Fair Weather Friends

Allow me to take a poll.  How many reading this today can raise their hands and tell me if they have ever had a fair-weather friend?  First of all, put down your hands.  Really?  You know I can’t see you.


Ah, the fair-weather friend, don’t you just love them?  I mean when things are going well, then they know you and pat you on the back, but the moment when the going gets tough, then they are “going going gone”.  Some I know have shattered records as to how fast they can skedaddle.  If it were a sport, they would be a champion, but I digress.


I had one so-called friend who fits this description to a T.  Only she didn’t see herself that way.  She didn’t have a clue or maybe I was the clueless one.  After all I did accept the friendship and believed (albeit naively) it was genuine.  Now we all go through bad times.  It is bound to happen.  But shouldn’t a supposed close friend be there for you during these times or is it common to act as if nothing is wrong?  Why couldn’t either of us see that she was not really a friend?  Do we only see what we want to see or are we so blind that we are unable to discern what a true friend is?  I plead guilty to both scenarios unfortunately.


Why are we saying to one another that we are close friends and yet fail to live up to the definition of the phrase itself?  Are we using different dictionaries and if so, shouldn’t we try to be on the same page?  Is friendship our common bond or are we just acquaintances who need to just move on?  How did we decide that we were friends and what was that defining moment that determined this?  Did I just react to a gut feeling or was my compass broken at the time?  I do not know.  I am not trying to burn bridges here (I am not a fan of fire to be honest), but what I view and what you view as friendship has to be determined to meet our mutual needs.  There has to be a common goal for a friendship to strive for in order to survive.  When that goal is not met (or in this scenario never going to be met) dissatisfaction arises out of the mess we created.  Both parties have to take ownership of this failed friendship.  It took two to form it and it most likely took the contribution of both parties to some extent, to destroy or abuse it.


Maybe one of us wanted friendship and the other did not.  Sometimes we are only meant to know one another short-term.  We met for a reason, decided to pursue a friendship and once that purpose was served, it ended. One or both of us decided to move on and go our separate ways; however, we stopped short of conveying that to the other party involved.  People come and go in our lives.  We have good feelings about them and even acknowledge them whenever we happen to run into each other, but that is where it ends. The friendship could not be sustained for whatever reason. It never evolved to the next level; which is maintaining that commitment to the friendship.


However, if together we determine we are friends and have made every intention of being one, then we need to tend to that friendship.  Think of it as a garden and we are constantly pulling weeds to beautify that garden.  We care about the garden and want to see it thrive.  It matters to us and it becomes a part of our lives.


So, what do we need to maintain our friendship?  I need someone to be there all of the time, not just when things are going well, but through times in which we should lean on one another for moral and spiritual support.  I need that person who gets me and all of my little quirks, who allows me to make a spectacle of myself sometimes, who lets me vent, who loves me for me.  This is someone I chose to be my friend.  I wasn’t obligated.  I wanted this person as a friend and I had hoped the feeling was mutual.


I cannot easily be there one moment and the next be gone.  I chose to be a friend for life, not for half an hour here and a few days there.  My schedule and life in general is too busy to pencil in when I can expect a friend to be there or plan on them to bail on me.


Listen it all boils down to this.  I offered that person my friendship.  I willingly consented to being there for that person anytime he or she needed me.  I thought it was understood and that the same commitment was offered to me.  People change everyday and so does their needs.  I can accept that, but if this is the case and you have decided this is not a friendship, then do yourself and the other person (or people) involved a favor and cut the cord.  Just let it go.  The world does not need more fair weather friends; we all need and deserve the real thing.  Don’t let the world rain down on you with people like this.  In my world, the forecast calls for an abundance of sunshine and little to no chance of rain.  This was a valuable lesson for me to learn.  I made an investment and lost, but now I gained wisdom and I can move forward with open eyes and open heart.  Friendship should not be determined by what we get out of it, but rather how we give to one another because of it.

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