Making Time

Yesterday on Black 'N Bougie, OneChele wrote a post about doing the relationship juggle. That is trying to find time for your girls (or boys) once you're in a serious and committed relationship. We all have things going on aside from relationship building -- work, volunteer activities, family -- so trying to find time for your folks when you're also making time to get to know someone on a significantly more (or maybe different) intimate level is really hard.

After reading through all of the comments and leaving my own, I really started to think a little bit harder about the friend I'm taking a break from. I said in my post on it that I"m not sure if I'm hating on her relationship and choosing to pretend that we're "in different places" or if we really are just in different places (and maybe her relationship is proof of that).

It also got me to thinking about my previously expressed opinions on friends that go months without speaking and then claim to "pick up right where they left off..."

And finally I had to think a little bit harder about what is really happening when a friend feels ditched because her girl got a man.

First off, I do need a break from my friend. Whether I'm hating or not, I clearly need to just take some time. I do feel ignored and taken for granted by her and I'm struggling with what it says that I haven't just called her to talk about it. Truth is, she's not doing too much differently than before she was in a relationship, she just has a good excuse now (and or an extra somebody in tow when I want to just hang out with her). I don't think I'm hating or being jealous, just honest, at least with myself (and only myself) about more of my friendships and what's really going on.

I've changed my mind about this general disbelief that you can go periods of time without talking to someone you're close to and then think everything starts right back up where you left off. Even when I wrote all that, I was doing the very same thing with my BFF. We don't talk every day, our schedules just won't allow it but when we do, it's like we just spoke yesterday and we do drive by texts and HeyTells and even fb messages occasionally. I think what I was really thinking about are the people who use that rule of thumb to be a bad friend. It's one thing to just have a lot on your plate, it's another to choose not to nurture a friendship because you take for granted that it will always be there. And only the two people in a friendship know which one it is so I can't really call bullshiggity on any of 'em except the ones I'm in.

The big one here is the relationship vs relationship piece. I think that both sides of the equation -- when an individual is feeling ditched for a new beau and when someone has a new beau and spends less time with their friend(s) -- spend a lot of time playing victim instead of remembering what it was like for them and/or trying to put themselves in the other person's shoes.

If we're honest about it, being in a new relationship is a lot of fun. It's new, for heavens sake and we all like new. It's not fair to expect your friend to have the option of spending mroe time with this new person in their life and not take it. Especially when you consider that we expect to, in just a few months, have a similar level of trust and connectedness with a s/o that we do with some of our oldest and closest friends (similar, not the same). That stuff takes time and energy and when you're trying to make it work long term, you just don't have extra to give out.

But on the flip side, after a certain age you know that s/os come and go. And it's hard to relinquish a prime spot to someone who might not be around in 3 months. Not to mention it's one thing to not see your friend as much as you used to and something completely different not to see them at all. That can be hard -- we rely on our good friends for support and what do you do when one is MIA.

Now if we're honest, we also have to admit that some people are just going to want the world. They're going to be the ones who think it's ok to not call you for 6 months and then pop up because the new boo is now the new ex. And you're going to have some people who think the whole world should revolve around them regardless of other people's lives. Those folks don't deserve true friends if you ask me and if you got one of those or are one, that's not ok. Change. That is unless, of course, the consequences are ok with you.

I just wonder. Is it so hard to let your friend have her booski? Is it so hard to let her be happy and work on her relationship? I also wonder if it's so hard to let your friends know that you still care about them, they still matter to you and you're still willing to give up a night to chill with them even though you have a new boothang (and might even lowkey rather be with them...)? A little compromise never hurt nobody, right? I can say that one thing I know is that when I've given my friends space to cultivate their new relationship, in a lot of cases, I've found that they didn't disappear on me. On the flip side, when I'm tied up in something important to me (as of late that's school) I'm more inclined to make time for the folks who give me breathing room and less inclined to have anything to do with folks who are always in my (enter communication method) whining about not seeing me. That's sweet the first time, cute the 2nd and irritating as hell every other time after that.

Just thinking out loud here, folks. It's a navigable situation, I believe, as long as both sides are willing to work it out.

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