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The only thing that separates friendship from romance is the degree to which people are intimate with one another, especially where having children together is concerned. Otherwise, I reckon that friendships require just as much, if not more nurturing than romantic relationships do. In many cases, your friends were there for you before you had a love life, and if they're true, they'll surely remain in place should things go awry in paradise. They can help us realize that we don't always have to chase after the things society wants us to.
Thus, I'm going to put all my cards on the table right now: much like romantic relationships these days, people are simply not putting effort into making their friendships work in the long term.
I think that our heavy reliance on social media has a lot to do with this frankly unfortunate tendency to forget how to properly interact with the ones we supposedly love. From passive aggression to replacing hangouts with meme spamming sessions, it's as if we don't know how to genuinely enjoy being around others when all is well and how to confront them when even the slightest issue manages to disrupt the harmony.
Maybe we make our love lives too much of a priority, considering how high-maintenance they already are. Maybe our inability to manage a reasonable schedule has caused us to become too lazy or impatient for the things that are actually meant to make us happy. Or maybe we have become so bitter that we either just don't care or don't believe in the power of friendship anymore.
What's worse than coming to expect disappointment is not appreciating what those friends really mean for us until it's too late. But it doesn't have to be that way.
There are couples who take a break, and the same could happen to friends. Sometimes one or both parties just aren't ready to change or improve the relationship, and if they could come to admit this, then there's no shame in making the decision to part ways for the time being. It doesn't always mean that they aren't right for one another; it could simply mean that they need to work on themselves and re-establish their values before they feel confident enough to commit to the other person's needs.
As the old saying goes, "That was then, and this is now." We have to be willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. We need to have faith that people can change if they want to, and that things could be better the next time around. If we isolate ourselves and assume the worst in everyone, well, that's what life is going to look like for the rest of our days on this planet. And that's definitely no fun.
Dismissing our friends as unredeemable only hinders growth, not just theirs, but also ours. Sure, the other person might have some serious character flaws that are causing problems in the friendship—assuming in this case that it's them and not you necessarily—but if we don't try influencing their development somehow, that doesn't really speak well for us as people either. Who's to say we won't get shunned later for our unforgiving attitude?
If we truly care for our comrades—just as we are caring for our own well being—and believe that there's good in them, we must learn to be patient with cultivation, open-minded to ways of solving problems, and reliable for comfort. It's easy to give up, but it's hard to deal with potentially painful consequences that come after when there's more than likely no reason for it.