As per usual, Darling Magazine has its finger on my emotional pulse. This fantastic article by Natalie on nurturing inspiring relationships touches on a topic that has personally been top of mind for me particularly for the past three months: friendship. I feel like I’ve recently read numerous blog posts and viral articles about how friendships, and really everything in life, changes significantly in your 20s. This is a no-brainer for sure, but still feels monumental when it happens in your own life. Remarkable really, how everyone goes through the same shifts. It really isn’t earth-shattering on the grand scale of current events, but when it happens to you, it really can feel like everything is changing (because… it is).
As you continue to progress in your career and romantic relationship, there is less and less time available to devote to friendships. What once was the only stable thing in your life now might become the most questionable. Even the best and closest friendships can slip through the cracks of “I’m just so busy”. All of us are busy. Really, we are. Every day passes by and it feels like we lose more time for ourselves and thus we lose more time for others. And so as it goes, the only thing that can come of it is a rite of passage: losing friendships. It’s yet another hard fact of life that my parents always warned me about, but like everything else, I chalked it up to them being overprotective.
I was wrong. Lasting friendships are hard to come by and you have to fight for them. Fight for the ones that contribute positivity, growth, and support to your life. If you ever find yourself complaining about how annoyed you are by a friend (or even a best friend), there’s a chance you might need to re-evaluate what exactly your friendship is based on. Is it based on dependence? Common interests? Mutual friends? What does this person add to your life and what do you add to theirs?
Friends want to hang out and won’t give up on trying to do so. Friends care if you are doing well today, four months from now, and five years from now. Friends forgive you for being busy and still want to connect, no matter how near or far. And it is a two-way street; you need to do all of these things for your friends too. If you sit at home sulking that no one is texting you then maybe you need to see it from their perspective, as they might be wondering why you aren’t texting them.
Women can often fall into a selfish cycle of “well if SHE wants to hang out with me then SHE will text ME.” Does that sound familiar? I can’t say I’m not guilty of this, but what I can say is that I’ve learned to see this feeling of resentment as a signal that part of my heart is not in that friendship anymore. Part of my heart is more willing to resign to negativity than promote nurture or growth in the relationship. It happens when I’m seeking validation – not companionship or love or support.