I’ve grown up with the phrase ‘you can never have too many friends’ ringing in my ears. And this co-insides beautifully with my ‘people pleaser’ personality, I have an almost pathological need to be liked. By everyone. Forever.
But I have an even stronger need to have a group of friends who are more like family, and always have done. And I was a part of an inseparable trio of girls for the best part of a decade, we’re talking ‘will you be my bridesmaid and God mother to my children?’ kind of status. Who I genuinely believed wholeheartedly would be in my life forever.
However to cut a very long and pretty sad story short. Neither of them speak to me in any way, shape or form anymore.
Until fairly recently this, the prospect of my relationships changing with those in my circle was my greatest fear. I had cultivated my circle, become reliant and dependant on the people within for a magnitude of different wants and needs. So if my relationships with those individuals were to shift, my whole world would turn to poop, right?
Well, actually, no.
Yes I won’t pretend that I haven’t tried to reach out, frantically, trying to clutch at any remains of a friendship. And yes I have cried a lot, and truth be told I sometimes still do. However I’ve come to realise I’m simply mourning the end of something that I treasured.
I can’t force a relationship to work and be the same as it once was if the other person doesn’t want that. It’s a two-way street.
And right now you’re thinking, Christ this is a bit f’ing depressing on a Friday afternoon Jade, but hear me out.
It’s made me analyse all my relationships, as lol, ya girl is needy and plz love me friends. And here’s what I’ve come up with:
As I’m getting into the age range where my Facebook feed is littered with snaps of engagement rings and baby scans or tanned goddesses prancing around swimming pools in Vegas, it’s only natural that people’s priorities are going to change with the times.
If they have a baby, the chances of them wanting to go hardcore drinking is probably a little reduced. If they’re saving for a mortgage or a dream trip they’re not likely going to be able to fork out on a whim for tickets to see Queen B in all her glory *sob*.
And this doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily lower on the list, it just means that the order of things you’re used to has changed. Instead of going on a weekend bender somewhere and staying in a snazzy AirBnB, maybe something a little lower key like a spa day would be preferable. Or binge watching ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ with a slice of pizza in each hand together rather than out for lavish meals where the cocktails account for 82% of the bill.
Someone can come into your life and instantly turn it on its head. You may not have known them for even a fraction of the time you have others, and yet they take up a larger part of your life. You just click. And as you start to evolve, the people you attract and want to spend your time with changes.
For example, 3 years ago I didn’t even know Ben existed. Whereas now, he’s my best friend, my boyfriend and we’re planning our future. And our relationship has evolved and is still doing so as we get further down the road.
On the flip side of that, a relationship can evolve into something that, hmm, not that into anymore. Which brings us to the final lesson.
And the one that I find almost impossible to accept, is that you just grow apart. That your paths have led you in different directions, your priorities no longer line up and your relationship has run its course. It doesn’t have to end with a huge blow out over something trivial, it can happen without either of you really noticing.
The meet ups become less frequent, the messaging is more short and sporadic until it dawns on you that, ‘wait I haven’t seen or heard from them in 6 months’. And that is sadly just life sometimes.
People come into your life for ‘a reason, a season or a lifetime’ and each person can teach you something that you may not have learnt otherwise. The real friendships are the ones where even if you haven’t seen them in a while it’s like no time has passed. They are your constant cheerleaders in whatever it is you undertake. They’re not afraid to tell you the truth, whether it hurts you or not. But they always respect and support your choices. If you said you needed them, they’d drop everything to be there.
These are the relationships you should hold onto with both hands.