be my friend. just not right now. (monday morning musings)

I am making no promises about whether or not I make sense in this post. The usual reasons apply. I'm watching the Wing. (Hi. New to this blog? I watch West Wing all the time.) I have ADD. It's late (early) and I am taking a break from sewing.

I ran into a old friend the other day, and then had dinner with her the next week. I was dreading it, because:

1. I am anti-social. My husband is always trying to make new "couples friends" and I respond by establishing a quota for "couples friends" and insisting on sticking to it. I did however, grandfather a few people in. I'm wearing the pants here, not running a dictatorship.*

2. Re-connecting with friends is hard sometimes. I sort of felt like I had made soup (fine, Spouseman had made soup,) eaten half the batch, and then froze the rest. Now I'm trying to de-frost the friendship soup. Now I am ending that analogy, and filing it under "Things about this post that don't make sense."

Simply put, sometimes you realize that when you are 19, your standards for friends are very different from when you are 23. You no longer want friends who aren't friends, but instead are surrogate mothers, or people you use in order to maintain your relationships with other people. (If you are a girl, you have done this. Been friends with someone because they were useful, but not really your friend. If you are a boy, lucky you.) You liked cheese soup a few months ago, but now it is gross. (Analogy still not working? Damn.)

And the friend who can't tell the truth to save her own bum? You don't need that person in your life. And neither does your spouse.

But surprisingly, the dinner was nice. I realized that sometimes I end friendships too quickly. How many years of friendships did I miss because I let distance or time or more stupid, more insidious reasons interfere? In this case, I lost 4.

But sometimes, I'm pretty glad I ended some friendships when I did. I'm a happier, less-stressed person. Plus, their elimination grants me more leeway in adding additional friendships to my quota roster.

So. Tell me what you think. When is it time to let a friendship end?

Can you out-grow a friendship?

Will I ever like cheese soup again?

*If anyone takes that seriously, and comments on it, I will use Google Analytics to hunt you down, and punch you in the face.


AzĂșcar said...

I have outgrown plenty of friends. I may be outgrowing y'all right now.

Just kidding.

MamaBear said...

i love your humor. you don't have to punch me in the face!

but i can't tell you who to keep and who to toss or when. it's a case-by-case decision, IMO. and i'm not lucky enough at this stage of life to have many friends to the point where i'd throw ANY of them away!

do more with them. that way you'll have an easier time deciding. or don't, and you won't have to deal with it for a while longer. *silly smirk*

The Boob Nazi said...

I tend to break up with my friends. It's kind of dramatic, but if someone does something crappy to me, why should I remain friends with them? (My mother thinks there's something very wrong with this.)
To this day, I only regret 1 of my "break-ups."
I've never really outgrown a friendship. I think it's because I can talk to anyone, anywhere, and about anything. I got this from my pops. There are some friendships that I prefer to keep electronically, however. (High school friends.... yuck)

C said...

I've been sick this weekend, so I've been having a West Wing marathon...never fails to make me feel better!

And yes, I think you can absolutely outgrow a friendship. Sometimes you're friends with someone because of shared experiences, but when you are no longer in those experiences, you find that over time, you've changed, and become different people. While you can appreciate the person for who they were for you in the past, it might just be time to put that relationship behind you and move forward. There's nothing wrong with it, it happens all the time. And it doesn't mean you're not friendly when you see the person, it just means you're not putting the effort into the relationship anymore.

Does that make sense at all? If not, I blame the cold medicine.

Femme Facetious said...

On outgrowing a friendship: yes, it's very possible to outgrow a friendship, even a very old one and one you've invested a lot of effort into. There are dozens of people (ok maybe a dozen, but I too am antisocial and growing more so by the year) that I simply can't afford to waste time on anymore. It sounds weird/mean, but as I get older, my time is ever-more precious to me and it's just not worth faking it for someone I don't feel all that close to anyway.

As people grow older, their interests diverge and you simply aren't the same person in your mid twenties that you were in your late teens. It's only natural that some of your friendships change or end due to that. I've gotten friendship-dumped a couple of times when the person was ready to let go but I wasn't. It sucks, but then I got over it. It happens to everyone.

On when it is time to end a friendship: whenever you feel like it. Whenever you feel you aren't getting as much out of it as you should or it's become painful to stay friends (as is the case with liars. I've also found it to be the case with drama queens, braggarts, mooches, etc.) I like to do the old fade-into-oblivion than actually tell them I'm checking out. If the friendship has run it's course then they won't call you either.

On the cheese soup: that is for you and your heart to decide.

I enjoy your blog, MCB.


MrsM said...

I am very anti social (for some reason this does not apply to blogging? Weird.) so keep that in mind when I say that anyone who makes you wonder "should I be friends with this person" is probably not worth being friends with in the end.

Then again, if I never saw another person (with the exception of my family members)face to face again, I'd be totally okay with that.

stewbert said...

Y'know, at 33 my friends are different than they were when I was 23, too.

And not just because I move as much as if I were a Gypsy.

JustMe said...

I have a hard time letting go of friends. I have 2 friends that have been a constant in my life for over 25 years. We gone through pregrancy, child-birth, raising children, the death of parents, and so many other trials and joys. They are my history - I love them and can't imagine the rest of my life without them.

Crystal said...

You can totally outgrow friends. I live on a Navy Base in Japan about the size of your pinky. I had a friend of necessity. We got here the same time, both members of the church, had some shared tv interests (that's not hard, I love a lot of tv), but that was it. Now...a year later she's had a baby, I've had a baby, and she drives me batty. I'm kind and I hold no ill will, but I'm glad I've got other friends.

BTW my husband has couple friend quotas because he's antisocial. He actually told me we needed to move because we were too popular in one ward.

Mrs. Clark said...

Thought-provoking, as usual! I have a few friends for whom I am eternally grateful. Being very social, I also tend to be too nice to people who use me, and although I recognize this I am willing to be used (though I feel I'm doing them a service) up to a point. I have had to rachet back on friendships from time to time, and I've been dumped, too, and I have to admit I've gotten over it.
Friendships do evolve over time, and sometimes you have to let 'em die.

NIKOL said...

I think that most friendships, generally speaking, are kind of fluid. How close you are, and how much you "need" a certain person will change over time. You can definitely outgrow friends. You can also drift apart for a while and then come back together. Or maybe you drift apart and stay that way. Or maybe you have a big shouting match and harbor deep feelings of resentment until the end of time. I don't think that there's a set way friendships are supposed to work.

Sometimes reconnecting with old friends is awesome. I got in touch with a girl I knew in elementary school, and when we got together we had a great time. I also reconnected with a high school friend. She and I were super close and I have great memories of her. Turns out it probably would have been better not to get back in touch. You just never know.

So, to sum up: Nikol rambles a lot and doesn't actually answer any questions.

Lena said...

I agree with most of what is said here. You totally outgrow friendships. There are a lot of people I was friends with in high school or in my ward growing up, that I would be just as happy never talking to again. But then there are people who I forget were such good friends until we see each other again. I love those kinds.

I am glad we were grandfathered in to the friendship quota.

Tammy said...

I think you should be able to break up with friends like you do boyfriends. It is ok for relationships to come to an end. There are many people I'm glad I am not friends with any more. It can get exhausting to try to keep up friendships that you don't really care about. Why is it OK to dump a guy or be mean to the ones you love but keep friends from high school that you don't really like just because you are afraid to hurt their feelings?