What Really is Friendship?
“Sex and the City is a quality show. I always admired the strong friendship Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda have with each other. It’s pure. It’s genuine. And, they have a lot of fun together. I love the idea of a group of friends growing up, going through their growing pains and experiencing all of their “first times” together. That’s what I’ve always wanted.
As far as friendships go, some people go for the duo, while others lean toward the group. I’ve never been the duo type because in my eyes, “all of us” sounds better to me than “you and me.” In my time in high school, I developed both: I had my girlfriends and I had my best friend.
My best friend is a guy. It’s strange how it happened, but it did, nonetheless. When people ask me why I consider him my best friend, I tell them, “because we’re here. We understand each other.”
Yes, we do.
I can count on him and he can count on me. He’s my “last minute, first to call, first to find out, when I’m running late, when I have an idea, when I need to talk, when I know a new joke and I need to tell it,” buddy. I wouldn’t try to find all of these qualities in a girl just to say that I have a female best friend. I’m comfortable with how things are. Although, it would be pretty weird to have a male maid of honor at my wedding.
As I thought about all the reasons that make him my best friend, I began to analyze all friendships, both male and female. Many people would say that guys get along better than girls because guys are less judgmental, easier to approach and easier to understand. I may be biased in this aspect because my best friend is a guy, however, some guys find it easier to hang out with girls rather than have a group of male friends.
Back to the subject of friendship groups. This blog may be really personal, but I feel that it’s the only way I can describe this. Once again, bear with me.
So, what do you do when your friendship circle is disintegrating? For me, remaining in standby mode isn’t getting the job done. In my eyes, friendships and relationships require the same amount of work. If you care about your relationship, you won’t sit and watch it die. Instead, you’ll try and revive it somehow. Well, I care about my friendship, and I’m watching it die.
So what’s the real problem? Why is this happening? I’ll tell you why. One of the main reasons why friendships fall apart: labels.
In girl world, the term “Best Friend” can cause a heap of trouble. It’s easy for girls to say they don’t care whether someone considers them their best friend, but in most circumstances, this isn’t the case. I can’t tell you how many friendships I’ve seen ruined because one person was the best friend and the other wasn’t.
What makes someone your best friend? Excuse all of my rhetorical questions, but these are the kinds of things I ask myself. These are the questions I try to find the weight of. Does having a best friend mean you trust that person more than another friend? Or does it mean you hang out with them more than another other friend? Does everyone in your friendship circle have to be your best friend? It’s very common that in a friendship group, two people will always prove to be closer than the others. To me, this isn’t a bad thing. We’re all friends. We understand each other. I know what you all like. I know what makes you all uncomfortable. I know your circumstances in life and I respect them, and your thoughts. I value you all as people, as adults, as scholars, as thinkers, as young women, and so you are my friends. I love you all equally and individually. I love you for different reasons. You all do something for me and I try to be as much of a help to you, as you all are to me. Being a good friend means that you can admit these things. I show my friends love because I love them.
I’m going to repeat that.
I show my friends love because I love them.
We all have a bond that’s strong and worth fighting for. So what do you do when your friendship circle is being disintegrated?
What do you do when all those laughs are gone? When one wrong thing said at a sleepover ruins all the sleepovers to come? When a problem arises in a friendship and you choose to ignore it, resulting in built up tension and a night of ungodly text messages. What do you do when you’re the friend who wants to fix it? When you’re the friends watching your other friends argue? The friend who doesn’t want those happy days to end?
We were real friends. Going to every party, laughing about the things that happened at the party. Finding emojis to use as song lyrics. Being there for one another when we needed it most. Coming through in the clutch, when someone was in a jam. We did that. We do that.
To anyone who feels that they may have lost a friend: fix it. Don’t ruin those good times. Good friends are hard to come by. Keep them. Make memories that you actually want to remember. Not memories that you try to forget. Don’t allow something insignificant to be the reason you ruined a great friendship. I note the things that I see in other friendships. I see friends who are secretly competing with each other. Competing for what? I don’t know about you, but I love my friends. I love to see good things happen to them. Where they can get in life, whatever their biggest dreams are. I’m a supporter of that. I’d never steer them in the wrong direction. How could you compete with a friend? You like them so much that you want to be them. Everything that they do, you want to match it, or go a level above it.
That’s what ruins it.
I asked one of my friends what she felt made a good friendship. She said, “When you can compliment each other.” When you can genuinely be happy for your friends, you’re being a good friend. When you want to see them do well, you’re being a good friend. When you try and protect them from being hurt, you’re being a good friend.
Whether it’s prom day, graduation day, trunk party, college graduation, first job, house warming, bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding day, baby shower or the maternity waiting room, I want to be there.
And I will be, smiling, laughing, and playing the jams.
And so. I’ll end this with the summation of everything I just said. If you want to see your friends do well, don’t compete with them. You should care about the bond and the memories you all (or you both) have. Good friendships are worth fighting for. Yes, they take time, but they’re worth fighting for. Fight for your friendship. Put in the necessary work and make it happen.
In a way, I’m speaking to myself. Hopefully, this self- reflection has helped both you and me. By you, I mean the person who’s reading this.
I wrote this blog for you all, because you all deserve it.