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18 January 2010

since my relationship with my best girl friend when down gloriously in flames last year (we were both to blame for that debacle), i’ve come to realize that i have a lot of acquaintances and not very many friends. this really bothers me.

i’ve brought the topic up to my husband and we both agree that as adults, it’s really hard to find people with which you can cultivate a good, lasting friendship. it’s one thing to have people socialize with but to have a person, besides your spouse, to use as a sounding board or confide in… well, that just seems like a rarity.

friendships take work. it’s a two-way street. no one person should always do the inviting out, the emailing, the calling or the planning, the chasing down and the checking in. it’s going to ebb and flow but you should feel like you now the other person is there for you and is probably thinking of you, even if you haven’t spoken in weeks because life has turned your world on end.

i’m finding out that feeling lonely is a common theme among people who move to minnesota from other places. i moved here when i was about 16 and struggled to develop friendships at my cliquey suburban high school. i only maintained one friendship from that part of my life and that friendship ended two years ago when, after living together, he proved to be one of the most self centered people i’ve ever met. i guess sometimes you just never really know a person until you live with them.

in my early twenties, i had a great group of guy friends that i met through my brother. as we marched toward thirty, they married off one by one and i found myself once again alone… probably partially because it’s sometimes hard to explain to your significant other why one of your best friends is a single girl. but really, do friendships become less important once you couple up? it’s not to say that i’ve never done my own disappearing act when the most recent prince charming came knocking on my door because i HAVE… but i guess i’m surprised that my guy friends fell into the same patterns. most of those guys remain friends with each other today but not so much with me. i’m the outsider. i guess i probably always was.

my husband also is sometimes frustrated by interactions with his friends. they  make plans via text or email and then cancel at the last minute. or they make great suggestions for future outings when we’re together but never follow up with a plan. and often they just don’t even bother to respond to texts/emails/facebook messages or voicemails.

so what is it about being an adult that suddenly makes us stop cultivating deep friendships with people?  have we been burned too many times? do we not REALLY like the people we hang out with but are two lazy to find new friends that are a better fit? are we not forthcoming in our feelings about people we know already? do we already have enough friends?

i dunno. i want friends… i want good friends. i don’t want my friends to center around getting wasted and i don’t want my friends to center around our respective kids lives and i don’t want my friends to center around drama. i want friends that are going to tell me (in an appropriate manner) when i’m being a bitch. i want friends who are cool with just coming over on a tuesday and playing scrabble. i want friends who can remember how many siblings i have (a lot!). i want friends that say, “how are you doing?” or “you may not realize it but it really hurt when you _________” or that call ME and say, “i need a beer” or a shoulder to cry on or a bigger cheering section at my kids soccer tournament. i want to be that friend.

i fully realize that i’ve not always been the most perfect friend in the world but i also know that i HAVE been a damn good one. even sometimes to people who treated me like crap day in and day out and i put up with it because i thought maybe they just needed a friend and that would make them stop being so shitty. i also know that i have [big, giant] faults but i’m commited to working on those faults. hell, why do you think i’ve been in weekly therapy for the past 18 months? i want to be a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friend.

how do you feel about your adult friendships? are your relationships plentiful and satisfying or do you struggle as my husband and i do? any other thoughts on the subject of adult friendships?

.: l i l y:.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 19 July 2010 3:09 pm

    I’m really behind in blog reading, but since you’re behind in posting, I hope you let it slide that I’m just seeing this blog post now 😉

    I could have pretty much written this exact same post. In fact, I think I have one similar drafted in my own blog but have never completed it. I think adult friendships are important, and ones that survive are rare.

    Good to know I’m not the only one who feels this way!

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