I take friendships seriously. We really have to be on the same page

By Nina Steele 

FriendshipsHaving friends for the sake of having them hasn’t been an option for me for many years now. The older and wiser I got, the more obvious it became to me that you have to be extremely careful who you allow into your inner circle. Get it right and you may find yourself a friend/friends for life. Get it wrong and you may regret it for many years. Being childfree does not mean that I will only have friends who are also childfree. You can develop a bond with anyone regardless of whether they are childfree or parents.

Life is complicated enough as it is without the added worry of a friend or friends you don’t really get along with. I wrote recently about meeting an old friend in the hope of rekindling our friendship, only to discover that we are now completely different people. It didn’t bother me that she is a mother, but she seemed uncomfortable with my telling her that being childfree is what I was destined to be. As far as she is concerned, nobody can ever be truly happy without children. We also didn’t see eye to eye on many other issues. In short, our values were miles apart. It didn’t matter that we were good friends once, I had to let her go.

On the other hand, I have developed a good friendship with another woman. As it happens, she too is childfree. We have so much in common that we bonded from the very beginning. Our views on the world are pretty similar. She is her own person and does not believe in following the crowd. She is strong enough to not be afraid to stand alone. I like that in people.

I once knew a young woman who was so afraid of her own company that she felt she had to be around other people most of the time. There are many people like her out there. The idea of being by themselves scares the hell out them. And for that reason, they are willing to be friends with anyone who would have them, regardless of how dysfunctional some of those relationships end up being.

I love spending time on my own. It is a character trait I am immensely grateful for, because it has allowed me to grow in a way that may not have been possible had I been one of those people who have friends for the sake of having them. Having said that, if you are fortunate enough to find a friend/friends you get on with very well, hold on to them.

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