Fake friends are like rubber bands.

I made this analogy during a conversation with my roommate the other day. She laughed but as I explained what I meant, I think she slowly started to agree with me.

As an almost 20-year-old, I’ve met a variety of people and have made friends along the way. I’ve realized, however, that not all of them are actually my friends.

As a freshman in college, I was so innocent and naive when it came to making new friends. I believed the best in people and trusted them wholly until they gave me a reason not to. But even then, I felt myself giving them time after time to fix their mistakes. I still wanted to be their friend even though they had let me down repeatedly.

Now, I’ve realized that maybe it wasn’t them; it was me. It took me a while to understand that my expectations were just too high. Growing up back at home, more specifically on my street, I made some of my best friends that I’ve known since I was six. We grew up together. We went through similar experiences together. We became friends at an age where there were no expectations, but rather at a time where I was forming them and my standards of friendship.

I'd had the perfect idea of friendship in my mind.

Going into college, I quickly realized that those friendships are special and that not all friendships are on the same playing field.

Through making these new “friends,” I’ve encountered some people whom I referred previously to as rubber bands. These people are only friends when it’s convenient for them when they want something from or out of you. They don’t actually care if there’s something wrong with you and they come running to you if they ever have a problem only you can solve for them.

Just like a rubber band, the more I saw my self stretching out and distancing myself, I’d notice that they’d spring right back to me after not receiving my attention. Unfortunately, in the beginning, even I had made the mistake of trying to get close to them, while they’d just pull back. It’s an endless back and forth. But, in the end, who actually wins?

The truth is, you’re gonna meet a whole lot of rubber bands in your life. But, it’s ultimately your choice to separate those people from the real friends you have. The ones who either don’t have expectations or the ones that hold the same expectations that you have. Those are your real friends. Remember that, eventually, rubber bands snap and break. Real friendships are there forever.