Sis, yep. Hi. I know why you’re here.
I am also alone on a Friday night, eating ice cream, and watching the 3rd Hallmark movie with a crazy line up of the Bachelor and Mind Hunter lined up for this weekend.
I also just scrolled through IG and stumbled upon my friend group gathering…without me. It probably wasn’t intentional, but right now…I feel totally left out and purposely not included. And why the heck are friendships so hard? AH!!?!?
As a big lover of Jesus, I think a miracle often overlooked is that he was early 30s and had 12 really close friends. Because I’m 28 and have like 3 and ‘close’ is up for debate.
So why is it so hard? What is up with the world? Why is the suicide rate so high and everyone so dang lonely? Why are friend dates more anxiety-filled than the real ones?
- We are finding connection through this shiny little screen filled with instant gratification. We have replaced real friendships with ‘likes’ and ‘memes’ and yet we are still sitting alone on the weekend, wondering what everyone else is doing
- Everyone is in a different stage right now. I have some friends who have almost been married for a decade, with two kids. I have other friends serial dating and changing jobs as if they were clothes in a target dressing room…and there’s me, no marriage, no kids, solid business, and lots of wine.
- Vulnerability is hard. It’s hard to admit we are wrong. It’s hard to be emotionally naked and exposed, just to have someone hurt you again. So, we are walking around in halfway friendships because we are terrified of getting hurt again.
- Some friends are totally for certain things. You have your friend you confide in. You have a friend you go out with. You have a friend you reconnect with once a year. You have the friend who prays for you and encourages you to be your best. You have your friend that you dance with in the car. You have the friend who brings you soup when you’re sick. You have the friend who will go to bat for you. You have the friend who you drink with. And you have the friend that’s like a sister. They are all valuable. They are all needed. And sometimes, we have a hard time wrapping our head around the fact that our drinking friend isn’t our secret-keeping friend. And our sister friend is probably going to hurt us at some point. Remember, every business has a role, and so does every frienship. You can’t expect every person to fulfill every job in your life. Give them some grace and appreciate them for what they are.
- We lack discipline. I am so dang tired. I am also what you call the ‘excited canceler’. As an extroverted-introvert, I love nothing more than to resort to a quiet night of reading and snacking and movies. BUT we need fellowship and I find that after too long away from girlfriends, my soul is practically begging for a girls’ trip, too.
So, what can we do about it?
- Be the initiator: I know. I’m always that person too and sometimes, don’t you wish someone else would reach out to you? Oh well…reach out to your friend and tell her you’re thinking about her. Show up with a bottle of your favorite wine and laugh it up with your best friend. Invite your group out for a fun, local event. Or even better, schedule lunch. You have nothing to lose by initiating and everything to gain by investing in the women who are also doing this thing called life alongside you.
- Meet new people: I know. I know. I’m the worst. First, I give you more work and now, I’m telling you to go network and meet new people. Just. Do. It. You have no idea… some girl might need you and your friend group right now.
- Pray: I have found in my quiet times with God, I will pray for God to give me a friend during a certain season I’m missing another friend and He always provides…even if she’s only there for a little while.
- Be the friend you want: We love to hate on our friends, but I’ll be the first to admit I can be a super flaky friend. And that sucks, because I hate it when someone is that way with me. So, let’s challenge ourselves to be better friends to the people we do have and text first, schedule the dinner first, remind her again (because you know she will forget or flake out), and if all else fails, bring the party (or take out and Netflix binge) to her.
Everything in life requires effort and while finding a job is hard, finding people that want to ride out life with you is even tougher. So, appreciate the people you do have and search to fill your life with more of the people you know you need. Sometimes, all it takes is showing up and loving your people hard. Plus, life is too short to go too long without a girls’ trip.