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“You’re acting funny now since you have a boyfriend,” one of my closest friends joked. Well, actually, I knew that she was partly serious but attempted just to laugh it off as a joke. I laughed too before casually defending myself, trying to make light of the situation.

It had only been a few weeks since I had denounced my single status and gotten into my first committed relationship in years, and already some of my friends were mentioning that they hoped things wouldn’t change within our friendship. I too had once doled out such jokes and statements, wondering what would be different once one of my girls had found her way into a relationship while I was still wandering around as a single woman. And although I knew deep down that little would change now that I had a partner (I’m not like that), despite my friends’ so-called jokes, I couldn’t help but think of women who were in much more serious relationships or even married. Did their friendships have to change as a result of their relationship status? If the majority of their friends were single (like mine), did it, in turn, affect their bonds?

While ‘F men, get money’ has never really been the overlying theme for my friend circle, we certainly do as single girls do when we aren’t hitched. From our conversations to our outings where we hope to meet eligible men, most of my friends and I have had the single life in common for the majority of our friendship. So with me going out less and staying in more, I guess it makes sense that my circle would be skeptical.

For my friend who mentioned that I may have changed, she was referring to the fact that we were speaking less often. Because we are miles away, we would usually try to talk on the phone every day. However, once I got in a relationship, we began talking on the phone a little less, though we still averaged about four or five days a week.

On the flipside, one of my other friends who recently got into a relationship admits that she now goes out less. She says that because she has a man she chooses to spend time with him on the weekends instead of going on ‘girls’ outings’ like she used to. However, she still ensures that she spends time with friends, at least, one weekend out of the month. She says that it’s not difficult to balance her friends and her boyfriend because there is an understanding. The reality is, when you get into a relationship, certain things will change, and that’s just a fact. However, it doesn’t mean your friendships have to suffer.

While I think the dynamics of such associations may be altered, the bond shouldn’t be broken when it comes to genuine friendships. Sure, your conversations may differ, and your outings may become somewhat infrequent, but if your friend is really your friend, there should be an understanding when it comes to being there for one another. And at the core of things, the commitment to the friendship should remain the same.

Ladies, what do you think? What has been your experience with friendships once your relationship status changed?

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