You can be yourself when you have great friendships. You can show your truest self, vent your problems to them, and just have fun. Sometimes it could be at their expense, your own, or some one else’s, but in that moment it doesn’t seem to matter as long as you’re laughing together. Most of all, it’s that time together that’s what you need. Sometimes you need their attention, their loving energy.
But more often than not, you need their approval. It’s great seeing their heads nod in agreement. They’re the ones that understand you. Friendships fill the times when you’re bored and when you feel alone. Alone, like on a hot summer day when you have nothing planned but the day is full of potential. Or alone, like when no one else understands how you feel.
Friendships, whether just one or dozens, have the potential to make our lives fuller, more adventurous, more loving, and more meaningful. So why is friendship so hard?
Why is it sometimes hard to find true friends? Not just people you’ve met at work who are more friends of convenience. And not friends who you inherited through family ties. Why is it hard to find friendships that last? And I mean last even when someone moves away or when you disagree on something or when the relationship changes because of a new partner/marriage and baby or two thrown in there.
It seems like whether you live in a big city in New York or a small town in Ohio, good friendships are hard to find. So maybe we hold on to what we’ve got, seek out more or try to reconnect.
A while ago, I attempted to reconnect with an old friend. Her birthday was coming up. A certain XXL movie was also coming up and I couldn’t resist the potential for fun! I bought her a cute blush from Sephora, which was over $20 bucks! Why I didn’t realize how expensive it was at the time can only be due to the power of Sephora. Needless to say I was excited, but long story short, she flaked. I should have known since the last time we saw each other, things didn’t end well.
My friend and I started off as work friends and became close. After no longer being coworkers, I still wanted that friendship, because good friends are rare, especially when a fun night out involves laughing at each other’s quirkiness and embracing your wilder sides.
So I made sure we’d meet up outside of work. Everything went well. Yoga ended in sweaty hugs and Pinkberry and girl talk was a go!
But a common obstacle popped up in the form of a new male interest.
Of course this isn’t always a problem in friendships. But in our case it was the catalyst.
One day I invited my friend to go running for the first time together. As we started moving in different directions in our work lives and my boyfriend having just moved in with me, naturally, finding girl time together was a bit strained. My focus zoomed in on the potential problem of losing touch. So I focused on keeping our bond close. I thought, why couldn’t we stay close if good friendships can endure.
To my surprise, my friend asked to invite her new male interest to our run. I remember feeling slightly betrayed by the question and a little insecure. I wondered, if she valued our girl time together or if I was just not being social enough to welcome someone else. I left it in her hands to decide what she really wanted and hoped it would make clear what she did value in our friendship. She decided to bring him along. I was disappointed, but tried to be a good sport.
Unfortunately, the guy was a total jackass!
He came off as controlling and even joked about us being lesbians when I asked to spend a minute alone running with her. In the end we argued about whether or not he should have been there or if I should have went with the flow.