Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Meaning of Friendship

The phrase "the meaning of friendship" is probably one of the cheesiest things you can throw into a sentence. But do you ever stop to really think about what the idea of friendship means to you? Over the past few days, it's been a topic at the front of my mind.

I've had lots of friends throughout the years, but unfortunately as my life has moved on, so have most of my friends. I've never been someone with lifelong friends, someone with friends I've stayed close with since kindergarten, or even someone that's had a true best friend. It's always something I've wanted to have, but it's never really come around in my life. Although having friends that come and go has been something I've gotten used to, it's never easy to let go, especially when you want so badly for that friendship to work out.

Friendships are like any other relationship in your life - they take work in order to make them last. Just because you get really close with a friend, doesn't mean that you'll stay that way forever. In order to stay close, it takes time and effort on both parts. If one person is investing more into the friendship, they'll likely end up getting hurt. It all just boils down to how much of yourself you're willing to give without receiving much in return.

Over the years, I've learned my limit. Just like in romantic relationships, I know where to draw the line and realize: My friendship isn't important to you. It's time for me to move on. I'll always cherish the times my friends and I had in the past, but once it's time for me to move forward, I tend not to look back. As immature as this might sound, once someone loses my trust, it's virtually impossible for them to earn it back. I'm not saying they're out of my life forever and I'll never speak to them again, but it would take a lot for me to take their friendship seriously again.

I've been fortunate to hold onto a small handful of great friends. (You know who you are!) Ones that remember my birthday without a Facebook reminder. Ones that make the effort to come visit me, even when they live hours away. Ones that can pick up right where we left off, every single time we hang out. When I envision getting married one day, I see these people at my wedding. I'm so grateful for these people, and hope their friendships develop into ones that last a lifetime.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it's important to know what the idea of friendship means to you. Know what you want out of a friendship, and know when you're not getting it. It's better to have a small amount of quality friendships that make you happy than a ton of friendships that don't.

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