If there’s one lesson I’ve not just learned, but lived, it’s that in any relationship, whether it’s that of romance or friendship or even acquaintance, there has to be mutual affection. Not just two people who care about each other, but two people who care about each other to the same degree.
And then in addition to this, the two people in this relationship should have the same amount of desire to spend time with one another, be it via letters, conversation, one-on-one time, whatever. It’s tricky to balance. All too often there is an imbalance in mutual affection or desire for the other person’s time. I’ve been on both sides of this, and admittedly, being the person with more affection or the person wishing for more time spent are the suckier of the positions to be in.
That said, I make it a point to gauge my personal relationships from time to time to make sure there are no imbalances in either direction. If there are, and I’m in the position of being the less affectionate or the one not wanting to spend time with the other person, I do one of two things: I let that person go as a friend, or if I find the friend worth keeping I make it a point to spend more time with said friend. Because that’s what a good friend does, affectionate or not. That’s what a decent person does.
It takes a certain amount of talent to be a good friend, so if you’re one of those friend collectors (you know who you are–you have a thousand friends and no time for any of them), you’re doing it wrong. Friendship isn’t about knowing as many people as possible. You might be charming and fun, and you may love people, but you have the same number of hours in the day as anyone else, and I don’t care who you are, you don’t have time for hundreds of friends, unless those people are all acquaintances who don’t want your time any more than you want theirs. And if that’s the case, why persist in even being that?
You might as well know that I deal in quality in my friendships, not quantity. I make sure that I make enough time, whether it’s a phone call once a month for my less strong friendships, or once a year for my mutual acquaintances, or every day for the people I love the most–I will make sure my friends and acquaintances have enough of my time. I expect the same in return. If you’re running around haphazardly making “friends” left and right and not bothering with half of them after you’ve done so you clearly have no idea how to be a good friend.
I’m gauging a lot of my friendships and am finding myself in the position of being the more affectionate or the one wishing for more time. It’s not enough to have that affection returned–I’ve not just learned it the hard way, I’ve lived it the hard way. I’ll be making some changes in my life shortly. If you don’t hear from me again, you’re one of them.