Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates, and guys are just people to have fun with.Candace Bushnell
I wouldn’t call myself lonely but I do often find myself without the right person to share certain news with.
Growing up watching shows like Friends and Sex and The City I always expected friendship to just happen. I’d be doing something I like and a girl/boy with similar interests would approach me introduce themselves and Voila! Friends!
It turned out to be so much harder than that.
Even during school when friendships should’ve been easy to make and keep. I always found myself sort of “sitting on the sidelines”, the third friend to a group of two close friends, the one that walks behind the rest of the group. The Michelle to Beyonce and Kelly.
I’m one of those kids that’s slow to warm up to anything. I need a good 6 months before I can let my guard down and be myself around people.
My issue is that I want to have more casual friendships, I know how to go about it. But I’m terrified that I’ll get rejected.
The idea of being upfront with my personality to people I barely know fills me with anxiety. The idea of sharing elements of my life with friends also fills me with anxiety.
True friendship requires a level of intimacy that I haven’t figured out yet outside of romantic relationships.
My favourite part in Sex And The City is when Carrie Bradshaw and co realise that throughout their romantic relationships with men the only constant was their relationships with each other.
Your friends are your chosen Family, they’re meant to encourage, love and support you. Tell you when you’re moving mad and need to fix up, laugh with you and at you.
My biggest issue with female friendships or at least the way they have been presented to me is that there seems to be no room for individuality. The second you disagree with your girl you’re an opp. We shy away from confrontation and resort to backstabbing and chinese whispers.
Using Sex and The City as an example Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte were four really different women who as individuals, bettered themselves and, as friends, they bettered each other. Sex And The City was about four friends acting like necessary mirrors for each other through various stages in life.
And that’s what friendships should be about. It’s not about finding similar people; but, like-minded individuals who have minds and opinions of their own.
I want to be an individual and still manage to maintain friendships with people that are different to me but, I’ve created a lot of obstacles for myself in my head.
I assume that if people learn about certain elements of who I am they’ll see no reason to pursue a friendship with me.
I’m bisexual so I tend to shy away from making friends with people that are super Christian to avoid the eventual head butting should the topic of the LGBTQ community come up.
I’m black so I avoid forming friendships with my white colleagues because I hate having the inevitable “race” discussion with them. Watching them get uncomfortable at the mention of the word “black” and having to explain why they can’t say/sing/ rap/ utter/ breathe the word Nigga.
I’m a gamer and a lot of girls find this childish so I don’t talk about that part of my life with women. The only time I mentioned it to a close friend she called it ” niggerish” ….
I feel like if i were to present the entirety of my personality people would run for the hills.
On top of this the older we get the harder it is to navigate friendships. A lot of us realised that we were friends with certain people only because we were mandated to be in their vicinity for large periods of time.
Once you add Adulting to the mix ( work, relationships, moving, kids) you find that you have less time for these kinds of people.
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I relocated to Manchester less than a year ago. After I relocated I had to take stock of my familial relationships and friendships. I found a large amount of them to be lacking, extremely one sided and or I couldn’t point out what it was that I was getting from them.
It’s because of this that I’ve found myself lacking the right person from time to time to tell certain things but, this hasn’t been a completely bad thing.
I’ve found that dropping certain friendships has allowed me more time to spend with people that bring me joy. I’ve unintentionally used Marie Kondo’s home organisation ethos on my friendships by holding on to people that “Spark Joy” while decluttering my life of everyone else.
I essentially threw all unnecessary relationships in the bin and kept it moving.
One of my favourite Controversy Queens Slumflower wrote a book called “What A Time To Be Alone” and it centered mostly around romantic relationships and how gaining independence from seeking out love for the sake of love can be a freeing experience. She talks about how relationships need to add value to your life or you’re just better off alone.
I think that a lot of us should apply this to who we choose to call our friends as well. I’d even argue that there should be a larger focus on happy platonic relationships than romantic connections.
I can count my friends on one hand. But each and every single one adds value to my life and I add value to theirs in different ways. There are definitely gaps of loneliness but they just help punctuate the ugly laughs, the tears, the fights and the moments of vulnerability.
Quality over quantity…