BFF, Buddy or NOT - Part 2
In fitness training, activity and physical challenges teach the muscles how to move and react. They become accustomed to working a particular way and they grow stronger. Likewise, every friendship has its own "muscle memory" associated with the types and patterns of activity in the relationship. If friends are unable to maintain some sort of regular sustaining connection, the friendship muscles will weaken, increasing the likelihood that the friendship will lose its intensity and importance. Determine whether there is anything you can and are willing to do to strengthen the routine of your friendship. But, if you feel as if you're doing all of the "heavy lifting" in the friendship, resentment will grow. If so, you may want to back off.
Address What You Can
Most of us find it difficult to tell a friend that he or she has disappointed us. The process everyone goes through before deciding to speak up is specific to the type, duration and other circumstances of the relationship. Decide for yourself what constitute the "deal breakers" in the friendship and consider addressing them with your friend. Communicating your concerns may open the possibility for change in the relationship.
Accept That Not Everyone Can Be Your Best Buddy or BFF
If you don't want to confront your friend, then you might want to consider these two options:
Change your expectations and accept what your friend has the capacity to give you. You may want your friend to be someone you can talk to every week, but maybe this person only has the interest or ability to connect once a month. By accepting that all of your expectations cannot be met and understanding what your friend does have the capacity to give you, you can focus on enjoying the best parts of the friendship, thus lessening your sense of frustration with the parts of the friendship that don't meet with your ideal expectations. The friendship will have some benefit, although you may not accord it the same status as other friend relationships where you get more of your needs met.
Let the friendship go altogether. Situations change, as do people's needs and abilities to participate in relationships. Sometimes there simply isn't enough energy or connective tissue left to sustain an ongoing friendship. The time and effort spent being upset about a current friendship could be directed toward other more enriching activities . . . including developing new friendships.
See the related post, BFF, Buddy or NOT - Part 1