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On equal footing

Is your love life affecting your ties with family and friends? Preeti Khilnani on doing the balancing act.
Hindustan Times | By Preeti Khilnani, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 11, 2008 02:16 PM IST

Being in a relationship can suddenly change your life. There is a new person in your life who you are crazy about and now he becomes the centre of your world.

But the world does not actually change and your life that includes friends and family still remains an important part. These dynamics change with a girlfriend or a boyfriend. You learn the balancing of love with social responsibilities and it can get tough.

The new person craves attention and you too want to give it too. But not at the cost of family and friends who also expect you to spend time with them. They may all of a sudden feel ignored and jealous.

Friend no more
Saumya W, a student, says, "It is bound to happen, especially in the beginning of a relationship because you are just getting to know the person and you want to spend most of your time with him. You should know where to draw the line and make a conscious effort." But where to draw the line remains unanswered.

It is very important not to take your friends and family for granted and expect them to understand. It can be very painful for a friend to lose out if the balance is not maintained.

Akansha Mehta, a finance consultant, says, "My best friend and I were so close. But now that he has a girlfriend, he hardly spends time with me. You don't have your closest friend anymore,"

Getting the timing right
The balancing is not difficult if you prioritise. It's all about time management. Dinesh Shah, a student, feels that through his relationship, he has realised the value of friends. They stood by him when he needed them.

"Now I consciously make time for friends in the evening," he says. For some, the relationship becomes the centre of their world. They choose to spend time only with this one special person which is not healthy .

Equalise it
This leads to emotionally stunted growth in both and a skewed perspective of situations. It could also lead to an unhealthy dependence on one person and relegating control of your life.

A best way to go about the balancing act would be to let your other half know that you care but you still need your space. "My girlfriend noticed that I spend more time with her and made sure I gave time to my friends as well. Our relationship has grown stronger after that," says Simrat Singh, a gym instructor.

It's time you realise that voicing what you need does not indicate that you love your partner any less. If at all, it will help you to spend time more productively.

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