Your first love is super exciting, guys. The butterflies when they text back, the electric shock when they hold your hand, the first kiss, the lets-get-married-and-have-babies feeling you can’t suppress. It’s slushy and exciting and all-consuming. You want to spend time with your shiny new love 24/7, right? But if there’s one rule I can teach you early on in the game of love, it’s not to sideline your best friend.
Sure, they can’t gaze into your eyes over a chocolate sundae and make you melt inside and out, but they were there at the beginning of this wild romance, and they’ll be there at the end. (Unless the married-and-have-babies thing comes true, in which case they’ll be right by your side at the wedding anyways, because CHIEF BRIDESMAID.)
The first rule: it doesn’t have to be bff vs bae. You might not be able to recreate Monica and Chandler’s super-cute r’ship with their pals in Friends (unless you’ve all been besties at school since day one) but there’s no harm in merging groups. Why can’t both your friends come together in a big ball of joy and love? The answer is: they can. Just don’t be too PDA in public. There’s absolutely no fun to be had watching two people play tonsil tennis in the corner of Maccy D’s for three straight hours. Trust me, I’ve been there. Also, I’m pretty sure tongue exhaustion is a legit condition.
Next, mate dates. Make time to hang with your best friend and do not, I repeat, do not invite your new boyfriend/girlfriend along. Those few hours hanging out in your bedroom trying out the latest braids or strolling round the shopping centre catching up on school goss are precious. Treat them with respect. Your SO has no place here so tell them you’re a sassy, independent woman that needs some friend time.
Another rule to revise and memorise forever: if you’re on a mate date, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN. I’m just gonna say it – it’s not nice if you’re ‘there’ but not really there. It can make your friend feel unimportant and second best if your hang-out consists of her sitting in silence whilst you send 196 WhatsApp messages to your crush. Turn your phone on silent, pop it in your bag and gaze into her eyes over a chocolate sundae.
The lesson? You’ll always need your best friend to confide in so don’t cut them out. Whether you need a moan about your SO’s irritating habits or a big, ugly cry at the fact they like computer games more than you, your bestie will always be there for you. Because friends are for life, not just for killing time between crushes.
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