Love is a beautiful thing because it presents itself in many forms. One of the many forms that love manifests itself in is the love between friends, and often, good friends can be members of the opposite sex. While getting into a relationship should not result in you pushing the people you value out of your life, it is important to consider your partner's feelings and accommodate them by tweaking things slightly. Let's unpack the five ways you can respect your romantic relationship if your best friend happens to be of the opposite sex.

Boundaries: 

Clear boundaries are key. Make sure that your significant other and best friend feel valued and seen while eliminating competition between them. Make sure that clear lines are drawn so that both parties do not find themselves performing roles that have either been vocally or subtly claimed by the other.

Be Empathetic:

Learn to put yourself in the shoes of your significant other and your best friend. Your love interest might feel uncomfortable with some of the dynamics between you and your best friend before he came into the picture. It might not be the best idea to call your bestie "babe" or plop yourself into their lap. You want to focus on reassuring two important people in your life rather than making them feel insecure.

Talk It Out: 

The best thing you can do to show anyone that you care about them is by being genuinely honest with them. Express your love for both parties and reassure them of their importance, emphasizing that nothing will ever boil down to a competition for your love and attention.

Speak Their Language: 

Communicate to them with their love languages. If your significant other appreciates quality time and words of affirmation, plan a cute date, and speak from the heart! If your best friends love acts of service, get them something related to that business idea they've been looking to kick off. Reassurance is key.

Be Objective: 

Don't be too busy respecting others to respect yourself. Keep yourself sharp and alert and be sensitive enough to ensure that you're never being gaslighted or stretched thin. One way to do this is to make sure that you constantly remind yourself that these are two very different relationships; they are never in competition with each other, but rather they both play important parts in your life. Categorize these roles and do not isolate yourself from the people you care about to cater to one relationship while neglecting others.

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