The New Relationship Balancing Act

When you feel the thrill of a new relationship, you want to be with your sweetheart 24-7. So what happens to friends you went out with every weekend before you met her? Finding balance between your bros and your girl is one of the first challenges of your new romance. The following strategies can help.

Plan Ahead
When you were hanging out with your buddies, you didn't need to plan. You knew the drill. Someone would come up with something interesting to do, or you'd hit your regular bar, or you'd wind up at the friend's house who has the best TV, food and drink. Now, you're going to need to schedule that guy time. But first ... check your girlfriend's schedule. Make sure you plan something with her during each weekend when your schedules click, then make a point of hanging with the guys at least every other weekend. Let your sweetheart know when you'll be tied up with your friends, so she can plan her girl time too.

Mix It Up
Try some joint events - so your sweetie can meet your friends - but stick to small doses in the beginning. If you plan outings with one or two of your friends and your girlfriend at a time, she'll have a better chance of getting to know them and not feeling uncomfortable. If you have a large posse of friends and she's the only female, they might revert to their usual guy behavior and she'll feel awkward. Another option is to invite your girl when most of your buddies have dates as well. That way the blending of the two groups will go more smoothly. She can chat with the other ladies when the guys start talking sports or giving each other a hard time.

Get Away
Heading out of town occasionally can help the balancing act. If you and the guys regularly plan golf or fishing weekends, keep it up. Just make sure she's aware of your scheduled outing. Feel free to plan weekends away with your sweetheart too, when you reach that comfort level in your relationship. Time away lets you focus on just your relationship and igniting that flame.

Respect the Bond
As you juggle your friends and your sweetheart, make communication a priority. You don't want to leave your girl hanging, wondering if you're going to get together or not. And don't let your buddies feel that you're going out with them only because your girl canceled on you at the last minute. You've got to let them know they're important to you too, or you'll be on the outside looking in if your romance fades.

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