I think I’ve had an epiphany of sorts. Once I tell you, I’m betting a lot of you will think, “Geez, didn’t you know that already?” And I suppose you’d be right. I am late to the party but I’ve always had a bit of a difficult relationship with friendship.
My revelation is this: not everyone’s going to be your new BFF. Of course, I’ve always known this on some level but it’s not just that. The real thing I’m trying to say is that sometimes it’s OK for people not to be your new BFF, some people will only ever be ‘wider circle’ friends and that’s 100% A-OK. Super-close friends, the ones that know everything about you and will drop anything to come to your aid (and vice versa) are most definitely not a dime a dozen and you’re lucky to have them. I would say I probably have five, which I think makes me very, very lucky. But sometimes I get caught up trying to convert everyone I meet into a super-close friend or even just an inner-circle friend and it’s just not realistic.
You see, this is how it usually goes. You meet someone new and you click with them. Level assigned: acquaintance. You decide, ‘Hey, I like this acquaintance, maybe I’ll move them up the chain, see how they get along with my other friends.’ Or maybe they already know your other friends and you’re trying to see if they get along with just you. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and these people stay as more group-based friends, the people you hang out with socially but never really alone. Some people will only ever be peripheral friends and that’s ok. Life goes on.
It’s a pretty standard process that varies in duration from person to person. Some friends jump straight to super-close buddies and others are like a slow-cooker, taking years for that sweet, sweet friendship stew to be ready. But, however it happens, some people will have move from acquaintance to group-based friend to someone you hang out with alone on the regular until – ta-daaaaa – you look around one day and you’re like, ‘Shit, we’re actually friends. Go us.” These are the people you really and truly click with and they’ve proved themselves as keepers.
But that’s not to say you should ditch all your peripheries. No, no, no, they’re still important. Just because someone isn’t your bestest friend in the whole wide doesn’t mean you should cut them our of your life entirely because, you know what? One day they may be. Or not, and that’s fine. But, regardless, they’re still your friend and they still deserve a place in your life, even if you wouldn’t necessarily include them in your list of people to be stranded on a desert island with. Or maybe you would, I don’t know. Do they look like they’d be entertaining or at least the very least tasty?
Moral of my story: I should stop giving myself shit about friendships that don’t blossom into modern day platonic romances. If everyone is your best friend, then no one is. The people that are special in your life are special for a reason. You can’t expect to find a new one to add to the stash every weekend. It just doesn’t work like that. Also, if a friendship fizzles, that’s also ok. Sometimes the spark you first had isn’t enough to keep the relationship going or you just go your separate ways. Friendships are like that. Attrition is natural and, if you keep making time for relationships that aren’t working, you’re going to miss out on new ones that might.
Image credit: I tried to figure out where I found it but couldn’t. Damn.