Friendships have always been complicated for me. A lot of has to do with the fact that I am naturally a guarded person. It’s not that I am not willing to be vulnerable and open up, I am just not going to willingly volunteer information. It takes a while to build trust with me and I know that about myself. Growing up, I was burned so many times by people I thought were friends that I feel like it has permanently scarred me. I also feel that the people I’m friends with do not consider me in the same category of friends that I consider them.
In life, friends typically fall into these categories:
Acquaintance: This isn’t a bad spot to be with a friend group. You see this person every so often, wish them the best on Facebook birthdays and maybe consider getting dinner or drink with this person every six months just to remember what they look like.
Good Friend: This might be a friend you text a few times a week, give up information when prompted and meet up once a month or so to keep the title of “good friend.” This is not the person you text when something awesome happens to you and can be a person do not even think of text until they text you. I usually see this person as the one that you make plans with a week in advance and then the time comes and you’re all, “I don’t really wanna go anymore.”
Best Friend: This category gets tricky. This is a category where you can start to get hurt because there are all these expectations that you’ll talk to this person constantly, information about each other is a two-way street and you can stop everything for this person. This type of friendship comes about not necessarily because you want to be best friends with someone, but because you’ve known them for a long time. Either you’re friends from middle school or freshman year of college. Since there is so much history, you feel obligated to put this person into this category when more often than not it ends up being a chore to maintain at times. However, sometimes this friendship kind of great and it works out – sometimes.
Your Person: This is the friendship that is effortless. This is the person that wants you to tell them what time you woke up in the morning and you can’t wait to share such meaningless info. This is the friend that can talk you into and out of everything and tell you what you’re thinking before you think. This is the person that hears through the grapevine that you had a terrible day so they surprise you with all your favorite things. This person is who keeps you sane. This is the person you trust more than yourself.
For me, most of my friendships never quite leave the good friend stage. For me, I’ve placed people in the best friend category while I was only really in their acquaintance category. Having this unbalanced friendships are tough. What makes it harder is when you never have the someone that you’re person. What’s worse is when you lose someone that was in your my person category. I’ve lost two of the people this summer and while I still survived, I am still not quite sure what to make of it or what to do about it. It’s hard and lonely. Friendships are complicated.
I’ve taken an inventory of my friendships lately and it’s looking like the clearance rack at Wal-Mart. I’ve two people who were in the “my person” category. I’ve recently had a friend I considered to be a pretty close friend (I’m probably in her acquaintance to sometimes good friend category) move out of town for a job and I haven’t heard from that person since. In fact, hearing from that person a month before they were leaving was pretty rare and getting together to say goodbye seemed like the last thing that person wanted to do. A close friend got married in May and now this person is off doing married people things. There’s another friend who has moved a job and another one moving to Denver at the end of the month. Do I smell or something? Everyone is moving!
While people moving for jobs, school and a change of pace isn’t them saying “I don’t want to be friends with you,” the fact is these friends weren’t all that close to me anyway. So, now that they’re all gone, there is definitely no reason for any of them to text or call. Considering that I have at least a solid 8 months left in Rochester, friendships are going to be necessary. I’ve had days where I’ve gone three days without getting a text message and nothing makes you feel lonelier than that (sad, but true). So, this post isn’t meant to be a woe is me type of post, but more of a, how do I make friends and keep them? Better yet, how do you make friends and keep them? Ideas appreciated!