What does it take to consider someone your friend? You know that person well and for quite some time, you get along very well, you share the same interests, you can rely on them to be there?
Well, lately I’ve come to the conclusion that being friends with someone isn’t a permanent state. It’s a rather fragile kind of relationship that can change.
A few months ago I was sitting in a pub with a few people I actually considered my friends. Out of five people sitting by the table three of them were constantly staring at their phone and checking facebook thus making it impossible to even have a conversation with them. Such behaviour isn’t just extremely impolite, it’s also not how real friends would act. I mean, aren’t your friends the people in your life you enjoy talking to?
A few days later I happened to be in the same pub. We walked in and by surprise we met a few guys I hardly knew. I’ve met them only one or two times before but I ended up having much more fun with them than with my “friends”.
As time went on, my pals acted stranger. They are a couple and one of the girl’s friends was soon to leave for Great Britain to spend half a year there. So the only person she talked to or hang out with was her. I mean, I can understand that she wants to spend time with her friend before she leaves but still the behaviour was far from normal. Her boyfriend wasn’t any better. I already asked them both to hang out with us and have a barbecue but they always seemed to have some kind of excuse. Well when she was going for a drink with her friend he was sitting at home alone. So when we asked he decided to join us. You could expect it to be a nice evening but no. When we arrived at our barbecue spot he didn’t sit with us. He chose to sit three meters away from us. He set up his own campfire. He didn’t talk to us. After some time we decided to go over and sit with him. What did he do? He got up to make another fire. That was one awkward evening.
Thinking back when a few weeks before we had a barbecue with a few guys I hadn’t ever met till then and it was an amazing night I made me think about friendship once more.
But so far this was only the tip of the iceberg.
Two weeks ago we happened to be at the pub again. We walked in, sat down, ordered something. After a few minutes he walked by, briefly said hello while passing and then disappeared. After some time we decided to go out and have a seat in the garden as it was a warm evening. Our friends happened to be sitting out there. My first thought was “Why didn’t he asked us to sit with them when he walked by?” As our “friends” usually asked us to do so we discussed for a few moments if we want to go over to them or search for something else. We came to the conclusion that they are our friends so we should at least say hi. It turned out not to be a good idea. Sitting by a table with people who either don’t say anything or talk more about you than with you was an extremely strange experience.
Once more I started thinking about friendship. When finally the following happened I knew that it’s time to get new pals. The evening I just wrote about took place a few days before they were about to depart on holiday. We wished them a nice trip but they said we would surely meet one more time before they left. Strangely they never called up. They also didn’t say anything after they got back from their break.
I don’t need that kind of friends. At first I had second thoughts because you know, they are my friends and I shouldn’t give up on them so easily. But after letting the thoughts crawl through my brains a few days I decided to let them be. Friends should be there for you, they are supposed to be fun to be with and not to drag you down for no reason. When it’s nicer to hang out with strangers than with your pals it is time to move on. On facebook you can go through your list of friends and unfriend people. Sometimes I think real life could need the same option.