Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Can you ever have too many friends?

This morning I was thinking about the answer to that question. Can you ever have too many friends? 

The answer: I'm not sure.

I know a lot of people. Would I call them all my friends? No. But I know A LOT of people. More than normal people know. I do have a couple groups of close friends from different circles though. Sorority friends. Law school friends. Blogging friends. Some of those groups overlap. But mostly they don't and I have to split my time among the different groups.

Recently, I had a guy I was dating/seeing/not really sure what the heck was going on tell me he wasn't looking for a relationship right now. That he was just looking for really good friends. While I wasn't surprised at all by his comment (there were a lot of things going on in this relationship already), I found myself thinking

"Do I have room in my life for one more friend?"
"And more specifically, 
Do I have room in my life for this particular person?"

And the answer is I wasn't sure. I really wanted to tell this guy that I didn't have room in my life for another friend because I really don't. I'm not dating guys to make new friends. I'm dating them to find a partner in life. And yes, I know that the best relationship come out of friendships. And that you have to be friends with that partner in life. Blah. Blah. Blah. But I'm not good at managing ex-boyfriends as just friends. It doesn't work for me.  

But really, who says that? Isn't that kind of mean to tell someone you have room in your life if they want a relationship but not if they only want a friendship? So I told him that I could be his friend and that he knew how to get a hold of me when he needed a friend. But in reality, I don't want another friend. I'm happy with my friend count as it is. While I'm open to making new friends, right now, time is really tight. I'm super busy and making time for more people is just plain near impossible. I already feel pulled enough with my different circles that can't interact with each other (believe me, I have tried to mingle them to make my life easier. It did not work.)

Now, if you're reading this thinking, I wonder if I'm in her friend circle? Most likely you are because there are only like 3 people who read the blog. And even though I may not see or talk to you everyday (or every month), I still consider you a friend. And if you're new, I AM open to new friends. But seriously, managing this friend thing is hard work. I have to be particular about who I let into my life. It has to be a rewarding experience for both people. And with this guy mentioned above, I'm just not sure he's worth it right now.

So, I ask you, blog readers, can you have too many friends? 


Whitney H said...

I think this is the best post you've ever written! I know exactly what you mean. As I've gotten older (wow, I sound like I'm 67...) I've realized that I'd rather put effort into a few really good friendships then have just a few acquaintances. I've also realized that it's really important to me that these friends have similar values as me. And in case you're wondering, even though I don't see you nearly as much as I'd like, I do consider you a friend :)

Lauren said...

Well I think first you have to break down what a friend is to you. Blog friends are friends, yes, but most of them don't require a lot of connection time outside regular blog reading. I don't think I could ever have too many of those. I think it's always good to have those friends form the past who know who you were when you were younger, so those are good to have, too. Making new friends, though, seems to be trickier. I have never been in a spot where I thought "hmmm, that's enough" so I think your problem is a really good one to have! I guess it depends on what the friend needs from you - if it's someone you'll only see at work or a specific meeting, then they are more of an acquaintance, so bring them all on. I guess it's when you start getting friends who need and expect more from you that you have to limit it. But, I think setting boundaries might help with that. Like I said, though, what do I know? I think it's a great problem you're lucky to have :)