Yesterday, a dear friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) was plagued with a dilemma: her friends of many years decided (or demanded) that she spend more time with them. They were particularly annoyed that she was hanging out with her boyfriend in lieu of hanging out with them. My friend does her best to juggle school, extra circulars, college woes, her relationship and her friendships but, really, a girl can only do so much. Where as these girl’s definition of a good time is to party and drink, my friend is happier with a more low key evening, snuggling on the couch in sweat pants and watching a movie with her bf. She loves her friends dearly, however in a way has outgrown them. Which for me begs the question: why can’t you dump friends like you can boyfriends?
With boyfriends, once they start to piss you off, in whatever which way, you have the option to dump their sorry ass and exile them from your life. Dumping friends, however, is a much stickier situation. You must wade through the relationship, waist deep in drama and annoyance, until the day you joyously (and purposefully) loose touch or move far away. It would save a lot of time and money to simple be able to say “I think we should see other people.” Friendship, however, does not work like that. I tried to “dump” a “friend” once, after months of turbulence– it blew up in my face and I still feel badly about the way I treated her. She was, however, a horrible friend. She was not supportive, self centered and had a penchant for telling stories that in no way could be true. When a partner treats you badly, you dump them; when a friend treats you badly you should have the same right. Yes, it’s hurtful and they won’t be happy with it, but overall if it’s not a healthy friendship then it’s for the better, right? There are good ways to dump someone and bad ways to dump someone but no matter how you do it, the other person will end up hurt and angry.
My sensibilities say that personal health trumps all. When it comes right down to it, this isn’t about them, this is about you and what you need to be happy. That may be selfish but life is too short to deal with a draining relationship. Right?
But as I proof read my bold statements and confident words, a wave of exasperation sweeps over me because I know that nothing is as clear cut as it unfolds in my pretty head. Friendships are complicated buggers and people tend to be dramatic. Sometimes moving to Australia doesn’t seem like such a bad choice. Kangaroos can’t possibly be this complex.