People Change But That Doesn't Mean You Have To Lose Them As Friends

People Change But That Doesn't Mean You Have To Lose Them As Friends

Can you maintain a friendship when one of you changes?

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I am pretty much the same person I have always been. I'm a type A, focused, competitive, athletic person. I am also a bit goofy, ditzy, anxious, clumsy, and nerdy. I have strong opinions but I am always interested to hear new points of view and I take the time to consider them thoughtfully. I am old fashioned and though I do think that all people are equal I would not consider myself feminist.

Once of my closest friends in high school was a girl I'll call Margo. She too was driven, a type A personality who was competitive about grades and focused on the future. She was loud, funny, ditzy, nerdy, and interesting. She was a little boy crazy and we spent lots of time discussing the boys in our high school and one day being bridesmaids inn each other's weddings. We were good friends and shared a lot.

We went to different schools as friends often do. I went to GW and she went to a school up North. I continued to be focused on school and fitness. I worked in the campus gym, went to classes, studied, and went inn occasional dates with men I met at school. Other than gaining confidence in my ability to be an independent adult and actually being one, I really didn't change who I was as a person. Margo did.

She too continued to be focused on classes. She also discovered drinking and smoking, things not uncommon in a college setting but things that I had almost no interest in doing. She also dated a few men and then, to my surprise, a woman. I was happy for her. She seemed to really love and care about this woman and I wanted her to be happy. When she officially announced on her Facebook page that she was a lesbian I was proud of her. She was confident in herself in a way that I hadn't seen before and it was great.

Our friendship continued basically unchanged. She would occasionally joke that I should give up men and try it her way and I would laugh at her and tell her that wasn't for me. We still would eat ice cream and watch trashy tv and we'd stay up talking about her girlfriend and the guys I had met recently. We discussed our classes and what we wanted to do post graduation. We reminisced about high school and talked about what people were doing now. Things seemed almost the same.

Over the last several months, things have changed a lot. She has become extremist in her views regarding sexuality, gender, race, and sic-economic status. I think everyone has their views and opinions on this subject and the range of viewpoints is huge. I have always supported her in whatever she wanted to do, whatever she wanted to study, and whoever she wanted to date. What has changed is that she no longer supports mine. She has developed a negative, discriminatory view on men. Straight, white men, though she isn't thrilled with most men, in particular are the group that she resents and speaks ill about.

My boyfriend is strong, protective, and makes me feel safe. He is also sweet, smart, loving, and compassionate. He is also a straight, white man. My father and my brother are also straight, white men. It hurts me deeply to hear how she now speaks about men of that race and sexual orientation. I find that we are speaking less and I am sharing less about my life with her. We have been friends for over eight years and been through a lot together. I want to preserve our friendship but, is that possible knowing the resentment and disdain that she has for the men in my life? I do not know the answer to that. What I do know is that I am happy in my life.

I think all you can do when a close friend goes through a drastic change is be there, be available, and be yourself. But, do not change to accommodate. To continue to be friends, we don't have to want the same things or love the same way but we need to be accepting of each other's choices.

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A Letter To My Best Friend On Her Birthday

Happy Birthday to the girl I was so lucky have met in this lifetime.
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Hey You,

It is your birthday, and I don't know where to start. There are so many things I'd like to say on your special day that I literally could not fit into this article. So let me start by saying the most obvious thing: You're my best friend. (Duh)

Since the moment you walked into my life, we got along just perfectly. You were like the perfect piece to my puzzle. Not that anything was missing, but you became a part of me and you made me better than I was without you. I know you're probably laughing right now thinking this is super corny. Sure, me too.

One thing that amazes me is your unconditional form of giving. Anytime I need something, you never hesitate to offer and even more. If I happen to have a bad day, you listen to my problems and you reassure me that it will pass. And when I need your shoulder to cry on, you never hesitate to snap me back into reality and tell me to stay strong. You give me so much strength and you've taught me to make this my lifestyle.

Everywhere you go, you light up everyone's day. You really are a sight for sore eyes and you know it. You are thoughtful, compassionate, and your vibes are nothing but happiness. I know you don't have a boyfriend right now, but the day someone is interested in you, they better be damn great. You're the prettiest, the sweetest, the cutest, simply the best and more.

Not only are you the best ear, the best supporter, but you're also my perfect fit for the most important reason: You don't judge me when I say "Whataburger?" at 2 am. Whatever it may be that night; Taco Bell, McDonalds, Canes, your response is always "YAS," and I love you for that. I can't even count how many times we've just sat in the car eating without even talking to each other. It's the best.

We know our deepest fears, our greatest hopes.

I honestly don't know what I'd do if you'd never walked into my life. You've made me a stronger woman, a better me. I don't know how I got so lucky that we ever crossed paths. I guess it was just destiny that decided the perfect moment.

It's been only a year since I met you. That sounds so crazy to admit. Every time we hang up the phone or leave for a class we always say "I love you." That's the kind of friendship everyone hopes for. The sweet, "You're so hot! No, you're hotter! No, you are!" friendship that is mildly annoying, but so great to experience. You are without a doubt the Christina to my Meredith, the Michael Scott to my Dwight Schrute. You're the Elliot to my Olivia, the Poussey to my Tasty.

If I had never met you, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am so thankful for your life. Especially on a day like today, we celebrate your life and wish you so many more years to walk this crazy world and sprinkle a little bit of happiness into everyone's life. Thank you for being you, babe. You are my person. Happy birthday to you, special girl. You've changed my life and you inspire me every day.

Love,

Your Best Friend.

Cover Image Credit: Raquel Torres

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22 Signs The Girls You've Met In College Will Be Part Of Your Girl Gang For Life

To the lovely ladies I've met in college that I can never imagine my life without again

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Let me just be the first to say, I honestly don't know how I survived the majority of my life without you guys.

Attending college out of state in a completely new area and not knowing a single soul, I was petrified of the idea of starting over. I had a great group of friends at home, and I wasn't ready to begin this new chapter of my life. Hearing my parents and family friends talk about the people they met in college only stressed me out even more because, what if I didn't meet "my people?"

Luckily, that's when you guys came along, and my life was changed forever.

1. You genuinely care about each other's happiness.

2. Talking 24/7 is absolutely necessary.  You basically have a 2nd boyfriend.

3. You know absolutely everything and more about each other...even the details that may be TMI.

4. Regardless of how dramatic it is, you can rely on one another for advice on absolutely anything.

5. You can't go more than 2 days without seeing one another...it's just not allowed. It feels like your 2nd boyfriend has mysteriously gone missing.

6. And when you go out together for a girls night, all hell breaks loose.

7. The best way to solve your problems is with each other, and a full glass of wine.

8. Somehow you lasted 18 years without them in your life, and you wonder every day how that was possible.

A friend like you is something I've always prayed to find, and I am so thankful I did.

9. You willingly shower each other with compliments like it is your job.

10. They give you that reality check every here and there when you are being more than overdramatic.

11. When something amazing happens, you immediately go to one another to celebrate.

12. They're always your support system no matter what.

13. They'll most likely be in your bridal party because they're the only people who will keep you mentally sane.

I wouldn't want anyone else beside me on my special day.

14. Staying mad at each other for long is just not even slightly possible.

15. You probably hate the same people, for the same reasons.

To the boy who screwed over your best friend, the girl who's secretly in love with your boyfriend, and the professor who gave you a bad grade, me and my best friend most likely talk about you!

16. No one will ever mistreat them, because they would have to go through you first.

17. You're right beside them when something intense is about to go down.

Neither of you will ever go through drama alone anymore, you've always got a go-to girl.

18. They're always loyal to you and your friendship, and fortunately, they're stuck with you forever.

19. Some of your best memories are with each other.

20. They always feel like sunshine when they're around.

The people who feel like the color yellow are the type of people you always want to keep in your life.

21. You will never allow a boy to make each other cry.

22. You remind them daily how much their friendship means to you.

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