It was another couch conversation between my girlfriend and me about one of her “friends.” The word friend is in quotations because this person hadn’t treated her as a friend in the past. They were pretty close at one point, often going to the gym together and hanging out consistently.
Then, they fell off because my girlfriend quickly realized her supposed “friend” only hung out with her when it was convenient. If you’re human, you’ve probably experienced this before.
The some-time, wishy-washy friend
We’ve all had those types of friends throughout our lives. You know, the opposite of a true friend. Ones that come in and out of your life for no other reason than they aren’t real friends. On the surface, they claim to be. They even show some characteristics of real friends. Such as care, loyalty, and consistency. However, somewhere along the way, this person’s true feelings towards you came out.
Whether they abruptly stopped hanging out with you since they “got a new boyfriend or girlfriend.” Or, they just decided you weren’t someone they genuinely wanted to spend time with but tried to keep the relationship going for the sake of it. This type of friendship is perhaps the worst-case scenario of the some-time, wishy-washy friend. Someone who comes and goes in your life, often showing a promising rapport, only to let you down, time and time again.
You must look at the situation for what it truly is
We can’t continue to view our friendships through glasses of hope if there is none to be found. If we see ourselves coming up with reasons, although more like excuses, as to why this person is still in our life, chances are, they probably shouldn’t be.
“True friendships should be effortless.”
Now, I am not saying friendships don’t require work. Every good friendship requires two to tango. Both participants must put in the requisite time and energy for the relationship to flourish. If neither, or one of the parties doesn’t, it will spell trouble down the road.
After talking to my girlfriend, I urged her to look at the friendship for what it indeed was. To give some background, my girlfriend changed jobs and did not want her old “friend” to know where she worked. Her old friend kept pestering her, asking where she worked time and time again.
Since this was the case, I asked my girlfriend why she was still in contact with this person. Then I said, if you don’t even want her to know where you work, why would you string the friendship along? Which isn’t much of a friendship at all. Unless, of course, you hope to reconcile and become close friends again one day. She replied, “No, I don’t see that happening. You’re right. I should tell her I don’t want to tell her where I work, and that’s that.”
Letting go of the past
When people continue to string friendships along, it’s usually due to letting go of the past. Change is a vital part of letting go, and if there’s something my girlfriend doesn’t like to deal with, it’s changing. Friendships like this bring unnecessary clutter to your life. They become a waste of time, energy, and effort. You must check this useless baggage. By getting rid of the extra baggage, you allow yourself to focus on the people in your life who serve a purpose and vice versa.
Are you putting the pieces together?
While my girlfriend doesn’t like to deal with change, in these moments, I try to encourage her. To lay everything out and get her to see the bigger picture and all of the outcomes. Often in life, we make the most simple scenarios complex.
If my girlfriend has no interest in continuing this friendship, why be a part of it at all? I know it’s not always as black and white as that because our world has plenty of gray areas. But to leave things unchanged is never going to accomplish anything. By looking at our friendships for what they indeed are, we can tell if they are actually worth keeping.