Quality Time: Role of Friends


On my Instagram, I wrote the following meme:

This was in reaction to the message I kept seeing that said (paraphrase) you can still have a very close friendship when you catch up with each other every month or every few months and it will be like you haven’t missed a thing.

Two of my regular followers responded that they don’t require regular contact with their closest friends in order to feel connected.

Relationship Defined

Photo credit: Pixabay; Artist: rawpixel

Their reaction was a bit of a surprise to me because it falls in line with the majority of comments that are okay with “catching up” infrequently with people who are supposed to be very close to you.

Christians: One of the closest friendships in the Bible was David and Jonathan. The Bible said their souls connected to the point Jonathan protected David from his father who was trying to kill him – “ride or die” kind of love.

I wanted a friendship like that and I found one. My BFF and I have known each other over 20 years. About two ago when things got rocky, I was preparing to say goodbye but we were able to talk things through and make amends. The idea of losing her connection in my life was very difficult for me. It was going to be a significant loss because she was such an integral part of my life and I was for hers. We gave each other support through good and not so good situations.

We were there for each other regularly. This made our bond very close.

Our lives, to include now, do not occur in months but in days. Despite us living in different states for years, I have a closer connection to her than to people I see every day. One comment said “quality over quantity.” When someone is like family, quality and quantity are important. Why should I pick and choose with my close friend?

Busy Lives

Photo credit: Pixabay.com; Artist: geralt

I keep seeing the other theme that says, if someone is important to you, then you make time. Apparently, that does not include close friendships. Jonathan and David loved each other like family. Are you too busy for family?

Are you so busy that 60 minutes out of your week is too much to connect with the people who are supposed to be there for you during the good and bad?

I keep hearing busy meaning ” I have kids,” “I have a husband,” “I have a job.” Well, my friend has a husband and two dogs and a million jobs that she is taking care of and my other friend has a full time job, single divorced mother with three children. Shouldn’t they be too busy to connect for at most 60 minutes 1 time out of the week?

Shouldn’t we all be too busy for everyone? How many hours do we spend watching tv, Youtube, and checking in on social media? How often do we interact with people on a daily basis who have little to no importance in our lives?

Are you really too busy? Or are you making excuses? Is busy the word you use when things are going badly for you and you need more support than merely catching up once a month or every 3 months?

When a new mother could use a break but her friends are only available every 3+ months? When your marriage is not going well and you need a listening ear? When you have exciting news and you just spoke to your friend so now you have to wait a few more weeks? When you are smiling on the outside but hurting on the inside – everyone is too bloody busy?

Quality Time

Google: TV show Friends

I see friendships very differently. I see close friendships like a very tight bond to someone who is sharing a part of my life versus ‘catching up.’ Don’t get me wrong, there are friends with whom I do check-in with but I give them the pleasant abridged version of my life. There is no way I will cramp weeks worth of stress, good things, deep things, internal musing with them (unless we are chatting for hours and I made note of all the stuff going on in my life and then listening to their stuff).

So, this brings me to my love language which is primarily quality time. It means I value the time spent with people I care about. Time can be in person or on the phone. When writing letters were a thing, I loved getting pages of letters and sending one back as soon as possible.

I have come to realize that absence without communication does not make my heart fonder – it creates distance.

I spoke to my BFF about this topic and her reaction was “I wish I could talk to you more because there are so many things to discuss.” She and I talk once a week which has been standard over all these years.

Keep that in mind – over 20 years of knowing each other (minus a few years when we loss contact when I went away to school and then she went away to school). However, when we reconnected, we called each other every week (we had to make a conscious habit to do this in the beginning). Is that too much for people who are important in your life?

Different Wants

I am not bashing anyone who sees this topic differently. I have come to realize that even with friendship, we all have different wants.

When it comes to relationships – friendship, romantic, family – I want the same thing. Quality time. The more important you are to me; the more I will MAKE time for you and I expect the same.

There is something inherently wrong when people make time only when you are needed. Does it have to take a crisis for your time to be more valuable to me and vice versa? How often do you hear or say “we should keep in contact more?”

Think about this: If you are single, when a new person comes into your ‘busy’ life, how easy is it for you to clear your schedule for this new person? If you are married, when you are having relationship issues, how desperate are you to find a non-busy support to help you through your marital issues?

I can’t emphasize this enough:

You always make time for what’s important

I have taken my BFF for granted. I assumed that she would always be there. When I thought our relationship had soured and I was about to put an end to our friendship, it had hit me how blessed I had been over these years.

Before we had reconnected, I remembered how difficult it was to have people around me with whom I did not feel comfortable sharing my problems and I kept everything to myself or my journals.

Frequent connection builds stronger bonds because you are not just sharing information but your life. For me, I can’t build a sturdy foundation with infrequent contact.

What say you?
What are your views on keeping in contact with close friends?
Are you too busy for your friends or do you make time for them at least once per week or every other week?
Are your relationships truly close (spill your guts) when you only catch up monthly or longer?

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