FRIENDS!

How many of us have them?

FRIENDS!

Ones you can depend on????

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I guess the real question in that song should be…

How many have you grown apart from?

I’m not talking about those “friends” who are only considered friends because you go to the same school , work at the same place or come from the same town. No. I mean those real friends. The friend you told about kissing a girl that one time. The friend who you took care of when they were shit faced. The one who has so much dirt on you they walk around looking like Pig Pen in his Halloween costume.

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And you will definitely be haunted by that fact now that you’ve grown apart from them.

Now that I think about it I need to get my lawyer to draw up some NDAs (nondisclosure agreements) for my friends STAT!

 

Disclaimer

By now you’ve probably been reading my posts and wondering

WHO THE HELL HURT YOU LADY?!

Rest assured that I not only write from experience but secondary experience i.e. shit my friends have been through. Mostly, I write from somewhere in between.

This is the in between.

Let’s discuss how it feels when you grow apart from someone you were once close to.

 

Best Friend Forever

Solid friendships usually develop during a major milestone in which two people prove they have a strong connection based on experiences and time. Those milestones could be college, working environments, or connecting over the guy who was cheating on you both (no judgement).

College roommate turned bestie.

Coworker turned confidant; connecting over your similar home life issues at work.

Enemy turned friend while eating a tub of rocky road and complaining how he ain’t shit.

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Friendships blossom spontaneously and they give you someone in this world who loves and understands you. That’s why it hurts when you grow apart. A rift turns into the grand canyon until one day you realize that you’ve truly lost your friend because so much time has passed and you don’t even know each other anymore.

 

What Happened?!

I don’t have all the answers on why people grow apart. I do know that people change. We play specific roles in different areas of our life and the lives of other people. So, maybe that person no longer has the traits or characteristics necessary to comfortably fill that role in your life. That “fun” friend may have become more responsible and serious since his girlfriend had the baby. The “understanding” friend may have backed away to tend to their own personal emotional issues. That best friend may have lost herself for a while and then found a new version of herself that doesn’t include you. OUCH.

That one stung.

 

I asked around to see the responses to “What is the hardest part when growing apart from someone you were once close to?” Here’s what I got…

 

“When something happens to you whether it’s amazing or sad and the first person you want to talk to is that person. Then you remember y’all aren’t close anymore.”

Truly being close to someone or calling them a friend means that you include them in the highlights of your life. They’re usually one of the first people who you trust with information or want to share an experience with. You seek their advice or opinion often and cherish feedback that they give you about your life. When you grow apart you lose all of that. More importantly, they lose it as well.

 

“Getting over the memories that like to replay themselves”

How many can relate to that 4 a.m. insomnia fest that brings up every memory, good and bad, about that lost friend or lover. Could it be the grease from that midnight pizza that’s causing this mental regurgitation or the unsettling feeling of never getting closure?

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“Trying not to blame yourself (when it’s not your fault)”

It’s not your fault and sometimes it’s not theirs either. Growing apart is usually a result of growth if there was no rift to act as a catalyst. Growth is a staple of life. Your friend may have just grown in another direction but whose to say that in one of your growth spurts you two won’t reconnect stronger than ever.

 

“It’s like a betrayal to the love you thought you had with that person because it couldn’t stand up against life or time”

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I have this guy bestie who lives on the other side of the country and has traveled the world. We go months without talking. But when we do it’s like no time at all has passed. It’s a very special connection that I hold dear to my heart but the truth is not every friendship is built that way. It can be hurtful once you come to this realization but does that mean the love you had with that person is weaker?

 

Tell me, what’s the hardest part for you when growing apart from someone you were once close to? Comment below and Let’s Talk.

 

#LetsBuild

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Friday Night and I feel alright ( it’s more like Saturday afternoon) and I’m getting cute because I’m preparing to go out on a date. I already know what I’m going to order at my favorite restaurant and that I can choose to see either the chick flick showing at 2:30 or the action movie showing at 3:15. Excitement mixed with feminine confidence pours over me when I get to the restaurant.  “How many?” the server asks me with a smile and I reply “One.” ☝🏾

Almost once every month I find the time to take myself on a date. I wear the outfit that’s been collecting dust in my closet, begging for a day out on the town. I obsessively snap pictures of myself to confirm how beautiful I look and feel. Some I post, most I delete after oogling at how pretty I am. Sometimes I even shut my phone off so that there’s no distractions to take my personal attention away from me. I usually do this either when I’m in a euphoric mood or when I’m a little down. Eating fajitas at San Jose while reading the Color Purple without having to explain or listen to anything other than “Would you like another tea?,” is both refreshing and empowering.

 

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This topic came about when talking to a group of my female friends about how we view and appreciate ourselves. I know that I’m weird but it still came as a shock to hear that some of my most flamboyant friends don’t take themselves out; let alone show appreciation to themselves. I asked why and the main answer was that they felt weird eating by themselves or going out alone.

Maybe it’s because they never had to or maybe there’s something more going on. When dating other people we often go all out. Whatever movie they want to see is fine. Whatever they want to eat is great. They’d rather do this than that, cool. We give so much attention, time and energy to other people but what about ourselves? Especially if you’re single. If you don’t do these things for you then who will?

Obviously I’m taking this beyond the scope of taking yourself out on a date and diving right into a discussion about seeing the value in yourself even when others don’t.

I always thought of myself as beautiful though I had been rarely called that in earlier years of my life. I had also saw myself as an amazing girlfriend or companion even though I had virtually nothing to show for it for years.

No confirmation for my self esteem mixed with situationships weighed on my self image like Rick Ross on a glass bathroom scale.( Pre weight loss.) If I’m really valuable and nobody sees it then am I still valuable? If a tree falls in a forest and there’s nobody around to hear, does it make a sound?

HELL. YES!

I started doing my dates to remind myself of this. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the guy at the concession stand or the server flirts with me because he thinks I’m cute. (bonus confidence boost and free popcorn!) Dating myself became a form of therapy that allowed me to dump everything out of my mind to celebrate myself in a way no one else was willing to.

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Now that I’m happily in a relationship that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped showing myself love. It’s my outlet for when everyone and everything is overwhelming or for when I’m just randomly feeling myself. The result is that by the end of my little soiree I feel appreciated, looked after and cared for. It doesn’t really matter that it all came from me.

Dating myself is just one way I choose to keep my spirits up. Instead of focusing on the fact that I don’t have someone with me, I celebrate the fact that I don’t have to share my kids movie box that only comes with a hand full of popcorn, one candy and a small drink. (No sip of my damn juice). Instead of being self-conscious about whose watching me eat I catch up on some reading or writing. Some girls go get their toes done, some guys take a midnight drive or zone out in 2K.

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Whatever you do, celebrating alone time with yourself as a choice and not a circumstance will help to increase your self image about what you want and deserve. I could sit at home sad that no one is in my life to watch Mean Girls with me OR I could get dolled up to go watch Fifty Shades Freed by my damn self.

I mean, because how can you expect others to value you if you don’t value you? or know what’s valuable about you because you never spent quality time with yourself? You want someone to appreciate you in the right way but how would you know if you don’t have a base line to go off of ? Now Tyrone gets points for the infamous Good Morning beautiful texts even though that’s all he does for you because you never told yourself you were beautiful.

You brought your girl, Ashley, Gucci, Louie and Chanel for Christmas and all she got you was a pack of socks. You’re unappreciated but you don’t know it because you never appreciated yourself.

OFF my high horse…

I’ve never had a problem being a loner. Socializing is harder for me than being out alone so that’s why it’s easy for me to have this particular outlet of appreciation. I get that most people would share the same concerns that my friends have but I honestly think that it’s worth a try. It’s liberating. You don’t have to go out on a Saturday with the Fast and the Furious 58 crowd. I like Sunday afternoons or Wednesdays. You don’t even have to take yourself on a date. The most important thing is finding a way to show yourself love because regardless of whether there’s a bae or not, you are definitely valuable. You just let yourself forget it. #LETSBUILD

🌯

 

 

So there I was. Knee deep in a situationship that lasted beyond its expiration date like Wal*mart brand milk. It was still good but not nearly as fresh. Half in love and more than half annoyed with myself. It wasn’t the first time I had found myself in this sort of a pickle; however, the realization that I not only wanted more but actually deserved it made it my last. Hopefully…

 
Still, there’s a distaste for how our generation (millennials) chose to date or situate ourselves around each other. Are situationships really innately bad or is there more to the story of the big bad wolf? One blog platform, Black women who blog, that I participate in simply asked the question, “Do you think it is harder to date as a millennial?” Naturally, my response was as follows:

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But then I started thinking…was I giving my lengthy trisks enough credit? Maybe there are some benefits to situationships.

I can hear the collective groan from all the natural hair sistas out there fed up with the young man bobbing and weaving in and out of your life like Floyd Mayweather in every fight ever. Just, hear me out.

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So many of us call ourselves the long-term relationship type without fully realizing that it requires full-time, long-term commitment to another person. We’re so focused on finding someone who’s  fully invested in us that we forget we’ll have to return an investment of our own. And sometimes that’s the issue. Had I been more committed to myself as a freshman in college then I would’ve never lost my life scholarship chasing after a forever with someone who wasn’t as committed.

We can all recite the host of benefits that comes from a healthy relationship with the right person.Yet, for the working young adult or college student there simply are some benefits to…well…friends with benefits. YES. I dared to say it. Don’t Hate me.

Parents and even older adults my age would love for me to sit up here and tell you the strong black female creed “Focus on yourself girl, don’t let these guys get what they want. It’s all about the money and school and blah, blah, blah”

Truth is whether you’re a female or a male there are basic needs that we usually address either in a relationship or through a situationship. There are other methods too but I’m not that bold to divulge into those. Moving on.

There is a reason why situationships have been on the rise. Yes it could be because everyone’s afraid to commit but maybe one word just sums it up. Convenient.

Having someone pop in and out of your life to make you feel special, service needs, and combat any loneliness you may feel, frees up time for you to focus on your goals without having to factor someone else into your plans.

It’s just convenient. Sad, but true. I’m willing to bet that at some point most people my age have found themselves in the same pickle.We can play victim or we can admit that it was often a two-way street especially when focusing on graduating, or getting that job or starting that business is time consuming.

The real issue with situationships seems to be that we don’t know when to throw that milk out. It spoiled a long time ago but somehow we let it sit in our fridge until December 30th when the expiration date was a month ago. Then we wonder what’s that smell.

Let me say right now I am definitely Team Relationship because I don’t want any backlash from people who think I should only be writing about low income struggles and how to help high school students. This blog also exists to discuss issues young adults face and this is one of them.

I wanted to write this post as an interesting twist on the point of view from situationships. I’m neither condoning nor condemning. Simply put, I hope to foster a healthy discussion about how we interact with one another in the dating process because from what I’ve seen situationships don’t usually led to relationships. So there must to be other mutual incentives that keeps both parties participating.

What do you guys think? Comment below to help me, help you, help us understand. #LetsBuild