Why This Matters: Friendships
Relationships are hard.
They take extensive resources like time and mental energy. Yet despite that our society runs on them. Without relationships, much of our world would become empty and worthless. The best contributions to our cultures are rooted in relationships.
There are all sorts of relationships, but the ones that often define our survival are friendships. Friendship, like most things in this world, is not permanent. It can change with the seasons.
It usually does.
I recall in college, many sorority sisters claiming that house to be the first time they'd had close female friendships. At the time I saw this as a positive indicator of what these women were like. They must be real, down to earth women if their friendship circle primarily consisted of men. But that's bullshit.
What those women were saying was they found other women lacking.
We do not need to put other women down in an attempt to compliment our friends.
We can praise our friendships for what they are in their own right.
Last week I spent the evening with three wonderful women, none of who were a part of my life 2 years ago. We discussed everything from online dating, to global racism, to asking for a pay raise. These women are my people, my clan, my home. These are women I've been seeking since I moved here over four years ago. But four years ago this wouldn't have been possible because they didn't even live here.
To get to this point, it's taken countless hours of meeting women that I would never see again. It meant being open to possibilities and putting myself in uncomfortable situations. Throughout this journey, it has meant recognizing that you can respect others without requiring friendship.
Not everyone we interact with is meant to be a friend. That does not exempt the from deserving of our attention, our respect, and our empathy. We will meet an estimated 80,000 people during the course of our life; it is unreasonable to expect to build a meaningful relationship with each of them, but it is not unreasonable to expect we treat each with respect and dignity.
So rather than worry about the lost friendships, the could have beens, and the ones that didn't satisfy, let's give our attention to the ones that are. The best thing we can do for our friendships is give them the love they deserve.