Life Took All of My Friends

If you’ve read my blog at all, you’ve probably figured out that I don’t have any friends. Now, there are probably some people who would take exception with my writing that because they consider themselves my friends. Some of them even have the link to this blog (who knows if they read it?). It is not my intention to offend any of these people.

So, let me put that another way:

I no longer have friends in the same sense that I did 10, or even 5, years ago when I and most of my friends were in our 20s. I used to have different kinds of friends for so many different categories. I had a male best friend, a female best friend, a music best friend, a girlfriend best friend, a law school best friend. White best friend, black best friend, Asian best friend, gay best friend, lesbian best friend. Now pretty much all of my friends fit into one big category–friends I hardly speak with/hear from. Although some other people don’t feel this way–especially married women, it seems–I can’t help but feel this is the same as having no friends.

Yes, this damn overrated life strikes again. I’m not sure, but I believe some people would say life gets better with age. To this point, all I’ve seen is that life gets worse with it. I miss so many things about being younger, but the two things I miss the most are 1) having far fewer legitimate worries, concerns and responsibilities, and 2) easily being able to find people to socialize with. To me, there is just nothing like meeting people at school. We now have co-workers socializing and even dating each other outside of the workplace and people meeting on the internet, but I just feel as if school is the most natural way to meet people and forge relationships. I just can’t shake the idea that I’m supposed to do little more at work than work and that work is meant to be left at work. And interacting with people online, for me, has been an accelerated version of forming relationships in person, i.e. the lack of communication starts to happen way quicker.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I did something wrong. But I think that, with most of my friends, my friendships have taken a fairly normal turn that just seems to be the way friendships progress in life–especially with women and especially with age. As people grow up and develop more worries, concerns and responsibilities, friendship slips down the list of priorities–which I find ironic in some ways. It seems like you’d need a good friend more when dealing with things life throws at you as an adult than the crap life throws at you as a teenager or 20something, but there ya go.

Do You See Your Friends Here?

This is a general list of what life has transformed my friends into, resulting in their not really being my friends. These are not necessarily all individual people–there is some overlap among these adult friend types.

The Friend With Serious Problems: One of my friends is basically homeless because he decided to “come out” in a profession that is particularly against homosexuality. Last I heard from him, he was staying with a friend because he lost his house and car. Another one of my friends is going through a divorce and likely dealing with having to move and find a job. Make no mistake–this is all horrible schitt. My point here is not so much that they’re not here to tap dance for me and tell jokes when I get bored–it’s more like the point I made above about the irony of friendship becoming less of a priority, or at least that’s how it seems. You can never really know what’s going on in someone’s mind. But it just seems that as teenagers a friend will call you every single time she has any dumb problem, but as an adult your friend will fall off the face of the earth when real problems arise.

The Friend Who Talks About Himself 90% of the Time: This is almost the flip side of the friend who falls away when she has problems. No, this friend will communicate with you quite a bit, but almost every time it is to talk about what’s going on with him. He has very little interest in you, and, if he does, he doesn’t really do a good job of showing it. You can easily have a friend who was always like this, but sometimes life will turn a good friend into this type of person.

The Friend Who Was More Than a Friend: If you had a boyfriend or girlfriend, or a husband or wife, who was actually your friend, too, then this is the hardest friend to lose. The worst part is most romantic relationships end. So, if you’re not that lucky person who married your high school sweetheart and it will last forever, you will probably have at least one time in your life when you will lose a good friend because you happened to have a romantic relationship with that person which didn’t endure.

The Friend Who Only Cares About Her Partner/Family/Job: This has got to be one of the top two reasons why adult women lose friends. I had a friend with whom you could argue the friendship was over once she started dating the man she eventually married. It got worse each step of the way from there–moving in together, then getting engaged and finally getting married. A guy, and then kids, killed the friendship side of my relationship with my sister, as well. So many women’s lives amount to work, kids and their husbands, nothing else.

The Friend Who Only Cares About Local Friends: You could easily argue that, for people who attended college, this is the #1 reason why we lose friends. I made a lot of great friends in law school, but I can count on one hand the number of them I’ve even so much as Facebooked with in any way since graduation. I have my reason for why I haven’t spoken with most of them (which I’ll get to), and it’s not due to the fact that we’ve all gone our separate ways and live scattered across the country now. But for most people, there has just always been something about someone’s moving away that keeps them from being able to maintain any sort of long distance relationship.

The Friend You Always Have To Contact: I realized about a year and a half ago that I had among my friends the type whom I’d never hear from her if I didn’t contact her. Yep. A year and a half, counting and so far I’m dead on. Pretty sure I’ll never hear from her again.

The Friend Who Is Insecure About His Life: You might not even know that you have a friend whom you never hear from for this reason. But if you can even kind of pull off the appearance of a successful life–whether you are married or you have a good job or even a job you actually really like–then the chances are good that you have at least one friend out there who is comparing him/herself to you and feeling bad about the current state of his/her life. This is the reason why I didn’t hold up my end of the friendship bargain with some of my law school friends for a long time after graduation, and I have another friend with whom I’ve discussed this and she revealed she feels the same way about staying in touch with our fellow law school classmates. See, the problem that I’m just now starting to overcome and which I don’t believe my friend has overcome is this: we know that any time you start speaking with an old acquaintance, that person is going to want to get an update on your life. Uh…kinda problematic if your life sucks. Imagine having a bunch of doctors, lawyers and business owners for friends and former classmates, too (really, my Facebook friends list could be a Who’s Who of professionals), and having to face these queries. No–my friend and I just decided to avoid most people.

—-

I’ve probably forgotten a few types and maybe even a few of my other friends. But the bottom line either way is I miss having friends. Life, give me my friends back. Quit dealing them so many problems, insecurities, moving vans, jobs, husbands and kids! 😉

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2 thoughts on “Life Took All of My Friends

  1. The busier the life, the harder to fit in friends, but I have found that true friends stay true friends no matter how much time passes between catchups, they understand that your life is not all about them.
    One thing many women lose track of when they are in a relationship or become a mother is that they are still an individual, and that individual needs to keep part of her life for herself and her friends.
    I am a wife and mother, but I am also a professional, a student, a painter, a reader, an entertainer and most of all I am just plain me, and I make time for those other friends that understand all the different bits of me.

    • Ren says:

      I definitely agree about being an individual. Not sure about some of the other stuff though. I often feel like an only child sometimes because I hardly hear from my married sisters, let alone married friends. The only family members I have a relationship with are my parents.

      I have noticed there just becomes a big difference between married and single women that makes it hard to be friends. It’s not so much that us single women don’t get that your life isn’t all about us. We are just used to a different type of friendship and don’t have built-in socializing with a husband…certainly not as busy, either. Frankly, when you have this in your life, you’re fine not talking to friends as much as you used to, but single women don’t have this and so need other people more. So then, we kind of need to find new friends who have more time for a more active friendship, and that’s hard to do.

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