I know we all have them. Those “friends” that are only friends when it is convenient. The ones that you think you are friends with, but find out that’s not really the case. Sometimes this is a person who you tend to invite to many things, but they don’t invite you back. Or they talk about doing things together, but then never call you when it’s time to do that. Or the friend who only calls you when they need something from you, but that’s it.
I’ve had quite a few convenient friends in my life. And it hurts when I realize that’s all I am to them. For me, it tends to be people that I think are good friends. I think we have a real friendship going. I invite them to many things and often. But it isn’t reciprocated. I end up being the one who feels left out. It’s made me insecure when I meet new people. I trust too easily and trust that people I meet will be good friends. Then it happens, I start getting skipped on invites to places more and more often. I don’t know what I do. I don’t know why this happens. But it hurts. It hurts to realize that people you would consider a good friend only think of you as “so-and-so’s friend” or just “my neighbor”.
Maybe I try to hard? Maybe not enough? I feel like I have pretty good kids, so I don’t think that’s the problem. Then again, a friendship shouldn’t be about having to try, it should be easy, you shouldn’t have to think about it. So maybe that’s what needs to be the judge of a “good friend”, someone you don’t feel like it’s work to be friends with them. I’ve had those friends too, the ones that the friendship always feels like work. At that point, it isn’t fun anymore.
I have a few friends who I know are my true friends. The ones that have been there for me since I have met them and the ones I know always will be there. Some of these friends I have known my entire life, some of them I’ve met recently. But they are the ones I know will stick around. The ones who won’t leave me out. The ones I can call when I need to laugh or to cry and they will listen to it all.
Yes, it was much easier when we were in high school and our biggest worry was about that big test coming up, or paper/project that was due next week, and of course things like when the next football game is or if your crush will ask you to the dance. I had a lot more friends in high school. But that was 10 years ago now. We’ve all moved on. Some of us have physically moved out of town, out of state, across the country. Our lives are all very different now. I am married and have two children, some people I know are still single and loving it. Those days were easy to make friends.
As a stay-at-home mom, it is much harder now to make friends. I don’t go out very often. We don’t have an opportunity to meet people. Don’t get me wrong, I love staying home with my boys, but I would also love some adult interaction sometimes. There are days I am jealous that my husband gets to go to work. Yes, he misses out on some of the funny and lovely moments with the boys, but he gets to talk to adults about real things, not a toddler who argues with you on whether we should watch Daniel Tiger or Dinotrux!
If you find a great friend, maybe find your mom BFF, I hope it sticks. I hope you don’t just become the convenient friend. I haven’t found my mom BFF yet, and maybe once my boys are in school I will. Then again, once they are in school I will probably try to start working part-time again and will have real adult conversation back.