When friendships and relationships don’t mix


Keli Vitaioli

Best friend or boyfriend?

It’s Thursday night and you’re sitting on the couch, binge-watching Netflix and scribbling in some last-minute homework. Your phone, sitting on the table, starts to go off. You push off the couch and touch the home screen: two new messages, one from your bff and one from your bf. Both want to know if you are free Friday night to go out. So who do you pick?

High school is the ideal time for friendships and relationships, but what happens when these two ships collide? It’s easy for Friday night rom-com plans with your bestie to be cancelled for date nights with the bae, making your friends feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick.

In the moment, it seems insignificant. A few canceled plans, some “Sorry I can’t, I’m busy” excuses and suddenly your friends decide to reject your phone calls because cancellations are becoming a regular occasion. The bottom line is this: friends come first. In the long run, friends will be there with Ben and Jerry’s after a bad  breakup. However, if you want your friends to be there for you after the breakup, you have to be there for them during your relationship. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to blow off plans with your boyfriend/girlfriend; you just need to  find a balance between the two aspects of your life.

Dating can be great. It’s fun to go out on dates and have movie nights with someone special. But before this someone special was in your life, you had special someones; your friends. And once the relationship ends (because the odds of that are more likely than marrying that person) you’ll need people who support you and care about you. Not only that, but your friends need someone who cares about them too.

This isn’t me saying ‘don’t date in high school, it’ll never last’. This is me saying that there’s a good side and a bad side to dating.There’s a lot of perks to dating someone who may not have been in your “normal” group of friends. Meeting new people  through dating is great and spending time with those people is a fantastic idea, as long as you don’t forget your original friends. On the other hand, if your original friends force you to make the choice between “us” and “him”, then maybe you should reconsider your friendship. To keep everyone you want in your life, you can’t push them out. To avoid such situations, try to evenly balance your time. Friday night could be date night and Saturday night could be friend night or vice versa. Or you could make time during the week to grab a quick coffee to catch up with a friend. Don’t let your relationship be the end of your friendships.