In true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I am pondering the truths of real friendships.
In an age where sending a text is infinitely easier than meeting for coffee, what defines our friendships? Are people that we see once every six months and shoot an occasional text our friends, or our acquaintances? Or our pen pals?
How much about a persons life do you need to know in order to categorize them as a “close friend”? Is it just the person you call when you get a promotion at work, or can it be the person you talk to via text message once or twice a week?
I’ve struggled with this one for awhile, with friends going off to college and relationships being drastically altered. I’ve struggled with being the only person trying to sustain a friendship, and I’ve been on the other end of the spectrum as well. It can be so hard to be someones closest friend, and then 6 months down the road realize that you aren’t even a top 10 priority anymore. Maintaining friendships is easy when you see each other everyday- when you live far apart and have jobs, school, and other relationships, it isn’t exactly a cakewalk.
The hardest thing for me was understanding how much and how quickly relationships change, and once I figured that out, I assumed it would get easier.
TIP OF THE ICEBERG, PEOPLE.
After you realize that friendships change, you have to continue evolving, communicating, and figuring out how to keep that friendship candle burnin’! That can be one of the most draining tasks in the world, especially if it’s one sided (or if you feel that way). There are some people in this world that either don’t care, or don’t admit that they do. For me, if you don’t admit that you want to work on having a friendship and staying close friends, then you just must not care. You don’t care. In my mind, it’s pretty simple.
Reality isn’t the same as how it works in my head.
I’ve learned over the course of the past 2 or 3 years that not everyone is as expressive as I am. It’s been a humbling experience, to be honest, and it’s been a very emotional ride. Understanding that I am not someones first choice, or even that they don’t have time for me at all, was a tough pill to swallow. Not that I expect to be #1 on every person’s speed dial. Please. How unrealistic. But after getting accustomed to a certain lifestyle with someone, you assume that they will always want to hang out with you and talk to you. You’re friends, and that’s what friends do, right?
WRONG. I am not (nor are you) the center of the universe.
You get over the “friendships change” hurdle, and then life throws “you are not the most important thing in your friends lives” straight at ya. Yet another hard lesson I have learned. This is my advice to you: never care about someone more than they care about you. That will just make everything so much harder, and will make this realization much more painful.
Try to keep your feelings right about where theirs are, or care about them less than they care about you. Just like any other healthy relationship, always have the ball in your court and keep the power. (Is it now making sense why I don’t have a dating and relationship blog?) Okay, yes, this paragraph is a bit exaggerated, but the principal behind it is true: being the vulnerable one in a long-distance friendship is difficult. It’s been difficult and it has been painful. But it’s also led to learning a lot of lessons, especially one in humility that was much needed.
Wow, what a perfect segway into my next bullet point- being replaced. I cringed as I typed it. Yikes. No matter who you are, when your ex gets a new significant other, you stalk them on Facebook. (Do guys do this too? I’m 99% sure. They have to, it’s human nature.) You want to see how your replacement measures up to you. It’s not a bad thing, people! It’s understandable. And the same thing happens with friendships.
The hardest thing (I feel like every part that I’ve talked about I’ve said has been the hardest thing) for me has been seeing my friends develop other close friends and bonds. This is NOT saying that I’m upset or angry or whatever. Jealous, yes. It’s natural to feel jealous, and it’s okay. Or so I tell myself. Lol. Because I care about my friends, of course I want to be someone they go to with their problems and their achievements, their excitement and their sorrow.
But I’ve recently realized that even if I’m not that person, it doesn’t make me useless in their lives. (Unless I actually am useless in their life.) The most important thing is that they have that person. Greys Anatomy, anyone? Anyone? Tough crowd tonight. Just because a friendship changes, doesn’t mean it ends. And just because we feel like our friends are closer to someone else, doesn’t mean they don’t love us just as much as we love them.
So basically, I don’t think I can define friendship as a general term. I can’t even define all of mine. I just know that it’s hard work, and it pays off in the end. This post has actually been very cathartic for me, and I probably just bored the poor souls that read it to tears. My apologies.
^^^^Gossip Girl….Just kidding. Damn. It has been such a long day.