For many women, friends are our primary partners through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses.
-Rebecca Traister’s book
Female friendships are a topic I’ve avoided writing about. I have so many thoughts around the subject and yet nothing I felt would add anything meaningful to this blog. It’s true that I become wholly self-aware and self-conscious around the topic. However I’m here, attacking my trigger.
Where do I begin? So let me say that the age of online friendships is a gift and a curse. I blame Facebook. With the click of a button, you “Friend” someone. Is that all it takes? A passive, mindless act? You may never personally message that person, write on that person’s wall, or even have to remember that person’s birthday (FB does it for you.) But you made a new friend. On the other hand, when I learned of my acceptance into Howard University, I took to Twitter. I couldn’t anticipate the people who extended themselves like @PeaceLuvNicole. We met within weeks, and that made the transition a bit easier. There are people who are eager about taking the relationship offline, and I love and appreciate that. I started becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that I could meet some quality people by just initiating the gesture. Although I dealt with general anxiety from moving to a city where I knew 2 people and had no family, Twitter peoples helped through the process.
Everyone is quick to “like” my minor triumphs and “heart” my Instagram photos — passive interaction has become the default setting, the status quo.
I can make friends easier online. You learn a lot about someone based on what they post. It’s not the ideal way, but it’s easy, less risky and convenient. It’s passive. Trying to make friends in real life involves risk. Meeting strangers hoping and praying it leads to something can be disappointing.
Does she like me?
Does she think I’m talking too much?
Am I talking too much?
She’s so fashionable. I wish I could dress like that.
I’m 30 years old, why is this so difficult?
Truth is, I have a lot of standards because I invest a lot when I care for someone. To me, my standards are like the bare minimum of cultivating and sustaining a friendship.
- Thou must not be flaky. I’ve experienced a lot of people that will make plans one day, then inform me the day of that they can’t make it. REPEATEDLY.
- Thou must spend quality time. This is my love language, not negotiable. It’s the main reason why I make the effort to see friends that don’t live nearby. We connect when we are actually together.
- Thou must show REAL LIFE effort. Check-in with one another, attempt to go out and do stuff. You know, real basic and mutual.
I understand that different people need different things from friendships. I’ve always wanted a group of “girlfriends” that I could count on to do life together with. My history with friends has never amounted to that. It’s not to say it won’t happen, maybe it will take some adjusting of expectations.
Some posts worth exploring:
What the Market Will Bear: The Long Game of Female Friendships
Sorry I’ve Been a Shitty Friend: A Multiple Choice Form Letter
7 thoughts on “What About Your Friends?”
Wow, this is so cool! Good for you 😊 It’s nice that you have actually meant up with people you meant online. When I went to Jamaica two years ago, I was going to meet a lady I met from my blog, (she said whenever you’re here let me know) but she brushed me off. I felt like a fool and never tried again. 😂🤣
Lol. Well I hope if we ever get the opportunity to meet, you won’t be shy about it! I feel like I know you already anyway.
Lol I won’t. I feel the same about you.
Reblogged this on twrightlove and commented:
Friendships are inportant. ♡
I jumped up to read this! A lot is changing now in the world we live in. It’s horrible, because we are meant to make connections with others. I agree with your expectations otherwise if you can’t do the simple things how can I trust you enough to give you the title of a friend? And, as for Facebook I went through and deleted every person that never spoke or liked a picture or never once sent a message you don’t bother to ask how I’m doing and expect me to allow my life to unfold right before your eyes…nawl. goodbye you go your way and I go mine, baha. It took a while because I didn’t want to offend anyone. But, I deleted well over 500 ppl. I have about 300 ppl now. And, I have about 20 /30 followers on Instagram. Haha. Nope, you will not be called friend if you don’t act as such. I can’t say that I have had toxic friends . I have had “friends”that failed to show up, or reach out…and I decided that person caused me more pain than good. So I moved on. In life I think you will only have a handful of friends. I enjoyed this one too.
I agree and I think purging friend lists is another way to really show the importance of friendships vs passive “friends.” That must have taken a lot of time! I am very protective with the people I call friends…however, I am not closed off to new relationships because I know that there are some awesome women out there doing awesome things. WE can do a lot when we are connected.
So, why am I just realizing this is the title to a tlc song. Lol