So recently there have been some events in my life that have led me to ponder about friendships and those that I have and have had in the past. I was in a sorority in college, so I made loads of acquaintances, and also made some true friends, those “sisters for life” per say. Of course, now that I’m out in the real world, I’m also making some of those friends now, plus I had a few from high school. The difference that I’m finding is that, it is much harder to hang on to those friends from college. Even my old roommates are harder and harder to keep in touch with; and this idea defies all logic with all the ways we to communicate with one another.
Before I graduated, I could tell you everything you wanted to know about one of my friends. Her favorite color, what foods she loved, her love life, etc. I really thought that friendship was one that was going to last forever, we had become so close in such a short amount of time. Instead, what I found was that we had a harder time staying in touch when we weren’t living in the same city, let alone having chapter together once a week, and Starbucks at least that. It’s not like this friendship dropped off rapidly either. It was a slow end, eventually the daily texts turned into weekly, efforts to get together and hang out were depleting, and eventually all communication on her side just stopped. I would still do absolutely anything for her, including give her a piece of my liver if she needed it. Sadly, I don’t know if I could count on her to do the same, and that’s the worst part of this lost friendship. I’ve tried to keep everything good and somewhat the same despite the distance between us, but like all things, it is a two way street. One person can’t keep a friendship alive, no matter how hard they try.
Yet, there’s another girl, my Big sister from my sorority, who is still my best friend to this very day. She knows everything going on in my life, and I know the same in hers. We have Facetime wine nights to catch up and talk about anything and everything (the wine helps with the anything part). The bottom line, is that I know when my world crashes to the ground, I have this girl to turn to and I know while she can’t necessarily be right there since she’s in another state, she will drop everything to talk to me on the phone and help me through it. When she needs it, I will absolutely do the same for her. I’ll be there for you, since you’ve been there for me…Friends theme song says it all.
The point of all of this is that as we grow older, we come to realize that those quality friends we thought we had, my first example, were actually meant to be in the quantity list. What I mean by this, is that she is one of those acquaintances, of which I have many. On the other hand, my quality friends are few and far between. I can probably count them on one hand. These are the friends who call me to check in, who schedule time to come visit, and take valuable time out of their busy schedules to spend time and stay involved. Now, I’m not saying that the quantity friends are bad, they’re great to have for a big group night out, or to attend a social function with. However, they’re not that person that you’re going to call at 2 am and actually get a response from. They’re not the person that is going to take your phone call while they’re at a party, or who will ditch work to help you through a crisis; at least, not in my experience.
We all know how important our support system is to our success in life; it’s a basic psychological fact. I’m not saying that you should get rid of your quantity friends, I’m saying you shouldn’t try so hard to make them quality, when they clearly belong in the quantity group. I’m guilty of this, and all it results in is heartbreak for me. I honestly couldn’t tell you if they even realize what they’re doing or if they know where they lie in the grouping, and some I don’t think care at all. Hang on to those friends who care. Those who will read every single rough draft of your blog before you post it, or those who are willing to meet for a drink for an hour because you really just need a break from reality and want to spend time with a loving friend. Those are the friendships you truly need in your life. The others are just a bonus, those who are only around when the skies are sunny and when it’s convenient for them.