Growing up I attended a small local public school in Bondi, it had a great community feel and most of the children that went there lived in the area. Friendships were formed between nearly everyone at the school, being a small school it was easy to get to know and be mates with everyone. As we local kids got older most of us attended the same local high school, again a fairly small school. Friendships were still maintained and some new ones were formed. There never appeared to be any significant social dramas, no obvious issues with bullying and over all everyone seemed to get along quite well often hanging at the beach together in the afternoons and on the weekends…….
Or was this all just on the surface, a giant friendship facade or fairytale. Did I forget to mention the bitching behind each others backs about how so and so stole blah blahs boyfriend and how he said you said blah blah so now she’s going to get you……. Friendships, like any relationships, intimate, family or other, are hard to establish, achieve and maintain. I still in my adulthood find myself nursing the broken heart of another failed friendship. So why does this happen? Perhaps I have unrealistic expectations of how friendships should go?!
I see one woman’s facebook who is always going overseas and having weekends away with her girlfriends and they all look so happy and joyous. They look like they are having an amazing time with not a care in the world, like a bad word could never be said between them……Who are these lucky people that have known each other their entire lives and support each other unconditionally through breakups,marriages, births and deaths?!
I feel I have a few close friends (probably could count them on one hand) that I could count on to be there for me through those times and I mean really count on!! The type of friend that you can call on any time of the day or night and they would be there for you immediately. I believe I’m that type of friend, however sometimes I feel like I’m the back up friend, the friend that only gets called if no-one else is available or because I’m the ‘fun’ one, or the one that will pretty much do anything with and for you…….
So how do I let my friendships develop like this and then dissipate, well I think I start out being the fun one that will do anything for you and then after awhile it becomes exhausting so I become burnt out which in turn leads to boring. Boring leads to no longer fun to hang with or be around.
Another natural progression Ive observed in friendships as one gets older is the tendency to get caught up in the busyness and chaos of everyday life and forgetting to touch base with friends until it seems like to much time has passed and then the friendship seems to have been lost.
Sometimes I see friendships lost or strained due to new relationships being formed. People who were once great friends loose touch when one of the people in the friendship begins a new relationship with someone and then all their time becomes tied up with their partner. So what is the etiquette here?, Do you let the person know that you miss spending time with them? Is it necessary as an adult to tell a mate that you miss hanging out with them the way you used to? Is it immature? How does one maintain a once perfectly good friendship with someone once they have begun a new relationship? Are adults even allowed to long for normal healthy friendships? Why does it feel so shit when you realise that your in a friendship were perhaps the person really doesn’t care as much about the friendship as you do?
So here’s another friendship dilemma, you’re in a relationship already and have some great single friends who you like to go out with, however every time you do go out with them, they end up spending half the night trying to talk to and seek out other single people and end up completely ignoring you in the process, even though you’re only there to see them. So is it an unreal expectation to want to hang out with a mate or some mates for the night without them ditching you to try and pick up someone?
I don’t know what the friendship guidelines are however I do know that I have one or two friends who although we don’t see each other for months its like we haven’t missed a beat when we do eventually catch up. Then there’s the friends that you also actually do care about who you say to “we should catch up” and they say “yeah for sure we should”. And you never do so you assume its because both your lives are so busy and just like in school you hear that their child had a party or a concert or something that you felt sure you would have been invited to but you weren’t, am I over thinking it or am I just not as good a friend as I thought?
Wow one would think that this whole drama with friendships would be something that we out grow? So I guess that to add further complication to the issue of am I a good friend or not is the idea that friendship does get second place to relationships as we get older. It seems most of my friends will gladly whinge about their partners when they are not around however instantly if they are there the choice between time with them and friends is simple. It makes sense though right, you chose your partner because they have (well hopefully) all the qualities you like in a person so why would you not want to spend all your spare time with them instead of friends?!
Whatever happened to the old analogies of “bros before hoes” or “chicks before dicks” as crass as these expressions are I interpret, and correct me if I’m wrong, that they mean to say don’t replace your mates with a new relationship. In this day and age is this a realistic expectation? Who would rather spend time with their friends than their partner? Is there no middle ground? Wouldn’t life be all the more fulfilling and rich with various people in our lives?
So where is the obvious middle ground, why cant you have your partner and your friends too? What happens if your partner doesn’t like your friends or vice versa? What happens if your partner or your friends force you too choose? Who would you choose, a friend of ten years or a partner of two?
You know what I say, never make someone choose because I suspect that if you do you may well be the one that looses. However if the partner or friend really think your worth it I guess in the end they will make time for you!! So at the end of the day people, young or old my take home message is this, friendship is hard and fickle. So if you have been privileged enough to be classified by someone as a good friend respect and appreciate it.
So saviour the true friendships you have, decide on the ones which are worth fighting for and let slide the ones that seem like too much work with little in return.
And to all those true friends of mine
The ones that have with stood the test of time
The ones that have seen me through thick and thin
Kerry, Kristy, Sue, Alison, Jessie, Maggie, Phill, Brennnos, Dave, PJ and Din
With you guys my feelings I’ve never had to hide
And yet you have remained by my side
All your support, advice and kindness
Has always made me feel like our friendships were timeless
Days may pass without a word spoken
And so this right here is a small token
Holding dear in my heart is this true notion
That despite time and distance our friendships will never be broken.
Peace Love and Happiness :o)