The ability to achieve peace and balance between spending time with one's partner and friends is undoubtedly attainable.
Hogwash, I tell you.
No such thing.
One party is bound to suffer; may it be the latter or the former. The main fundamental in (seemingly) healthy relationships is understanding… again, by either parties. And respect. Either the circle of friends or the partner would have to understand and respect a person's decision to allocate his or her own time.
It's like the bollocks of the cliche “We have a 50-50 relationship, we give and take.”
Though I believe in give-and-take relationships, I don't reckon that it's ever 50-50. Once, I had a conversation with a 70-year-old widow who spoke the most beautiful words:
“My husband and I,” she started as I noticed that she still sported her fading gold wedding band on the third finger of her left hand. It gave life to her bony and shaky hands. “Our relationship worked out because our relationship wasn't 50-50. There were times when it was 90-10 and there were times when it was 10-90. Never 50-50. The key to it was that we took turns in making sacrifices for each other. And the sacrifices made were never equal… some small, some big, some significant and some not. But we never thought anything of it. Because we understood.”
I adopt the same idea with regards to dividing one's time between a partner and friends. It's never 50-50. The only reason how it can work out is if a) the partner understands the value of personal space and b) the friends understand the intimacy between the couple and their need to be alone together. And alternately, these two elements would bounce off each other thus producing a smooth and tranquil life for the person involved (assuming that he or she is doing a good job of being fair).
In real life, however, the abovementioned idea is rarely consummated. It's one thing to put the theory on paper but it's entirely another to execute it. It is when element A decides that he or she deserves the bigger piece of the pie or when element B decides the same. And more often than we'd like to admit, the case usually falls on one of those (again, assuming that the person involved is not practicing neglect on any level).
Everyone has expectations and everyone has demands… I don't think it's anyone's obligation to make everyone happy. It is one's duty, nonetheless, to be responsible for fulfilling promises. If elements A and B are masters of mutual hostility but are perfectly implementing the rules, one must not abuse this. Be thankful for it is a miracle. There is a call for respect and understanding from this side as well. Don't force issues and always be fair. Don't deliberately attempt to mix two bad chemicals together. Allocate one's time exclusively for one party… and let it stay that way.
Juggling reality is tough. But the ability to achieve excellence in it is undoubtedly attainable.
It's just that not a lot has attained it.