You now have a girlfriend. You’ve talked, tweeted, and texted with other girls over the past couple of years, but this one is different. You spend time together; a LOT of time together. You share many of the same interests and likes. Obviously, this girl is something different. She’s something special.

But she’s not the only one who’s special. You have a great family and some other wonderful friends. Please do yourself a favor and don’t forget about them.

It’s easy to get swept away by the powerful current of a new love. Especially when that love is as young as yours. You want to spend every waking moment with this new person who means so much to you and other interests, other people, other relationships, can be left behind to flounder in the wake of your current fascination.

As much as you may love the new person in your life, cling to those whom have been with you all along. Go fishing with your buddies. Go shopping with your mom. Hang out with your dad. Call up a friend and toss a ball around. Take advantage of the opportunities you have now while you are still young and relatively responsibility-free to strengthen these other relationships that will also be important to you in the years to come.

You may think that you will always have time later on to hang out with your friends or visit with your parents, but time is a liar and a thief. Time will wave a calendar with thousands of blank pages in your face and boldly tell you how many opportunities you have coming to do those other things “someday.” Yet the hand not holding that calendar will be greedily stealing all those opportunities so quickly you never even see them disappear.

Until they’re all gone.

Do not misunderstand me. Enjoy your new love. Relish the concept that another human being is so hungry for your presence that they don’t want to share you with anyone else. But keep in mind that she isn’t the only one. Many more of us are standing in line, waiting our turn.

If this girl is as special as you believe, and your parents hope, then she won’t mind sharing you with your other friends. That shows she trusts you and is mature enough not to monopolize your time and attention. She will help you figure out how to be a gentleman and how to conduct yourself in an array of social settings you haven’t considered yet. That’s good.

What’s better is if she becomes part of your life, and you of hers, but neither of you becomes the entirety of the other’s existence. There are others in your world who love and need you, and whom you love and need in return. Sometimes you just need a little reminder of that.