I will be honest-I wrote about friendship years ago, so this may be somewhat redundant.
Since I have been evolving, my thought process on pretty much EVERYTHING has also changed, especially how I view friendships.
Friendship used to be a very rigid concept; if there wasn’t a certain level of frequency and duration in communication then there was no friendship. I used to strictly stratify between associates, acquaintances, best friends, long time friends and hangout partners. I categorized people by these boxes and I made sure that I referred to people as such.
As life goes on, your journey will affect the relationships in your life. As you trek down the long winding life roads, the person that you considered your best friend at 20 may just become a long time friend. A person that was a long time friend may just be some an associate or acquaintance. A person who was just an acquaintance at one time may become a close friend. Thus, I’ve come to realize:
FRIENDSHIPS ARE A FLUID SPECTRUM.
At this point in my life, I am distancing myself of all of the various labels under the friendship umbrella. It’s cliche but so true: some people in your life for a season, reason or lifetime. In addition to being in your life for a season, reason or lifetime, their role in your life will fluctuate. Even if they are lifetime relationships, those relationships can flow between close and distant.
The utilization of such friendship labels can be a catalyst for unnecessary heartache, particularly the best friend label. Labeling anything, especially friendships-creates expectation. If you have had a person in the “best friend” box for years and you two become distant, you can end up disappointed (among other things) because the friendship no longer meets the expectation that label requires.
Losing the labels allows for people to flow in an out your life as it has been designed. It gives you the freedom to grow without the fear of losing people along your journey. Sometimes we can stifle who we are meant to be because who we are meant to be doesn’t fit with the relationships we cultivated. Our best/longtime friend/associate won’t be that to us anymore if engage in the art of becoming. Losing the labels also allows me to appreciate every interaction for its individual value regardless of how frequent the interaction occurs.
I don’t have the need to have a set schedule in which I talk to people I have friendship relationships with. I don’t need to talk them every month let alone every day. What matters to me is that we connect on some level when we share a space. If we connect, then you are adding value to my life. If you bring value to my life, no matter how minute-you stay on the friendship spectrum. Quick text conversations, a check in every few months with a good conversation, a quick hello-it all has value.
Viewing friendship as a fluid spectrum allows for people to exist in my life as my life requires it versus being a slave to expectations. It’s de cluttered my emotional life so much, adding to my overall happiness.