Welcome to the Pilot’s new dating column! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Lauren and I’m really excited to help you work through any of your relationship problems or answer any of your questions. I love to see happy couples!

Picture this: it’s fall quarter, freshman year at Prin. You’re psyched to be meeting all these fun, cool people, and you can tell from the first week of freshman orientation that you’re making friendships that will last a lifetime.

Winter quarter is now upon you, and you’re convinced that the bond you have with this newfound group of friends is unbreakable.

Spring break comes, and you’ve become interested in a new dating prospect. As you begin to talk more and more with this person, you don’t realize you’re starting to lose touch with everyone else.

You can’t wait to get back to Prin to see if this really turns into a relationship. You both arrive on campus for Spring Quarter, and lo and behold, you’re dating someone you’re crazy about.

As summer approaches, instead of spending time with friends you’ll miss, you focus more on maintaining your relationship. It’s not that you don’t want to see your friends—you’ve just gotten so wrapped up in the relationship that you’ve barely noticed friend after friend slowly dropping out of your life.

Then, in the middle of the summer when you least expect it, something terrible happens. As you’re talking on the phone one night, you hear those four awful words: We need to talk. BAM—relationship over.

As you try to pick up the pieces that were your happy little Prin-bubble life, you try to think of someone to call who will provide you with a nice shoulder to cry on. Then it finally hits you that you haven’t talked to any of your friends since winter quarter. Sure, you saw them here and there during spring, but it was always in passing. Some called you to arrange pub dates, but you were always busy. Plus, even when you did make plans, you sometimes forgot, or when you got together, you were too focused on talking about your new “significant other” to notice the rolling eyes of your former besties.

So now, as you sit in a puddle of tears over your broken relationship, you wonder how what started out as a school year full of friends and a brand new special someone, could have ended up with what feels like nothing.

Really, it’s quite simple. This tale is common. I’m sure there are many of you reading this who can relate to some part of the experience.

While it’s perfectly understandable to get excited about the new person in your life, if it’s to the exclusion of your friends, then it’s probably not healthy. Besides that, you can’t forget your best friends!

So, my very first message to the Prin campus is: don’t forget about your friends, they are so important. Plus, it’s true that some of the people you meet in college will be friends with you forever. Don’t let those precious relationships fall apart. Cherish them as much as you cherish your dating relationships. You’ll find harmony and joy if you learn to make time for both.

Love from me to you,

Lauren

P.S. I’m a new columnist, so if you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in this column, send me an email at Lauren.Kelly@prin.edu. For more thoughts on dating, you can also check out my blog at lovefromlaurentoyou.blogspot.com.

Lyrics from Title: With a Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles