We Can’t Be Friends Because…

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”” 

C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

Being friends with me is relatively easy. Look safe, make eye contact, smile, say hi… Or maybe I’d do all of those first and all you’ll have to do is just say hi back. Easy-peasy.

You see, making friends is a no-brainer. It all gets complicated from there though, since keeping the friendship going is the hard part.

There’s the typical hi-hello people who’ll be your friend only when you see each other across the hallway and both of you are obliged by society to be “friends” just because you’re in the same company/school/organization. You’d have to have had one good conversation for this person to be considered a friend. After a once in a blue moon small talk, you’d probably say “let’s do this again sometime” or “let’s hang out more often!” but for some reasons, the universe won’t allow for those to happen and he/she just can’t fall under the “hangout friends” category.

Speaking of which, we all have those friends whom we hang out with on a more regular basis. These are the friends we can gossip, joke around, have lunch and even have a drink or two with after a stressful day in the office/at school. We can rant in their presence because they relate to us very well, particularly with school/work and the occasional love bug, but matters of deeper thought would be reserved for the next category of friends.

Friendship tested by time and/or distance may be stronger than most type of friendship. It  would be less vulnerable yet when it crumbles, the damage would be as if a vase dropped from a high point and crashed to pieces. Irreparable in seconds. it would hurt the most. We hold on to these friends because they hold pieces of us that connects our past to our present, and even our future. They remind us of who we were and who we want to become. They are the most precious of all friends because they would stand by us no matter what, through thick and thin.

…so why can’t we be friends?

We can’t be friends because just saying hi and hello when I’m craving for the company of a decent human being is more exhausting than simply not trying to befriend you.

We can’t be friends because it gets tiring to keep asking for hangouts when clearly you’ve found other people to hang out with. We’ve set coffee dates and catching ups over lunch, yet you’ve managed to ditch me and say “I’ll make it up to you next time,” and you never did. You really didn’t have to. All I wanted was for us to share a few minutes, maybe an hour, just to keep my sanity because sometimes simply seeing a good friend is more than enough to turn a bad day around. And I do miss you.

We can’t be friends because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to be a good friend to you.  We continuously grow as a person and I don’t know if we’d be able to handle that. We may be crass at times and our friendship may cause us to be a little too comfortable that might cause us to forget to choose our words… We might hurt each other at times without knowing it. We may even dislike each other at times, and we wouldn’t know how to deal with that.

Once friendship turns sour, it takes a lot of effort from — take note — BOTH parties for things to get patched up. Sometimes things do get better… sometimes they don’t.

One thing’s for sure: we can be friends because we’re willing to try to be friends AND stay friends.

My friendship with you is one of the best things I’m holding on to. And I’ll try my best to be your friend… I’ll keep on trying… but please don’t walk away like you didn’t enjoy the time we shared together. Please make time. And remind me to make time for you too if I become too involved with the going-ons in my life.

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” 

Jon Katz

Written in response to Daily Prompt: Why Can’t We Be Friends?


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