Friendship is this weird and beautiful thing where people come together based on mutual interests, location, or even convenience and decide “I like you enough to spend a large amount of time with you”. You don’t spend time with each other out of obligation like you do your co-workers, or because it’s a holiday like you do with some of your extended family, but because you choose to, you want to, it’s important to you to see the people you call your friends.
However, in friendship, I firmly believe that spending time together is not a given, it is not an obligation. Some of the people I consider my best friends are people I get to see twice a year if that. For me, it is the quality of the interaction, not the quantity. I have been privileged to always have a group of friends, whether it be the fellow band geeks in high school, my sorority sisters in college, or my gal pals here in D.C. Within those friend groups, for the most part, there have been certain expectations placed on each other: don’t be an asshole, share your food, chicks before…well, and if I’m in the ER you better be on your way.
Lately though, I’m realizing how my expectations of my friend group has evolved with my age. The general principles are all the same, but how I view them are different. I’m also realizing that not everyone in my friend group views the expectations of our group the same way I do. This has led to a series of miscommunications and ultimately feelings of frustration with both of us. Neither of us are wrong, but at the same time I can’t help but feel validation in my feelings.
Being an adult with adult friends is so difficult sometimes. You are not always in the same place at the same time or on the same page of your life. You expect different things from each other and then feel like a bad friend when you don’t deliver. I hate fighting with my friends because, well, they’re my friends. However, I also feel like there isn’t enough give and take at times and if I don’t give what is deemed the appropriate amount I’m not living up to a standard that isn’t necessarily my standard of being a good friend. I tend to feel like what I do for my friends is belittled because it isn’t on the grand gesture scale.
I know I’m supposed to be dispensing knowledge of my millennial misadventures. But, right now I could use some navigation tips on how to get through this particular misadventure. Let me know your thoughts!