. Be considerate
Try to see things from their perspective, especially if it’s their first time in love. Ask yourself, if it were you in their position how would you want them to behave, what would you want them to say or do? Because in a couple of months you could be the lovestruck romantic.
Illustrations by Bizani Meyiwa