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Posted by on Jul 2, 2008 in Diary of a Supermom, Featured, Friendship | 6 comments

If only Chandler and Joey lived next door…

If only Chandler and Joey lived next door…

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Every so often as we sit and watch “Friends” reruns, I can’t help but feel envious. Granted, I’m envious of fictitious people in a scripted environment, but the basis of my envy remains. There are six people who each have five other people that will be there for them no matter what. Five people who they can depend on, laugh with, cry with, build memories with…five best friends.

Developing close relationships becomes more difficult as you grow older. You have the most intimate relationship possible, and at least for us, can grow to be content with that one relationship. However, God made us relational…We are hard-wired for relationships..plural. Its hard…When we were younger, work didn’t get in the way…we certainly didn’t take it home with us…We didn’t have kids to play with, tuck in by a certain time of night, or cart around anywhere…We weren’t as stressed, as tired, or in truth, as in need of these relationships as we are now…They happened naturally.

Having a “best” friend is something I haven’t felt like I’ve had since graduating college. (David, my husband, is of course my BEST friend, but the husband/wife relationship doesn’t really count.) There have been and are, people that I’ve felt closer to than others, and would give titles such as, “my best friend from work,” or “my best friend from my old church,” etc. However, I’ve never been certain that any of these people felt the same way. I wonder if any of them have felt the way I do..wondering if someone considers them their best friend? Do we tell the people closest to us that they matter, or are we too afraid of rejection, or that awkard, “umm thanks,” we might get if we open up and make ourselves vulnerable.

My Dad once told me about how he would sit on a rock in the schoolyard and wait for kids to come and play with him. He said he never made any friends that way. David and I learned a similar lesson at our old church. We waited around for a year or two for people to come to us…for people to invite us over…We were sitting on a rock. We eventually got off the rock and made a lot of effort….We would seek out young couples in church and invite them over. We made our best friends by dropping a note in their lap in the middle of service. (literally.) We even started up a young couples fellowship group. However, we then found ourselves on the opposite side of the spectrum. We were the ones making ALL of the effort. Sure, we had friends…but, if we wanted to see any of them, we ALWAYS had to be the ones to ask them over….There needs to be a balance. We need to re-claim the type of give and take friendships that were so easy to make and keep when we were in school.

The question is how do we do that? How do you overcome the obstacles that stand in the way? How do you maintain a close relationship with people who are just as caught up in life’s “busy-ness” as you are? How do you open yourself up and be vulnerable enough with someone to truly get to know them, and more importantly, and even harder, let them get to know YOU. The real you. How do we do that?

All I know is that I’m going to try to find out…I’m going to try. I won’t be a rock-sitter, although the proverbial “rock” is often a much more “comfortable” place to be. However, I refuse to be the sole giver in a relationship as well. I will strive to find balanced and authentic relationships. I’ll let you know if I figure out how to do this…

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  1. I completely understand and feel the exact same way most days of my life.

  2. Here I am, a little bored and looking at my myspace page when I see your bulletin about your blogs. I go to it and soon find myself contemplating about life. You are a great writer. I do have to say that your whole blog spoke nothing but truth. I feel the same. And I too secretly envy the characters on “Friends.” I always had a best friend growing up…of course there were lots of friends, but there was always one that I could call my best friend, and I knew it was mutual. Now that I’m married and older, I sadly find myself without that kind of companionship. My husband is awesome and most certainly a great friend, but it is different than having a close female friend. Relationships do take work, and the only reason I can think of as to why they don’t come as easily now, is because of the speed of life. I am one of those rock sitters that you mention in your blog, and I am aware that I am, however, it takes courage and confidence to get off the rock and be the one to initiate things. Something I’ve never been good at and know that I need to work on. Some of the things you said remind me of when you start dating someone. When the boy wants to ask the girl to “go steady,” how ackward is that! “Will you go out with me?” That always seems dumb to me, but how else does he say that he wants to enter into a relationship with her?
    You definitly have to tell the people close to you that they matter. I guess if you don’t then you’ll always wonder if they feel the same way.
    Anyway…great blog.
    From your friend in the “view” who considers you to be a great friend!

  3. Bekki,
    Thanks for your post. My best friend was my Mom. Sadly she died last year. I understand and I love to watch old Friends shows as well as Cheers for that reason.

  4. It is definitely a challenge- even being in a group like MOPS or Bible study, it’s hard to reach out. Even when you find someone that you have things in common and have a good rapport with, it’s like a dance, trying to make efforts, reciprocate efforts. If you’re naturally introverted, it makes it that much harder. I don’t know how to solve the problem of the give and take issue. Like you said, you can’t be the rock sitter and expect everyone else to take the risk, nor can you be the one constantly approaching the rock either. For an introvert, I’ve found that at least trying to make an effort to get to know someone is challenge enough. I’ve had people tell me they thought I was just stuck up because I was so shy that I didn’t talk to anyone, but then I’ve also been on the other side feeling like a goober when my efforts have been rebuffed. I guess we just keep plugging away, doing the “dance” of the friendship efforts… 🙂 (and sometimes sitting out because our feet hurt..)

  5. I totally know what you are saying here! My absolute best friend moved away when I was a senior in high school and I haven’t had one since & have been longing for one ever since. I too, feel that twinge of jealousy when I watch movies with a set a great friends & long for that as well.
    I do have another best friend from high school but she lives far away too!
    It is hard to reach out and have equal amount of effort put forth in to the friendship & it always turns out that I am the one giving the most effort. Which always makes me feel like, “what is wrong with me? Why don’t ‘friends’ want to put forth the same effort that i do?” Maybe my expectations are too high?

    Anyways, you are not alone in this feeling!
    Maybe we should go get coffee sometime?!

  6. I definately felt this same way each time I have moved to a new town. It is frustrating when someone you think you really connect with doesn’t reciprocate. More than likely they feel the same way. I’ve found making a consistent meeting is most helpful. Like coffee every other Saturday morning at 7 AM (when Dad’s can watch kids) or a monthly girls night out, or a book group or Mom’s group, whatever. But I’ve also found I am a smaller group person. I don’t get to know people very deeply in a large group setting. So, that’s my two bits…making a committment to be consistent.


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