Even as young adults in college, we are constantly changing. Our opinions become more defined. We make mistakes and often learn from them. As we become more in touch with ourselves, we begin to see our friends in a whole new light.
I love my friends dearly, but a few years ago, I began to notice that they weren’t satisfying some of my “friendship” needs anymore. I was upset and confused. I didn’t want to end my relationships with them, but I felt like I was at a breaking point.
When I shared all this with my mom, I received some of the best advice I have ever gotten: you can’t expect the same thing from everyone. You need to invest in many different friendships that can each supply you with something that feeds your soul.
Unfortunately, finding your number one best friend is pretty challegning. It may even be impossible. It is very rare to find that one friend who always listens to you, gives good advice, stays loyal, and shares your interests. Instead of being upset that you don’t have that one person, spend time with several good friends who each have a few qualities that are important to you.
Do you enjoy traveling and exploring? Then find a good friend who is adventurous and loves experiencing different cultures. Have fun with them, but don't expect them to give you their shoulder to cry on. Instead, invest that energy into another person who can help you through your problems and fears. While this person is important to you, they may not be the best person for you to go out and have a good laugh with. And that is okay.
Once I took my mom’s advice, I began to view my friendships very differently. I stopped freaking about the small stuff. I accepted that one of my good friends, who I love going out with on the weekends, wasn’t a very sensitive or soft person. I had a ton of fun with her, and she was good to me, and that is all that mattered.
I now have several good friends, both back home and at college, who fulfill different needs for me. I love all of them equally, and some even give me more of what I need than others. While I still try my hardest to be the best friend I can be to each of them, I have stopped expecting them to somehow change their interests or personalities. Now I respect each of my friends for who they are and not who I wish they were.
With that, I challenge each of you to let go of some of the frustrations or expectations plaguing your friendships. While they should always treat you right and not cause you pain or sadness, we cannot expect our friends to be people that they aren’t. Enjoy each of your friends for their unique qualities and celebrate those connections.