When we first got Kili, we knew she would be a lot of work and take up a lot of our time. What I didn’t expect was how similar the experience is to dating someone new in terms of the social aspect. So speaking of dating, when you get your first boyfriend / girlfriend, you better be at least sixteen years old (maybe older?) and if you’re going to have intercourse behind our backs, then MAKE SURE YOU USE CONDOMS!! I’m sure your mother and I will harp plenty on those two things, so I will instead share my wisdom on the impact of relationships on friends while the Kili experience is still fresh and relevant in my head.
“Don’t forget about your friends.”
Your significant other might seem like the only thing that matters in the world when you first start dating. It’s not true. Your parents matter. Any siblings you have matter. Kili matters. And even your grades kind of matter. But in terms of what will actually matter to you that you may forget about are your friends. They were there before the S.O., they will be there during your time with your S.O., and in the event you two break up, they will be there after the S.O.
“Your friends will eventually forget about you until you’ve got time for them again.”
It’s more or less a given you will disregard my first point and spend every free minute with your S.O. Your friends will understand, and they’ll initially still ask you to hang out, but as you continue to turn them down, they will rightly assume you just don’t have time for them and stop asking. There’s nothing to be offended about.
“Not all of your friends will like your S.O.”
Some will just not get along with your S.O. because of personality. Others may not like your S.O. because of how your S.O. is “changing” you – only you will know whether your true colors are coming out or you are stepping out of character. I will always assume you are stepping out of character because you’re a teenager and teenagers always think they know themselves best. The truth is you know yourselves the least! Ironic, huh?
“You’ll find out who are the friends worth keeping.”
Your true friends can reveal themselves in a few different ways. It can be the friends who will try to befriend or find ways to like your S.O. in spite of how they feel. It can be friends who will be around if you break up with your S.O. Or it can be friends who are willing to lie for you when you say you’re going to their house when you’re really going to hang out with your S.O. If I catch you, you’ll definitely be in trouble. I’m not sure about your friend just yet.
I know it’ll be an exciting part of your life. It’ll be an exciting part of ours too. You better believe your mother and I will gossip about you.