A great lunch date or conversation over cocktails is good for the soul. Recently I enjoyed lunch with a dear friend, something she and I do several times a year to catch up and stay connected. Our lunches are marked by lots of laughter and a plentiful exchange of free, good advice. By the end of the hour, we are fortified and ready to face the world, wiser and happier because of the time we spent together.
During our latest lunch, my companion asked what I knew from a mutual friend who now lives in another city. I reported that I hear very little from our friend anymore. As we were discussing our absent friend, we both acknowledged a hurt that accompanies an unrequited friendship, especially when you were once close.
A one-sided friendship limps along until it can no longer stand. If you value the person and want them in your life, let them know it.
The truth is, however, friendships ebb, flow, evolve. A friend during a time in your life may transition into an old friend whom you adore running into at the mall, but you are content not to see too often. Inevitably, the farewell greeting of “let’s get together” is just something to say. The intention to follow up on the hanging invitation fades faster than a spray-on suntan. It’s nothing personal—you’ve both moved on.
Some people, such as my role model lunch companion, have a particular knack for cultivating and keeping friends, while others seem quite content as loners. But whether you have many friends or a few, friendships add value, dimension, and joy to our lives. Friendships are deserving of our attention.
If you are feeling anything less than positive about a current friendship, then take action! Embrace the opportunity to make the relationship more fulfilling for all involved.
1 – Throw the ball back. There is a certain amount of give and take in a healthy friendship. When the ball is in your court and it is your turn to reach out to someone, just do it. A one-sided friendship limps along until it can no longer stand. If you value the person and want them in your life, let them know it.
2 – She’s just not that into you. Akin to the above. If you are always throwing the ball and never get a response, it may be time to admit that dog won’t hunt. Move on. No need to announce you are dropping them off your Rolodex, but you have something valuable to offer. Stop wasting time on someone who doesn’t appreciate just how fabulous you are.
3 – Be the friend that you would like to have in your life. Be present when needed and also just for fun. Share some laughs and accept a few tears on your shoulder now and again. Honesty is expected, yet always be kind. Oscar Wilde summed it up well: “A true friend stabs you in the front.” So, if you have to get the knife out, remember to be gentle.
I’m here if you need me. Until then, y’all behave.