It feels a little strange writing about something like this at my age. I thought I’d have most of this friend stuff figured out at this point. I guess I was wrong. I’m 39-years-old and it turns out I’m still being schooled about who is a “real” friend and who isn’t.
When I think about fake friends, I have this flashback from when I was in high school. I had this group of girl friend’s and all we did was gossip and talk about boys—you know the usual. But, when the conversation turned into something they didn’t want me to know about, they spoke in Spanish. They knew I didn’t speak it fluently and they did right to my face. Turns out those girls were not my friends.
In my early 20’s, I was super selective of the women I let into my life. I was in the military at the time and I had way more male friends than I did female. I honestly didn’t trust women and I thought that there would be less drama with men around. Wrong again…the one female friend I did trust, hooked up with a guy I had a major crush on. That sucked. Besides her, the group of friends I had back then were very loyal and I still keep in contact with some of them today.
I will say some of the friendships I have in my adult life are complicated and it really shouldn’t be. I feel like there are more things in life to worry about. But, for some reason, this has been my life lately. I’m dealing with people that I thought were down for me.
I have been disappointed and made to feel used more than I would like to admit. All by people who I allowed into my life. Turns out they were just acquaintances. And I need to do a better job of separating them right from the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, acquaintances are not a bad thing to have in your life. It’s just better to know the difference between the two.
Along the way, I’ve realized that no one can make you feel any kind of way, unless you allow them to. And that’s kind of what’s going on here. I guess I have these expectations of the way I think my so-called friends should act. And when they don’t, I feel let down and ultimately disappointed. Yes, I’m allowing myself to feel this way, because I’m the one who assumed we were friends. I’m still learning who my real friends are and who I am every single day of my almost 40-year-old life. Spoiler alert! This learning life lessons stuff never stops. You should know that the fake friendships will eventually reveal themselves.
I want to specify that I do have an amazing circle of people in my life. Also, I will admit that I’m not perfect and I have probably been a bad friend to a few people along the way. And if I was, I’m sorry.
I can’t sit here and tell you what makes a “real” friend. That’s something for you to figure out. I can tell you that finding a true friendship is possible and that it should be one that is always 50/50. In my world, my ideal friendships are created equally and filled with smiles, laughter, understanding, trust, and patience. Simple right? They won’t be perfect, but it will be possible to get through the dark moments and back into the light.
Those real friends I was talking about, they know who they are. They stick with me and support me through thick and thin. They love me for everything that I am and who I will eventually be. They know I’m not perfect and they wouldn’t have me any other way. They deal with how I hide behind my computer, can be moody, and have anxiety that keeps me in my dark loft for a few days. But, they don’t give up on me and I promise I won’t give up on them.
As always, there is a bright side to losing or removing the fake friends, it opens up more time and energy that can be spent on developing the friendships that matter most. Like the ones who put up with your Los Angeles Dodgers fan girl moments, your cat lady life, and a possible Counting Crows obsession.