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Photo Credit: Tim Bogdanov

I have always said that friendships should be just as important as any other relationship. There are many reasons that exist, but one to highlight, is that they are your chosen family. And as someone who considers himself very open, I am always willing to adopt more members into my family.

In other words, I am always receptive to making new friends.

And this is not an implication of something wrong with my close existing friends, it is just that I know I can grow more with new people entering my life, and I like to think they can grow from me.

My existing friends are most often than not usually there for me and willing to hear me. But, there is a complacency that creeps into every friendship. A slightly undetectable air of ‘okay-ness”. This is when you and your friends do not prioritize each other the way you used to, and when your conversations start to mirror those you have with casual acquaintances. There are fewer long talks, there are less meet-ups, and there are sporadic text conversations. And in each moment, there are logical reasons or excuses that explains the decrease. But, when you actually look back, and view these moments holistically, then you see what I mean by okay-ness.

There are sparks that can reignite the intimacy that occurs in friendships, such as traveling together, celebrations, and nostalgic situations. But, those are few and far between. And, instead of pressuring your friends for more engagement, seek engagements elsewhere.

Make new friends.

Not replacements. Not substitutes. But, additions. You can never have too many friends. And with more friends, there are more opportunities for growth and social engagement.

The only issue that can occur is whether those you would like to be close friends with are receptive as you are to forming such a bond.

Most often than not, you would likely get the response that they are receptive and open to becoming friends and getting to know you, and vice versa. But, action speaks louder than words.

There is a bit of tribalism within friendships, at which people are not as open to embracing and inviting someone into their circle. The concept of NNP (No New People) permeates friendships in modern society. It is unfortunate, because these people rob themselves of a growing opportunity and potential loyalty that comes from forming new bonds.

But people like me, can only do our part. We can initiate quality time, we can reach out often, and we can self-disclose. But the other, may not initiate conversation or quality time. They don’t plan an opportunity to get to know you. They are not there for you.

It is difficult to access, because we often project our expectations on to someone who were trying to form a close-knit friendship with, but at the minimum that person should be expressing to you that they want to spend time with you, that they want to get to know you.

If that does not occur, is it really a friendship?

Personally, I’m starting to believe it is not a friendship. It is something we want, but it is not something we receive.

So, what is to be done? Do we forgo any progress we have made with that relationship? Do we just accept the fact that we would always have to initiate?

It is something to chew on, and hard to come to terms with.

But, I like to think that you can only do what you can, and if that person is not interested in forming the kind of friendship you would like, then move on.

Find someone else.

There would be someone who will accept your olive branch. There is someone that would think of you often and reach out. There is someone that is willing to accept you.

Because if we settle for complacency or are not accepted in their circle, then we are pretty much Alone In A Friendship.

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