Relationships are tough. Is it easy for you to make friends? As an adult, I’ve found that it’s pretty tough to make new friends. I’m a friendly person by nature! However, where, as a child, I could just make friends on the daily just by doing my normal activities, as an adult I have to go out specifically with the intention of making new friends more often than not. Further, the friendship that I’ve already established with people becomes harder and harder to maintain as the years go on and people split up and move across the country…or even the world. I’ve been lucky enough to make friends all over, and it’s all well and good to say: “OH, I have friends in Nashville”, or wherever the case may be, but are they really your friends if you have no idea what is going on in their lives…and vice versa?
I’m not sure that you can truly call people friends when you follow that up with “I haven’t talked to them in forever”, so I find it’s important to do my own personal best to make the effort to maintain those relationships over time. It’s hard to think about people you don’t see in your day-to-day life! You get caught up in all the small bits and pieces; work, school, home, and the people you DO see daily filling up those spaces where you don’t always think of the relationships you used to know.
I think we can all agree on how hard relationships are, really. Pretty much any kind of relationship: familial, friendship, partnership…they’re all pretty difficult. Friendship is hard. It’s so tough to keep a friendship over a distance that there is literally a Wikihow article about it. Being a good friend, whatever that may mean for each individual person, isn’t always even agreed upon by both parties.
Ha, now, hear me out. You might say that ‘requirements’ is too harsh, but I think when I explain it’ll make more sense. I think that we can pretty much all agree that communicating–in some way–with your friend regularly is a basic requirement of friendship. How can you possibly be friends if you haven’t communicated in 5 years? Now, I don’t judge! Communication is as communication does, writing, talking, FaceTiming, it all works! That part really depends on the friends. One of my friends, when she moved to Nashville, would send me at least one email a week, detailing what was happening in her life. It worked great for us.
So, really, where people lose out here, I think is that they don’t make that effort. It seems like so little on paper, but when confronted with the day-to-days of life just gets pushed back. When your friends move away or when you move away, you have to make that effort! Call them, or email them, or message them with regularity. Go get some drinks or something when you can. Try to check in with their lives and ask questions. Don’t be an asshole and visit when you can. (LOL) I mean, what are you saying when you don’t do any of these things? That they’re not a priority. Which is fine, but then are they actually your friend? Make the effort, yo.
The Other Side
Further, there’s another side to this coin. Those friendships that you keep making an effort with, over and over, that only call you when they want something, or are a drain on your wellbeing. Those toxic friendships (and/or relationships) that you give to but never get anything from in return. With making that effort to keep a worthwhile friendship, you must also be able to pull back that effort where it is not helping you or the other party. Those people that talk over you at every chance, or have transitioned it so that they have all the friends. The ones who make everything your fault and never take their own responsibility. Those types of friendship take over your life and take focus from what could be really good, strong, loyal friends.
It’s okay to practice self-care here. To take care of yourself, and let others go when they are toxic. Care for yourself. Put in the effort to worthy, beautiful people, and they will put in that effort in return.
Let me know your thoughts!