Friendship is hard. I remember easier days, when friendship started before names were exchanged. I’ll never forget hearing a girl at the Chick-fil-a play place call another girl her best friend right after they met. And getting to watch little ones at school go through “fights” about which game they play at recess makes me wish for easier days.
We did a series on friendships last year. Navigating making friends as an adult can be so hard, but it’s not just making friends as an adult that’s hard, it’s also keeping them. This phase of life I’m in feels sort of like limbo. I’m not a student, not really in a career, not dating, just living life, following Jesus where He leads. And all the people my age around me are in relationships, married, or having babies. And if they aren’t, they seem to have their lives figured out, their careers. Where do I fit in all of that?
It’s hard not to be offended or take it personally when a friend starts dating a guy and never reaches out again. Or when people say they’re going to text you, call you, come visit and never do. Or when you find out a friend came to town and never reached out. When you’re younger, things are just easier. I’m still not sure how to navigate this whole adulting thing. And how do I not take it personally when stuff like this happens?
I’ve had the thought that maybe I’m just too attached to people, maybe I’m overbearing and expecting too much. I’d almost understand it if it was a friend who I just started to know, but never got close to. Or an acquaintance who I saw occasionally. But these are real friendships, the nitty gritty kind. The people I’ve sought advice from, given advice to, and really meant a lot to me friends. So is it me that’s being too attached and expecting too much out of these people? And if it isn’t, if it really is hurtful for them to blow me off, how do I react? What should I do or say going forward?
I’m not sure I’ve figured all that out yet, to be honest. I guess it’s just been a process of realizing that all relationships look different as an adult; friendships aren’t as committed, priorities change daily, people change, move locations, and enter different phases of life. And the ones that hold on to you are the ones that you want to hold on to. Cherish the friendships that matter the most, appreciate the ones that lasted while they did, and find new ones that give you a new perspectives. That’s hard for me to do as a very committed person, but I just have to do my best to let it go and not be bitter towards people.
Maybe you have been frustrated with friendships not working out, people changing, moving, forgetting you. Learn to let go and let Jesus do the work in your heart to love them when it’s hardest. And give your close friends an extra big hug next time you see them.