I Have So Many Questions About Friendship

1980s friends

What’s your definition of friendship?

Have you ever thought about the type of friendships you have or the kind you want? We’re always asked to describe our ideal romantic partner, but no one ever asks us what kind of friends we want. Seventeen Magazine used to publish three-page quizzes determining if my crush knew I existed or not, but it couldn’t do shit about socially interacting with a group of girls at school. No one hands out advice when it comes to friendships, and I have so many questions!

Question #1: Is television a good frame of reference for the structure of friendships?

It was hard to grasp reality when people like Cory Matthews and Clarissa Darling were navigating social situations with ease on my TV. I admired their loyal bffships, and it made me think friendships were an easy and permanent institution. Sure, Cory and Shawn had their ups and downs–but Mr. Fenny always pulled them back together! Surely, a bias third party would always step in to repair my broken friendships before they imploded…right?

Question #2: Are the quality friendships in my life based on location?

You know the story. The kid that lived down the street from you as a kid ends up in your wedding party. The girl that sat next to you in that Philosophy Of Death class now carries a matching vile of your blood around her neck. You never know when your next best friend will pop into your life. Should I only be making friends with people in direct vicinity of me? Are the friends from my hometown more important than my friends from college? Do the friends I make online event count since I’ve never met them IRL?

Question #3: When is it appropriate to speak on behalf of my well being?

I mean, I don’t want to be rude! This person likes spending time with me, and if I start demanding things like respect and decency I could really end up sounding like a naggy bitch. Should I do anything and everything to make my friends as happy as possible–even if it’s at my own expense? I’m just trying to be a good friend, and I don’t want to piss anyone off.

Question #4: How many years of friendship does it require to reach “best friend” status?

Psychologists believe friendships that reach the 7-year mark tend to last a lifetime, but how many of those years does it take to become a bestie? Sometimes, it only takes me 3-6 months to gestate a close friendship with someone. Should it take a whole year, or could I work really hard for, like, 2 weeks? Once I maintain this best friend status for a number of years– how many years does it take to receive tenure?

Which brings me to my next question:

Question #5: Friendships are forever, right?

Once we carve FRiEnDz 4 LyFe into a tree does it act as a binding contract tying us together, in friendship bliss, for life? Nothing will come between this true friendship–not money, not boyfriends, not weddings, or distance. NOTHING! Breakups are for romantic relationships. Friends don’t break your heart, amirite?

Question #6: What if your friend is a dick?

Since friendships last forever… what if your friend is kind of a dick? You know the type. They steal from you, lie to your face, or leave you stranded in a nightclub after that bottle of champagne and three Lemondrop shots they just had to have. Would it be shitty of me if I didn’t want to be their friend anymore? Even worse, would my overall friendship rating go down if I ditched someone I used to hang out with in High School? I’m just trying to be cool, and I want other people to know how cool I’m trying to be.

Who am I kidding? I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to friendships. Then again, does anyone know what they’re doing? Humans are social creatures, so we should come with a built in compass that directs us towards the people we need in our lives. Unfortunately, we do not have this feature. So, I guess it’s back to asking questions and hoping I can figure it out as I go along.

Jo Anna Van Thuyne is an actor, comedian, and producer residing in New York. Her column, Why Can’t We Be Friends?, posts every Thursday. Check her Snapchat/Twitter/Insta @JoPincushion.

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About Jo Anna Van Thuyne 29 Articles

Jo Anna Van Thuyne is an actor, comedian, and producer residing in New York. Her podcast, Apocalypse…Now?, starts September 5th. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Check her Snapchat/Twitter/Insta @JoPincushion. Learn more at joannavanthuyne [dot] com

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