Updated: Jul 31, 2019
We always talk about the pain of breaking up with a significant other, but we rarely talk about friendship breakups. They HURT too!
Let's be honest, life comes at you fast and things aren't always like they "used to be", but a true friend is a friend no matter where you are OR they are in life. Friendship to me can be defined as a host of things but if I had to choose 3 things I value most in my friendships, it would be:
1. Showing up-
Showing up, to me, means being there no matter what. It means supporting your friends in their endeavors. It means doing exactly what you say you will do. It means being selfless and playing an active role in your friendships. For my friends, I SHOW UP even when I don't feel like it because I would hope they'd do the same for me.
2. Having mutual respect-
Respect is so important. You have to respect your friend's choices and decisions even when you don't agree. You have to respect their thoughts and opinions. You have to respect their relationships. Ultimately, you must RESPECT them as another woman who may be very different from you.
3. Remaining Loyal-
There is nothing like having someone on your team who you never have to question. Someone who speaks highly of you in your presence and your absence. Someone who can stand the rain and remain the same through it all.
I have gained and lost friends during many different seasons of my life, and for many different reasons. One story sticks out to me. Maybe because it's the most recent or maybe it's because it hurt the most. Either way here it goes:
One particular woman I lost as a friend couldn't grasp this concept of showing up. Our friendship was very one-sided and borderline toxic. I am definitely the SHOW UP kind of friend, and she was flakier than a Pillsbury biscuit.
ME: Oh you're graduating? I will be there! Having a baby? What do you need? It's your birthday! Let's plan something.
HER: Oh you're getting married? Sorry, I can make it to the bachelorette party that's down the street from my house. Oh you're having a party? I can't make it it's raining. Oh there's a concert? I'm sorry 7 pm is too late for me.
I wish I were exaggerating, insert side-eye. Any day & Any time, I was there; She was not.
Neither time nor distance could stop me from showing up. But this girl had excuses on top of excuses. My feelings would be hurt initially, but those hurt feelings turned into anger and resentment very quickly. I was amazed that I managed to show up when I lived 8 hours away, and she wouldn't even drive down the street for me. I was amazed that her communication to me needed to come through another friend as if my number hadn't been the same for the last 10 years. It took me a while to realize it, but the anger I felt while trying to keep a friend was just not worth it. I quickly realized that this friendship was no longer beneficial to me. I learned that I could no longer blame her for my feelings because it was a choice to remain friends or not. I made the choice to end this friendship and I am so happy I did!
As I've gotten older and experienced more adult friendships, I've been more careful with labeling people my friend. I'm much more selective and rightfully so. To all my used to be friends and my friends no more:
No hard feelings, and I wish you the best. But Ariana Grande said it best, "Thank You, Next!".
What do you need the most from your friends?