I make friends easily! Some find it weird, but I can walk up to a group of strangers and start conversation from the most bizarre and random topics, engaging enough to walk out with either their phone number or a follow on Instagram. I do talk a lot, sometimes to an obnoxiously annoying level that the other person doesn’t get a chance to chime in, but I don’t think I bore people (maybe I haven’t found people who have the courage to say it on my face if I do).

I live in the most populous city of the most populous country in the world, it’s buzzing with people all over, so, over a period of time, I have made many friends. Maybe calling everyone a friend is an over-statement, let’s call them acquaintances. So, I have met many people, some were good for a while until they started sounding stupid and some continued to be in touch, moving from acquaintance to friendship. 

The whole concept of friendship in 2024 is not what it used to be. Once you are an adult, most of the friendships that you make in later stages of life are superficial, it starts with a casual encounter, you start following each other on instagram, share silly memes on DM, plan to meet every fortnight which most of the time keeps on getting cancelled and eventually memes stop and plans to meet take a backseat probably forever until the next casual encounter. 

Friendships are not easy, friendship is a lot more meaningful and a stronger bond than a relationship. Most romantic relationships start with being a pretentious best version of yourself due to fear of being judged, but with friendship, you stay who you are and trust the other person with your real self. 

I have a tough time making friends, not because I don’t find good people, it’s because of paucity of time. Life is always crazily busy and true friendship takes time to build. I’m not an open book, I learned to keep my problems, worries and issues to myself because the moment you sound vulnerable, people start judging you. I made the mistake of sharing my life with people I thought will be my friends for life but then we all got busy, we all moved cities and somewhere people you thought are best friends just ceased to exist in memory. It felt such a waste of time to open up to someone who may or may not be part of your future. So, I stopped making friends, I started making acquaintances who were there for some laughs, giggles and good times. Once you become a mature adult, the desire to open up to people dwindles, you are expected to handle your problems on your own and that is perfectly fine with me. Similarly, the desire to hangout with anyone and everyone also reduces and you prefer to spend your time with a select few who come with the least baggage. 

Since past few years, I have realized that I have not been able to stay connected with the new friends that I make for more than a year. I probably don’t have the patience to overlook things I don’t like or I just start feeling that the other person is not worth it. I have some really great friends from my school and college days who in spite of the geographical distances are still closest to the heart. But now that I’m 40, I have a strong sense of who I’m. My worldview has solidified and I’m extremely opinionated. So, now when I look to befriend someone, I need an intellect connect with the person, I need the perspectives towards the world to align, otherwise it’s just arguments and too much work to enjoy the company. 

Almost a year ago, I met a friend in a co-working space where I was working. It started off well, similar thinking, similar likings with an ability to make fun of everything and everything without getting offended. After I left the co-working space to have my own office, we continued to stay in touch through calls, instagram DM’s, messages and occasional after office meet-ups. It used to be fun, we would laugh at silly things, discuss random topics and get into occasional friendly banters. Was it real friendship or acquaintance, I’m not sure, we never really discussed our personal lives with each other. Last week, I thought I will text and fix up a meetup, however, he never replied to it but still went on with the other friends from the same group. I’m the last person to be rattled by this, afterall people are free to decide who they want to spend time with, however, life is too short, and I prefer to spend it with people who would want to spend time with me. Suddenly this friendship started feeling like work where you need to make an attempt to stay in touch, it was not smooth flowing, it felt like work. Maybe I’m overreacting and reading too much between the lines but who has the time to sit and contemplate on these points. The world is filled with some really amazing people and I would rather spend time with them than with people who tax my mental capacity.

When “hey, friend” changes to “I thought you were my friend”, it’s time to walk away because trust and comfort that you shared with each other can never be the same again.


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