I’ll Be There For You

It’s okay. You have come to the place of like minded people who have binge watched Friends 5000 times since it’s been on Netflix.

Why do you think Friends is still relevant and totally relatable today? Because the lessons about friendship never get old (and it’s still hilarious!)

Now let’s talk about F•R•I•E•N•D•S•H•I•P and what I have learned this year through life experience and watching re-runs of Friends!

I reached out to check on a friend the other night to make sure he was doing okay. We chatted a little about his current situation and then he asked me how I was doing and he returned the favor and listened to me. And I remember thinking how cool it was to have a meaningful conversation with someone outside of my immediate circle. I also remember telling him about this year being a year of new friendship.

Most people know that I went through a terrible friend break up this year with my old roommate. Once I was all settled into my new, beautiful place I remember sitting in my bed thinking “this is great but I’m totally alone.” My old roommate had become my built in friend- even though we were totally, 100% incompatible as friends. I just never realized that because we moved in together when we both “needed” a friend. So our friendship didn’t develop because we wanted it to- it developed out of necessity- on both of our ends. I was going through a break up and she let me stay with her and she hated being alone so I just stayed instead of getting my own place. She and her best friend became my #1 & #2 people and I put all my eggs in to one friendship basket- so to speak. I have a ton of people who are acquaintances and friends but that I never developed into meaningful friendships because I used my old roommate as my scape goat. “Eh, I have two close friends- I don’t need anymore.” But when that all went south and I moved out, I realized I needed something different. So this year I opened myself up and I have been determined to find people who ARE on the same wave length as me.

Here are the lessons I learned:

1) Friends can come in a variety of different packaging. Think Oddball Phoebe. She’s out there and different from the rest of the group but arguably the most loving and caring Friend (and puts her friends above anyone else!) Never limit yourself from forming a friendship because the person isn’t exactly like you. One of my best friends in the entire world is in her 50s.

2) Being open to new friendships is probably the most important thing you can do and you never know what will happen when you open yourself up. Remember how Chandler wanted the photographer to be his roommate instead of Joey? He was so mad at first but then he and Joey bonded over Baywatch and became best friends for life? You never know where one small gesture or moment will take a friendship. You just have to put yourself out there.

3) It’s entirely okay to let go of friends that cause you more stress than happiness. Just like relationships, friendships are not all sunshine and rainbows. BUT there is a difference between going through a rough patch in a friendship and being friends with someone who just isn’t good for you or on the same wavelength as you. The only Friends reference I can think of that fits this is Amanda – who Phoebe and Monica “cut out” because she was crazy and self absorbed. You CAN and should let those people go.

4) Having a few great, close friends is necessary. When I met Lori Harder, she said something that was really important. She said “One person can not be everything you need.” As in, your SO or best friend or sister can not be your go to for every last thing in your life. That why it is important to have a tribe of people who love you. If you make one person your go to, you can end up isolating yourself from other people and experiences. Just like in Friends, there are 6 of them and they are never dependent on just one person for advice or a shoulder to cry on. (Not to mention they all have friends and acquaintances outside of the group.)

5) Be a good friend to get a good friend. Think of the 6 Friends and all they went through- no matter what came along, those guys really were there for each other. One thing I have learned is that if I want really great friendships, I will not find them sitting on my couch every night- exhausted or not!! I have always put work above everything in order to grow my career. While that has paid off, it left me a little high and dry in the friend and meaningful relationship department. It made me cling to friendships that were incompatible because I was desperate for friends but too exhausted to go out and make the right friends. But this year that changed. I have tried to make it a point to reach out and be a better friend. And it has paid off tremendously. I find myself saying yes a lot more and enjoying the company of really great people!

One of the reasons Friends is still popular is because we look at the bonds those 6 people created and think “Why can’t I have that?” While living in a huge Manhattan apartment probably isn’t realistic, having meaningful friendships and relationships like the ones in Friends can be. You just have to be open to them.

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