Our bonds and ties to each other are quite fragile things. One mistake in a friendship can cause a person to lose heart, feel rejected, or desire the relationship to end, but why?
Is it because we aren’t getting what we want out of the friendship? Is it because we truly believe that person couldn’t possibly understand what we feel? Is it because we think we deserve to have people who care about us? Is it because we want a friend who puts us first? Is it because we’re really this completely and utterly selfish?
A true friendship only works when two people dare to love and care for each other at the risk of their own personal comfort and pleasure.
If you back out of a friendship just because the other person changes in a way you don’t like, you’re not a friend; you’re a sponge.
If you decide one day that you don’t need a person any more, they were never your friend; they were your tool to use.
If you never let anyone close enough to hurt you, it’s impossible to be a friend; you’ll just have nice acquaintances.
If you expect a friendship to stay exactly the same for all time, you’re friendship will die and you’ll be left alone.
It’s this last one I see most often misunderstood in our society. “You’re not the person I remember” gets thrown around as an excuse to end all kinds of relationships, but let me put it to you this way: In order for a friendship to stay exactly the same as when it first started, both people must stay exactly the same. And anyone who remains exactly the same their entire life is a person who has stopped learning. And a person who has stopped learning is to be pitied above all else because they can no longer understand a grand part of what it means to be alive. For to live is to learn, to learn is to grow, to grow is to change.
To expect a person to be the same as you remembered them when you first met is the greatest form of selfishness there is. If a person is not the same as when you first met them, great! That means they are struggling through life and learning how to make sense of it all. Instead of expecting them to stay the same for you, become the friend you desire to have: someone who never leaves them no matter what, someone who desires to know what they think and what they’re going through, someone who has chosen to love them, someone who is patient, and someone who endures it when they push you away and try to hurt you because, in the end, it’s not the friendship that is most important, it’s the person on the other side of the friendship who is most important.