Being friends doesn't mean you have to pick up the phone every time....

I've been thinking of all these awesome things that I have to say about my friends and friendship in general, but my gut kept coming back to needing to address a few more serious issues about friendship first.  Like love, friendship can be complicated and messy.  It's not always roses and angels singing.

If you were friends once, do you have to be friends forever?  Some people say yes, but obviously the answer is no.  And changing the rules of friendship is tough, even tougher than just breaking up with your friend.  In friendship (or any relationship, really), it continues when things are mutually satisfying.  Whether healthy or toxic, it takes both people to participate and want to keep it going.

I have found myself in a situation where I just don't want to keep it going.  Because I don't love the person anymore?  No.  Because this person has been all about herself for quite some time now.  If I do manage to pick up the phone when it rings, I know that all I'll basically have to say is "hello" and then add a few "uh-huh"s and other affirming noises or grunts and then goodbye at the end.  Every time, it's the same story, same complaints, same same same same same and barely ever a comment or question regarding anything but those complaints.

First of all, if I'm listening to the same issues that I have listened to for years, then things aren't going to be changing any time soon.  There is no satiation for that issue.  It's like a bottomless pit that won't fill up no matter how much support you throw at it.

Second of all, a friendship needs to be mutually satisfying.  I went through some pretty major shit lately... do you think this person could make a phone call then??  Do you think they could even make a frickin' facebook comment?  Of course not.  And frankly, that was kind of the breaking point for me.  I love this person and will always be their friend, but the boundaries and rules have changed drastically and I no longer allow friends like that to have all-access to my life.  I'm just not interested in being in the trenches with them & fighting their battles when they can't seem to even be concerned over my battles and I have taken myself back because frankly, they're selfish.  And I'm not interested in selfish anymore.

Well, let me clarify something.  I'm not saying that every friend I have needs to be all up in my bid'ness all of the time, with daily phone calls and multiple texts.  No, not at all.  Actually, unless you've gotten permission to be in that inner circle, then that kind of behavior would make me totally ignore you while thinking, "Geez Creepo!"  What I'm saying is that there are different levels of friends and acquaintances, wouldn't you agree?  Close and best friends have basically an all-access pass to my life (and there are VERY few of those).  If you text, I'm texting right back.  If you call, unless I'm busy, I'm pickin' up...and I expect the same from you.  You get to know some intimate details of my life, are privy to information others might not be, etc etc.  If you choose to change the way you act in our relationship and stop being there for me, stop asking about my life, basically just change the rules, then that's fine with me.  I like to live and let live with my friends....but then it needs to be okay with you that my rules change too.  If you make the choice to step away, then you need to be okay with the consequences of our friendship changing, because that moves you down to a different level of friend where the rules and boundaries are different.  Make sense?

Ugh, I feel like this post has been so dry and boring!  Blech!  But I feel it was all things that needed to be said before I could move forward.  It makes me sad to know that by reading this, my friend will probably be furious and never speak to me again, and I'm sorry they feel that way.  But the fact is that I have been run dry.  Withdrawals have been continuously made from the love bank, but no deposits have been made in a very, very long time and I am spent.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Allison said…
Praying for healing in the way that is best for you and your friend. It may not be the "neat and tidiest" and "warm and fuzziest" way, but I'm praying for the best way...