Monday, April 11, 2011

The Friendship/ Marriage Conundrum

This post has the potential to be really profound - or to be a random spewing of all my recent frustrations.

What my best hope is that it will at the very least fall somewhere in the middle and allow me to make a point while still getting my thoughts out and venting some frustration.

Here goes nothing.

I am the type of girl who prefers a small group of close friends to a large group of mediocre friends. I didn't think that I was that way until recently- probably around the time of my bridal showers. When I looked around and realized- the crowd wasn't huge but the people who were there were people who all had profound meaning in my life.
Around that time I also realized that I wanted to "let go" of the other friends.
You know the ones; the ones that text you last minute as an after thought to join this or that. The ones who may or may not show up for your birthday party. The ones that you enjoy when your around but realize you have nothing to talk about one-on-one.
I'm not saying I de-friended those people on Facebook or took their numbers out of my phone- I just decided it was more effort to try to keep them around on a regular basis than to just let them fall away- and apparently that was mutual b/c they haven't been blowing my phone up either. I decided it was better this way - to focus on my close friends.

I realized this past weekend that I am also the type of person that gets REALLY close to one person for a span of time over all the others. More often than not- this person is experiencing the same life things that I am.

-Early in college it was Julie. Newly single (as was I) ready to party. That lasted about 6 months before she started seriously dating someone and gradually put me on the back burner rarely to text, call, or anything. Then she got pregnant and has only recently attempted to reconnect somewhat (the baby is on her way to 3 years old)
-Then it was Rachel we were together non stop for one summer then she went back to Columbus to school and she never really came back home to stay.Now she's in Louisiana.
-Mid way through college it was Jessica. Also a theater major, in some of the same classes, liked to drink and was always up for an adventure. Then we graduated and Jessica moved away to Arizona for grad school. Then California.
-Megan has always been a constant we were most recently the closest during her wedding planning days- but after the big day she became a home body, got pregnant relatively quickly, is now basking in the joys of new motherhood.
- Most recently its been Emily. Both love to travel, interested in fashion and fitness/healthy lifestyles but like the other can guess how this turns out- she experiences some major life change and suddenly I hit back burner or fall off the face of the planet in her world period.

We had a huge fight this weekend about why dating someone new means never contacting your best friend at all - anymore - ever. Wine was involved so its sort of blurry. But my interpretation of her response was; "You're married you have a life, I need to create a life for myself / life isn't like Sex & The City Amber - some friends only see each other once a year."

I have a lot of snarky comments to those things but I'm not going to get into that now.

Upon reflection my thoughts at first were this: why is it that my life has progressed- I graduated college, got a great job, got married -but still have not ever found a reason or WANT to leave my friends behind- not in the physical sense but in the emotional sense. Why is it that my friendship is so unimportant to these people that I am so easy to "forget" about?

After some further reflections though my thoughts became a bit darker: why is it exactly that my focus HASN'T changed? As a new(ish) married woman why DON'T I want to spend every free moment with my husband? Why would I rather plan trips with my girlfriends than my husband? Why am I NOT thinking of a baby? Why am I NOT planning date nights with Ben instead of wine nights with friends?

Am I REALLY good at friendship and REALLY bad at marriage?

I consider Ben to be my best friend yet find that we have very little in common when it comes to activities. I like to be outside and active. He likes computers. I like to shop. He hates it. I love the beach. He hates the sand and the smell (what smell?!?!). I do consider us to be compatible we have similar values and views of the world but when it comes to spending time together we prefer to do different things.

Is that bad?

I feel confident enough in my marriage to leave it for a night with friends or a trip to Miami with the girls. I think that's healthy. What I'm concerned about now though is what do I do now that all my friends are involved in their life changes and I'm still here wanting to have with them what we've always had?

If you don't enjoy the same activities as your spouse and aren't ready for a baby and aren't planning to move or change careers anytime soon- what do you do next?

Mrs. Amber Lane

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Hi there!

I love your blog! I just wanted to say I TOTALLY relate to your post in terms of friendship with the girls - I've kind of learned that you'll have close friends in each stage of your life and you'll keep some from each stage and lose others. I think it largely has to do with having something in common with someone if you are the same "life stage". I do agree though that just because someone is dating someone new they don't have to give up friends. And they DON'T have to see each other only once a year! I've also found that friendship takes a lot of work - on both ends so I've tried to get better about calling/keeping in touch. But keep your head up - you sound like a great girl who deserves great friends!!