Friend love is a true love. I for one fall into friend love wayyy too quickly. Unlike romantic love, it’s all mental. You choose who you want your makeshift family to be. But, similar to romantic love, the breakups hurt just as badly.
As I sat at dinner with my best friend, Zoe, earlier this month, we were talking about the struggle of friendship in college — everyone has classes, jobs, boyfriends, other friends, and everything in between. It is so hard to find the hours in the day to have quality time with friends.
Commenting on the fact that we can’t help but feel lonely, we were unable to pinpoint the direct cause of this loneliness; it’s somewhat indescribable. Indescribable in the way that we aren’t lonely as the definition stands; we have tons of friends, we live in a sorority house filled with fifty other girls.
So why do we feel lonely?
My answer to this question is that we’re lonely for something real, a real connection with another person. Our freshman year, we were overwhelmed with new friends. As she goes to USC and I go to UCLA, we were thrust into environments with thousands of people we had never laid eyes on, experiences we never had, and so many new things to do, we lacked the time to contemplate the depth and significance of each of our new friendships.
Now that we’ve both settled into our lives and have started to find our place at our respective schools, we have more time to recognize where some of our friendships fall short. “Fall short” in the sense they aren’t as real as we once thought. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a different scenario, an adjustment of sorts.
It’s like a cleansing, a recognition of who truly is there for you on a deeper level and who is there simply for the fun of it, neither is better than the other, but one is more reliable.
Thus, we’ve experienced falling out of friend love — it sucks. Seeing a person you once shared everything with not want anything to do with you is heart-wrenching. As hard as it is, it’s important to keep in mind that if someone doesn’t want you in their life, it’s their loss and it is not worth your precious time to stick around.
My therapist always told me “If you can hold up one finger on one hand and say, ‘I have one true friend,’ you’re luckier than most.” It seems simple: one true friend.
In hindsight, it’s so much more challenging to find someone who is a true friend–someone who will stand by you through everything and will always pick you up when you’re down. From a personal standpoint, it takes a lot to be a true friend, you feel partially responsible for that person, but it is the most rewarding experience of all.
When you feel yourself losing the friendship of one, it becomes challenging to recognize the true friendship of another. Never lose sight of those who genuinely do want the best for you.
Next time you’re falling out of friend love or you feel lonely, remember this: friends come and go, but all you really need is one true friend to make everything worthwhile.