I think, as adults, we have unknowingly bought into a modern fairytale version of friendships. We fondly remember Sex and the City and yearn for the kind of friendship that Carrie and her friends shared… Or maybe you’re a little more up with the times and watch shows like Revenge and love the unconditional friendship that Amanda shares with Nolan? Either way, the friendship is the same. Unconditional. They have their arguments and hold each other accountable – but yet they still adore each other. They are there for each other. They don’t need to keep each other updated on what’s happening in each other’s lives, because they meet up. In person. Yes, that’s right. They don’t catch up over Facebook, or email, or Twitter. They catch up in person!! I know! How novel! They have time to meet.

 

Best friends put up with your crazy

Best friends put up with your crazy

How on earth do they find the time for these regular breakfasts and long lunches? Well for a start, they don’t seem to have families and in many cases they don’t have jobs either. They also live in the same country. Same city even. Oh, here we go. Reality. Yes. We’ve been caught longing for the type of friendship that doesn’t seem to be able to exist in our modern day reality. We are just so busy! Not to mention our friendship groups from school seem to disbanded across several countries.

 

A little over a year ago I published a rather dramatic and brutally honest blog post about my struggles with post natal depression… and I touched on how most of my friends or family weren’t anywhere to be found… at a time when I needed them most. After I posted that, I received so many emails from my friends all asking me the same thing, “Why didn’t you tell me things were so bad?” And you know what? That question made me mad. Seriously, you are asking me that? So the stint where I was hospitalized with my son didn’t tell you we were having serious problems? I even posted a picture on Facebook of us ‘merrily’ ushering in the new year from our hospital bed… Or what about how I used to regularly call/email/text you to see how things are in your world and then suddenly after the birth of my son there was radio silence? That didn’t tell you that something was up?

 

Best friends get you to do crazy things - like join touch football teams, which you go on to play with for over 7years.

Best friends get you to do crazy things – like join touch football teams, which you go on to play with for over 7years.

Now, I understand that nobody is perfect. I am the first to admit that I will be the friend who forgets your birthday and probably your children’s names too. Particularly if your children are out of the age group that will play with my child – you know, if I don’t see them I struggle to remember their names. They all kind of blend in unless there’s a face and personality attached… In saying that, what is the name of the guy you’re dating? Is it the same guy as last month?? But I’ll tell you one thing about my kind of friendship. If you publish a blog post or status update about something terrible that’s going on in your life, my first thought won’t be, “Why didn’t you tell me?” My first thought will be, “Why am I such a shit friend I didn’t notice your life was de-railing?” and you can be damn sure I will do my best to I check up on you a little more regularly and you can also be damn sure it won’t be over six months inbetween chats.

 

But that has been reality for me of late. Not once or twice have I slipped through the friendship cracks. I can forgive that. People are busy. But when it happens multiple times… Well now I’m taking it personally. See I thought we were really good friends. Maybe not the Carrie Bradshaw Sex in the City closeness, but definitely closer than acquaintances. So we’re faced with a predicament. Did I judge the closeness of our friendship incorrectly? I mean, when you needed to speak to me at 2am I was there for you. When you needed me to console you over Skype for hours on end, I did. Because you needed me. And in my mind, that’s what friends do. It’s not about when it’s convenient for me. You can’t timetable your crisis in a time that’s suitable for me. If I’m your friend, I figure I’ve got a window of about 48hours from the time of crisis to be there for you. When you’ve had a crisis, time is sensitive. But now I’ve been in situations where it would’ve been really good to have the support of my friends… and they are just so busy (not the friends pictured, obviously, or that would be really awkward). So I ask you, while we probably would all love the closeness and unconditional love that the Sex in the City girls shared – do we have the time for that kind of friendship? Or have we worked ourselves into a lifestyle where we just don’t have time for that kind of friendship? Is that type of friendship our adult version of a fairytale?

 

Sometimes you're lucky enough to marry your best friend - obviously from our relaxed grins, you can tell this photo was from long before children!

Sometimes you’re lucky enough to marry your best friend – obviously from our relaxed grins, you can tell this photo was from long before children!

Written by Nadia

26 Comments

Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

My Sex and the City style friendships are long gone. The friends are still there .. in different towns and cities and countries … and when we do see each other (we try for once a year) we revert right back to the SATC closeness … but our lives have taken on new meaning over and above the face-to-face friendship bond. Luckily all of us feel the same way. I think the friendships are pretty well balanced like that. Facebook, Skype and the mobile phone are wondrous things when it comes to nurturing our continued love for each other. It’s sad though isn’t it? That change in dynamic and the transition. It’s like a part of you is gone ….
Maybe we get it back when we become empty nesters?
Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

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nadiamc

I completely agree with the SATC closeness stays. My friendship group from school is like that. When we get together it is like time hasn’t passed. I love that our world is so global now but my goodness, Skype just doesn’t compete with face to face catch ups! Fingers crossed for when we’re empty nesters!

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Jodi Gibson (JF Gibson Writer)

I’ve been making a conscious effort to make more time for friends. Although the idea of dinner and a night out or a movie sounds great, I usually find myself exhausted by the end of the week and just craving for the comfort of my PJ’s and couch. But lately I’ve been saying ‘yes’ more often, and you know what? I actually do enjoy myself once I get out the door. I think these days we do need to make friendship a priority as we lead such busy lives, it sounds silly, but it’s true.

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nadiamc

So true. I often choose bed over catching up (I write this with unanswered emails from friends in my inbox)… We do need to make it a priority because, you are right, when you do catch up it is so awesome that you wish you’d done it sooner!

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Amy @ HandbagMafia

I’m sorry to see how badly your mates have let you down. I have friends like this- that I’ve felt have not taken time out for me when I’m struggling. I’ve slowly let those friendships go. I’m lucky to have a few extremely close friends who have literally dropped everything to be there for me when I’ve really needed them and I’m so grateful. Does help that I, too, married my bestie.

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nadiamc

I think our lives just get so busy! We forget. It’s never intentional. I think it’s so easy to take our friendships for granted (goodness knows I have) until we need them. When I was upset people weren’t there for me when I had PND, it really gave me pause to consider what kind of friend I was – pretty crap too! Pot calling kettle scenario. So I’ve tried to make my friends more of a priority since… but I still need improvement!

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stephanie@stephsjoy

It’s lovely that you have your best friend in your hubby. I do too, but also have the privilege of having some close girl friends. Time can definitely impact the depth of one’s friendships. I totally see your point that alarm bells should have been ringing when their had been regular contact and then radio silence. I think it’s tough these days to friendships like those portrayed in SIC, but if they are important for us we’d want to make time for them. Thanks for the reminder.

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nadiamc

Thank you for your lovely comment. When I missed a few big moments in my friend’s lives I felt awful. It was a real eye opener for me. Hopefully I’ve improved as a friend since then!

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Sheridan Anne

Yes! My three closest friends (one of whom happens to be my sister) make sure we call, text and catch up frequently. One of my friends and I never talk on the phone, we just text to say, whatcha doing? can I come over? and we meet up and spend the night talking.
It’s so important to keep up our friendships but I do believe that I see my best friend and have catch up’s with him everyday, and that is my husband.
I’m sorry you felt like you didn’t have a fabulous support system in your friends when you were going through PND. That can be an added struggle in itself. I bet your dear friends found themselves caught up in the daily grind and felt awful when they realised xox

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nadiamc

PND was definitely a wake up call for some friends. The beautiful thing is that friendships sprung up where I didn’t expect them. Sometimes these times create new friendships or renew old ones. I am thankful for that. You sound like you have lovely friends – how wonderful! Even better that one of them is your sister! I’m an only child and it kills me that I don’t have that close bond that so many of my friend’s share with their sisters.

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Natalie @ our parallel connection

I have often felt this way and I think it is because I am a loyal friend. But people are so busy with their daily lives that it can be so difficult to remember everything. My bad friendship point is that I don’t call enough

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nadiamc

Loyalty is such a valued quality but so difficult to follow through on. I’m terrible with phone calls too! Screaming children in the background make a convenient excuse but it’s definitely not good enough! I have to improve there.

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Raychael aka Mystery Case

Massive hugs. I hear you.

Having moved 22 times, the last occasion being 4000 km away, most of my friendships are virtual or online now. It’s just not the same. I’m always the new friend on the block doing double time to keep up. I’ve given up putting in all the effort with old friends because like you I started to realise it was all one sided.

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nadiamc

Wow 22 times! That’s incredible! Yeah… one sided friendships are quite sobering. I hope nobody feels that way about me – or if they do they will hold me to account!

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Dani @ sand has no home

It’s a hard one, isn’t it? I think that it is easy to sometimes conduct your friendships totally through social media, I am guilty of this and so are good friends and family. I hate phone calls, and I moved away physically from a lot of my friends.
That said, I only found out late last year that something truly awful had happened to a good friend of mine earelier in the year. Other friends had put a surprise secret fundraiser together to raise money for a healing trip away, and I was like…um? I contacted her to find out how she was doing, and she kept alluding to this terrible event until I just had to come out and tell her that I didn’t know what had happened. When she told me I burst into tears, but like you saay that you would, I was just apologised for being such a shit friend that I didn’t know, and that she must have assumed other friends had told me and that I was so cold hearted that I din’t get in contact!
Wow, what an essay. Anyway, I promised her and the other friends in that circle that I wouldn’t be such a shit friend. I haven’t been that great since though. It’s hard when none of them have children or secure backyards, and I have 2 little ones who require close confines if I am to socialise at all. Bit of a conundrum.

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nadiamc

I had a similar experience Dani. It’s so awful to think you completely missed that with a friend. I hope that all my friends are good enough that they’ll tell me when I’ve missed something and that our friendship is strong enough that they’ll give me a second chance. I’m hoping this blog post might make some of them think – hang on, you’ve been a shit friend Nadia – you’ve completely missed this in my life – so I know and I can pick up my socks (so to say).

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Tegan

I don’t think it’s a fairy tale dream to want your friends to be able to check in with you every now and then. My best friend lives 700km away and yet we manage to check in with each other regularly. I recently had a falling out with friends and really I feel a relief now that they aren’t a fixture in my life anymore. We had been moving in different directions for a while and the nail in the coffin for me was them lying to me when I asked them if they wanted to have lunch. If you don’t want to hang out, fine, say that. Don’t tell me you have no money and then post pictures of you at lunch together. Although if you ask them, the final straw was because I didn’t reply to a group message which was sent while I was doing the school run aka a time when I don’t touch my phone because I am busy interacting with other mums and talking to my child. Phew…sorry about the epic long comment!

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nadiamc

It’s letting friendships go – even if they aren’t healthy ones. I read an article in a psychology journal that talked about grieving friendship. I could relate. I’m glad you have your best friend – she sounds like a great support!

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Renee Wilson

I’m sorry to hear you’ve been through such a rough time and your friends and family weren’t there for you. I think if I had a group of girls like Carrie and Charlotte than I would make the time no matter how busy I am. I’ve had a couple of close friendships that have drifted over the years for whatever reason. It can be hard when you’re busy. I just thank God that my best friend is my husband too 🙂

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Vanessa

I am rarely near or get to see any of my friends. But I always do my best to be there for the big or important things – even if it’s taking a day off to drive someone who needs it to hospital for some urgent surgery.

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Bronnie - Maid In Australia

Yes – I’ve been there. The people who say they will be there if you need anything, just ask. And the one time you pluck up the courage from the depths of the soul and not only can they not help but they betray you to someone they know you cannot trust. I can count my real friends on my fingers (and thankfully my toes). Surprisingly, they are not the ones I ever thought of as my real friends. And they are gold. And I would go to the ends of the earth for them.

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nadiamc

Isn’t it funny how life works out like that. Many of my closest friends I couldn’t have predicted either!

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Daniela

I had a girlfriend whom I helped in SO many ways over quite a few years including comforting her from America when her marriage broke down and when my dad died, she sent me a text message. That was the end of the friendship. I felt so badly let down I couldn’t get past it. Fortunately I have 3 girlfriends from school that I talk to and see all the time and I find as I get older, a few close friends are all that I need because my husband is also my best friend.

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nadiamc

Yeah – it’s the real test when you need them. And so horrifying when it doesn’t turn out to be the friendship you thought it was. I’ve heard that you make great friends when your children start school. My mum still meets up with the same group of mums she met when I started kindergarten, even though the daughters didn’t necessarily stay friends throughout school… and it’s been a long time since I was in Kindergarten!!

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