I've been exploring the idea of friends vs. boyfriends. I've mostly been paying attention to why some keep close knit friends into their late 20's while others drift apart. It seems to be that when we are younger we all have the same priorities, most of which revolve around fun activities. Things change as we get older and we follow different life paths. Friends move away, get married, and have kids. Our schedules get tangled up and the little time we have is allocated as best as possible. Lately I've been thinking about what keeps friends close despite life changes.
What I'm noticing is that people tend to stay closest to those on similar life paths. Exploring the idea it seems that there is a connection between relationship status and friendships. I find that girls who have boyfriends and or kids like to hang out with people in the same position. And girls who are single love their single friends, some even so much that they develop a co-dependence for one another. We all know those girls too, the best friends who bicker like a couple.
Having been in a relationship with my best friend/bf for 4 years now I have to confess my circle of friends has gotten smaller. Making time for school, work, family, friends, and a significant other is not easy. I love the little life I've created and cherish the few close people I associate with and talk to daily. I also love the occasional dinners, birthdays, and holidays spent with friends whom I don't get to see often. These friends are dear to me and we always pick up where we left off and I love all of them.
However, down time over school break has me reminiscing and missing the close tight-knit bounds I once had. Of course the friends that have been around for years are definitely family now and no amount of bickering will ever separate us. But, I have to admit there are regrets and many friends lost to arguments I can't even remember.
It seems that before the full-time jobs, boyfriends, grad programs, and even bundles of joys/our new editions (whom I love so much), we girls used to hang out and chat all the time. I mean I knew what pair of shoes they were debating on while they were still at the mall and I never watched a favorite TV show without them. Best of all were the weeknight dinners where we cooked, drank wine, and gossiped.
In looking back, although I had my friends I too was looking for someone to share a bond with. Even then I wasn't fully in the moment. There was always some "guy" problem or "fight between friends". Could it be that the grass will always be greener on the other side? I hope not! I get it though, its hard enough to deal with your own issues, so why not just hang out with those on the exact same journey? Then again it's like forming high school cliques all over again. Is that really fair or even healthy? To chose to only bar hop with your singles or dinner date with other couples?
Today some of us are finding love, falling out of love, traveling, focusing on careers, building families, or just drifting by. But that shouldn't mean it has to be friends vs. boyfriends. I say we challenge ourselves to be more open, forgiving, and empathetic to all our friends.
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