Closed to New Friendships
When we were young, we didn’t have to force friendships. It was an easy and fun process. Children start playing with toys together and are instantly friends. Children bond over toys, food and activities. I remember many times that my kids would tell me they had a new friend. They would point over at someone but when I asked what their new friend’s name was, they told me that they didn’t know. I truly miss these simpler times. Finding a new friend as a thirty year old woman is a very terrifying adventure. It would have been so much easier if there had been a store front where I could purchase a new friend or a place where I could fill out an application for a bestie.
My one and only best friend moved back home to Utah to help care for her sick father about ten years ago. Even though she lives states away, she will always be my closest friend and confidant. I love her like a sister and I am lucky to know that she is only a phone call away when I need her. Even though I knew she would always be there for me, I started to long for a friend that was close by and more available to share in my life. I decided after years without my best friend right by my side, that it might be time to invest my time into looking for a new friend. Looking for a new friend felt like reentering the dating scene. It was really hard to put myself out there because I was so afraid of being rejected. In my younger years, friendship came easier and more natural.
I didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard or end up looking like a fool. I didn’t want to make it look too obvious that I was on a search for a new person to call my friend. Everywhere I went, I was on the lookout for a woman around my age that had a great personality and that had a sense of humor. I stayed alert during my trips to the grocery store, at church and while I was out paying bills. There was one place that I wasn’t really looking. I didn’t like my neighbors and wasn’t interested in getting to know them. Everyday I walked across the street and had to wait for my daughter to get off the school bus. A couple ladies at the bus stop had tried to speak to me but I wasn’t having it. Today I decided it had to be different. I actually had to put forth some effort and give a new friendship a chance. Today I decided not to greet them with my rude mumble response or my usual eye roll. I put in a tiny bit of effort at the bus stop but nobody stood out to me until my daughter got off the bus. She was giggling and talking to two girls. They lived right across from us so we all walked together. As we got next to our building, the girls mom asked if we would like to play outside together. We instantly clicked and began to hang out every single day together. Usually we would sit on our apartment steps and watch our girls all play outside together. We did almost everything together. We went shopping together, went out to eat lunch together and would prepare big family dinners together. While the girls played, we would sit and talk for hours.
I overlooked a ton of warning signs when it came to my bestie. I thought of her as a strong, independent and confident woman. Near the end of our friendship I realized she was not any of these things. Realizing that not everyone’s heart is as pure as mine was the hardest thing about ending my friendship for good. She made it very obvious that she would not do the same things for me that I was willing to do for her. For most of my life, I believed in second, third and even fourth chances. It’s funny how one female can change all that for good. At first, I didn’t see anything wrong with the fact that my bestie wanted to be friendly with my “associates” or with my guy friends. This quickly started to irritate me but when I mentioned it, she laughed it off. When I really cared for a guy, somehow mysteriously, he would have her phone number. We stopped talking for many months and ran into each other again. We took up right where we left off but it didn’t last long. Once again, my boyfriend ended up on her Facebook page. I have not talked to her since that day. Not many women are supportive and uplifting of other queens. I gave the friendship thing a chance but I don’t want to be hurt again. I can never truly trust another woman with all my secrets again. I have decided that the search for a new friend is not something I want to enter into ever again.