A strong friendship takes a significant amount of time to develop. It will not just magically mature overnight. A friendship involves committing one’s self to help another whenever a need arises. A real friend will listen and offer advice during hard times, but it takes effort to keep this kind of friendship strong. I believe that nothing can replace a true friend, not material objects, or money, and definitely not a boy.
I met this guy a couple summers ago who I ended up spending almost all of my free time with. His parents did not approve of our dating because of our age difference, but we did anyways. He had told me the day we met that he had joined the air force and would leave for overseas that coming October. I never thought our relationship would escalate and last that long, so it did not really have an affect on my decision to see him. After three months had past, the time came when he had to leave to. By this time, he meant everything to me, and his leaving left me feeling completely alone.
I turned to my friends for support, but to my surprise, they did not really care. I had spent so much time with this guy and so little time with them, that they did not feel sorry for me when he left. I became overwhelmed with misery with no friends in my life and my boyfriend half way around the world. I felt utterly alone and helpless. For so long they had become the only constant in my life, and I had taken them for granted over something I could not guarantee would even last.
When my boyfriend came back, our relationship had changed. No longer did I spend all my time with him, but instead, I tried to fix all the aspects in my life that had gone so wrong in the previous six months. We ended up breaking up within three weeks of his return, and because of our relationship, I had lost everything that held some semblance of importance in my life. Deserting my friends because of him gave me the worst feeling I have ever had. A feeling I never want to become familiar with ever again.
This experience taught me that true friendships will only survive if one puts forth effort to make them last. Keeping friends close will guarantee someone will always have a shoulder to cry on. When a relationship falls apart, a friend will always do everything in their power to make everything less painful. They will help to guide you back to a happy life. As for me, I try to keep my friends as close as I can. I know they will always support me in whatever I do, and to them, I am eternally grateful for a second chance.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.