The Evolution of a Friendship
Sometimes friendships evolve and sometimes friendships end.Friendship is one of the most confusing experiences that anyone will know in their lifetime. That’s because there’s no definite way to define friendship; they’re all so different. There are school friends, childhood friends, work friends, college friends, adult friends, neighborhood friends, etc. The groups in which we categorize the people we choose to spend our time with are endless.
I think one of the hardest things for people to understand is that not all of their friends will remain their friend their entire life. The friendships that are maintained at an early age don’t always last. That does not mean that they are any less important, though. These are the people you spent your childhood summers with. You had birthday parties, sleepovers and broke into the ice cream long after the parents had gone to bed. These friends will always be a part of your life, even if you don’t maintain contact with them in adulthood.Drifting apart is a hard idea to accept, but it is true, nonetheless. Just because two people stop talking does not have to mean that they dislike each other. If you have a friend that you haven’t spoken to in over a decade, it means that you both moved forward with your life. You were there for one another when it was important, and that fact will always be important. You were once their shoulder to cry on, and that will be a memory to cherish.
Just like you can’t keep all of your friends, a person always has to be ready to make new friends. It’s easy in kindergarten because you’re young and carefree. You start chasing someone on the playground and you’re instantly best friends. In adulthood, making friends is a lot scarier. You have to make an effort to approach someone. You have to make an effort to find common ground. You have to make a commitment to spend time with them and get to know them.
One of the hardest types of friendships to maintain is of the long-distance variety. Perhaps you met on the internet, and only know each other through text message and video chat. Maybe you met them during freshman orientation, and now you live on opposite sides of the country. They are, possibly, your childhood best friend, but school and work have pulled you in different directions. Whatever the case, a long distance friend is some one that you know will be there for you no matter what. These people care about you enough to keep in contact even though they’re 2,000 miles away. While it’s hard not to see them all the time, it makes the moments when you do talk even more special.
Then there’s the friend that maintains a special place in your heart: your best friend. You spend as much time as possible together because they just get you. Maybe you don’t get to spend as much time as you want together, but you always have something to talk about. If you talked for hours yesterday, you could still talk for hours today. If you haven’t seen each other in six months, you pick up your conversation as if no time at all has passed. A best friend is the one you know will be there until the very end. They’re in it for the long haul, and you wouldn’t have it any other way. The key is regardless of your success and their failures the champion you. I find the more successful I become the more I watch the evolution of friendship expectations. That is when I know it is time for me to leave those situations.
I wrote above that there is no definition for friendship that truly sums up everything that the word entails, and I stand by that statement. However, a few years ago, I don’t remember where, I heard the closest I think I’ll ever find: “A friend is a person you decide you like, and then you choose to do stuff with them.” As odd and simple as that sound, it’s very accurate to all that a friendship entails. When doing those things are no longer enjoyable or the other person choses to disrespect your boundaries it is perfectly ok to simply, end the friendship.