Can we make a pledge to start lifting each other up and stop being jealous of our friends? Can we stop associating the success and blessings of our friends with our missed opportunities? Can we accept that we each have our moment to shine? Celebrating our friends doesn’t mean we’ve lost our moment of celebration. A friend getting promoted doesn’t equal “no promotion for Jackie.” A friend getting married doesn’t mean I will never get married. A friend buying a new car doesn’t mean I won’t ever get an upgrade. The concept of losing friends in the good times has boggled my mind. I don’t get it, I don’t understand the struggle.
Why is it hard to find honest girlfriends? Overall I get the idea, not everyone we care about means or wants the best for us. Sometimes when we are blessed or have moments of celebration, our friends, who may not be on the same page of happiness, look at us enviously or resentfully. Why do friendships have to go completely sour because not both gal pals are having their “success moment?”
For a few years, I was single and my closest girlfriends were happily married. I admired their family structures. I celebrated what they had! I told my friends and myself that one day, God willing, I would have similar blessings. I never once thought the friendships should end because they were married with children and I wasn’t. I didn’t cringe whenever my girlfriends came to me with romantic anniversary stories. I didn’t make the situation awkward when I was invited over to hang out with them and I was the “third wheel.” I didn’t try to make a big deal when I was invited over and instead of having girl time we hung out with the family. I didn’t look up to God angrily asking him why my friends were blessed in the love department and I wasn’t. I did ask God how much longer I would have to wait for my heart’s desire to come true, but not once did I wish for my love life to prosper at the expense of my friend’s happiness. I never stopped talking to them because I couldn’t hear how great things were going for them. I’m not going to say at times I didn’t find myself lonely, but I didn’t tempt them to go out and act single with me at the expense of upsetting their spouses.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the same luck. It’s been a misery loves company kind of thing where I’m expected to join them on their rebellious escapade despite me being in a relationship, and despite it being disrespectful that I join them in acting like a single lady to support these so-called friendships. It’s just not the kind of environment I want. I don’t want to bring doubt or worry into my relationship for the sake of hanging out with a friend. Quite frankly, I don’t want a friend who is willing to put me in that situation or worse a friend who is not understanding when I’m honest about my concerns.
I’ve had a few friendships where I’ve considered these girlfriends family. Sadly, when it was time for them to celebrate my happy moments I was left standing solo (except for the friends mentioned above, they’re awesome!). I bonded with these women. I thought they were going to were my soul sisters. I let them into my personal life, no boundaries, no filter, and revealed my true self to them. Later on, I was saddened when I realized they looked at me resentfully when I hit milestones.
It’s hurtful. I accept that we are human and imperfect. I forgive because I don’t want to hold any hate or pain in my heart. I pray for them and wish them well, but I don’t have to let them into my personal life anymore. It’s ok to let them go. At first, I thought it was about me, now I realize it’s about them. Now I’m fine they’re gone. I’m happy I know who my true friends are, those that love me at all seasons of my life. When these old friends come around I don’t feel the need to hold on to them anymore. I don’t judge them for their decisions towards our friendship, I understand they were looking out for their happiness. However, I have the bad habit of making sacrifices for friends at the expense of peace in my home life or relationship because I try to be that “good friend.” Life’s lessons have taught me that my home life comes first. When all is said and done everyone goes on with their lives and I will be the one that will have to face a crushed dream if I damage my relationship by defending something or someone that I know isn’t a positive influence. It took me a long time to understand and believe this, but I actually bask in pride knowing that I put my fiancé first, and that’s how I intend to live the rest of my life.
Why does this happen? Why are people threatened by the success of their friends? I have a handful of girlfriends that I don’t talk to every day, but I know they’ll be there in a heartbeat should I need them. I’ve always wished to have that sisterly, let’s talk every day, raise our kids together friendship, but those don’t seem to work. I think those friendships are in the infatuation stage of relationships. At the beginning, everything sparkles and we don’t see the flaws of the other person. We get excited. We’ve finally found our BFF/soul sister! We can’t wait to create memories together, go on family trips, have the hubbies bond, the kids play, and do all the girl stuff together like nails, shopping, chick flick movies. We finally found a “true, honest, no bs friend.” With time we are taken aback when there’s silence on the other end of the line as we exclaim that something great happened – a promotion or a milestone. It’s taken my breath away that I’m the only one celebrating! These friends will literally disappear during these happy moments!! Canceled dinners or dry faces when it’s time to celebrate our moment. They won’t ask for all the details like they normally do and they’ll make a silent exit without the big tight hugs we are used to.
People say the bad times reveal who your true friends are. This is true, however, my experience has shown me that we realize who our true friends are when we experience blessings. Not everyone has the stomach to stand next to us and celebrate. I don’t mean a little “congrats” or giving us a toast, I mean really celebrate with us. Feel the joy and exclaim in excitement with us! Sometimes I’ve felt guilty about sharing the good news. I want her to have her moment, but does that mean never having mine?
I would love to say that good, honest, friendships don’t exist for women, but that would be discrediting to the friendships I’ve had for over 8 years (one for 15 years). I have to make an effort to check-in and keep in touch with these friends, so do they, but once we are together it’s as if no time has passed by. On social media, I see pictures of women with their BFFs and I wonder what their structure is. How many of these friends are TRUE friends? How often do they communicate to maintain the friendship bond? Do they secretly wish for what the other has? Reflecting on the number of so-called BFFs/soul sisters I’ve gone through I have a growing desire to embrace my long-term friendships, even if we don’t communicate as often as my soul desires. Maybe this is how it’s supposed to be. Maybe this is a better set-up than this sisterly style friendships. Maybe I haven’t come across my forever sister/friend yet. I waited this long to find the love of my life and he was definitely worth the wait. Maybe some people aren’t meant to have these type of friendships or at this time God is calling me to focus on my daughter who is growing by the minute and establishing a home with my fiance after the wedding. Perhaps that sort of friendship will distract me from my real ministry, our family life. I’m in no rush. I’d prefer this than the alternative, letting someone into my circle that will hurt me or my family.
A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:6
Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33