I’m a Needy Friend
Friendships are tricky – let’s take a look at a timeline of how it works.
When we were babies - if you napped around the same time and your moms were friends, you were best friends and saw each other almost every day.
When we were kids - if you liked the same toy or had the same hobby you were best friends and played every day.
When we were teenagers - if you liked the same band or store at the mall you were best friends and hung out almost every day.
When we were single young adults - if you liked the same bars/clubs you were best friends and hung out every weekend.
When we were dating young adults - if you liked the same movies and restaurants you were best friends and hung out every few weeks.
When we were married young adults - if you liked the same board games and take out you were best friends and hung out maybe once a month.
When we were married young adults with children - if your kids got along and napped at the same time and work schedules aligned and there were no family obligations you were best friends and hung out every few months.
I can’t go any further because I’m not at those stages yet but I’m GUESSING until your kids move out of the house, it only gets more and more difficult to keep a best friend. And yet the bible talks about friendships so obviously they’re important…so how do we do it? As an introvert it’s something I’m working on and struggling through every day. I know there are people out there who just go to social gatherings, make a bunch of friends, casually get together with them and are completely happy and satisfied by those type of relationships…but that’s just not me. I’m a 2 good friends type of person. I love being a best friend, not an acquaintance. I hate forgetting people’s names so it’s much easier to only have to remember a few of them. I’m bad at remembering details of people’s lives so I’d rather know everything about 2 people than a little about 10. I like sitting down and talking for hours about everything, not talking about the weather and the kids and whatever else we can find to chat about. I’m getting better at doing it but it’s just not naturally who I am.
So why would God create me to be a certain way if it doesn’t fit in with the stage of life I’m in? I don’t know really. Maybe He’s pushing me to not be SUCH an introvert. Maybe He knows the desires of my heart but also knows that my lifestyle can’t handle such a “needy” friendship. Maybe He knows that there are a lot of people out there who would be great to have influence on my life and all of those traits don’t exist in just 2 people. And maybe there are more than 2 people out there who need something from me.
The thing I am learning is the timeless knowledge that you get what you put in. I have to constantly ask myself “what type of friend do you want?” “Well, then what type of friend do you need to be?” If you want to have a friendship with someone a lot of times you have to take the first step. Make the first move. It’s like dating all over again. Suck it up and ask her to coffee. Or to come over for a playdate. Maybe it’s just saying hi with a smile next time you see her. If we think back to dating and treat friendships the same way (minus the intimacy obviously), I think we’ll all develop some great, meaningful friendships that are a bit less than “best friends” but definitely more than just acquaintances.