I never thought I would miss having only a few friends.
But I do. I miss the days when I only had one or two real friends. Because in those days, my friendships were real and valuable. But for a long time now I've been stuck in this trap where I have lots of pseudo-friendships where I'm the only one who is reaching out to people. I do all the work in the friendship, they just show up. I'm tired of it.
Back when I only had a few friends, we hung out all of the time. I felt like I was missed when I was gone. I called them, they called me, I was invited to places, everything. I thought having more friends would mean I would have more friends like this. But I was wrong. I only found that I would, in effect, lose all of my friends, because a one-sided friendship is not a friendship at all.
I think I'm going to reorganize how I spend time with people. I have a small list of people whom I really believe I connect with (my girlfriend is of course included in this list of friends) and I am going to be dedicated to regularly spending time with. Anyone else...take them or leave them. If they reach out to me, I will reciprocate that and invite them back. But if people don't contact me anymore, don't do half the work of keeping a friendship together, I won't try anymore. Because frankly, it's exhausting.
How many times have I found out when people are available, painstakingly fit them into my schedule, picked them up, took them somewhere and led conversation? How many times have I tried to make them feel welcome in my life, to encourage them to reach back? How many times have I watched them do this to anyone but me, and I would wait and wait to see myself treated likewise only to be disappointed?
Now you might think that I'm just a special case, and not everyone just reaches out to people like I do. And you would be wrong, because they do. I would think I would at least have one friend who would be a "special case" like me and be "into" asking people out. But I don't. I can't remember more than about two instances where people did that for me. Maybe you are also thinking that many of my friends just don't reciprocate the kind of friendship I feel for them and would just like to hang out with the people they like best. And that's fine, but that would mean I have no friends. And I just can't accept that.
So, for the select few close friends I have, I will be patient with them and their busy schedules and eagerly await when we can spend time together, and if other people reach back out to me like I have to them alone for over a year, then I will continue to be their friend. But I am a grad student now, and I have a job, and I'm busy and I will not stand to be ill-treated anymore.
Perhaps someday I will feel differently and change my mind. But until then, this is the law.
I expect I am saying a lot of goodbyes now.
There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for no more faux friends.