Over the weekend, I ran into a woman I tried to befriend last year. We got to chatting about what I was up to, and I mentioned that I wrote a book that is coming out later this month. We got to talking about the book’s content–friendship, how hard it is to meet people, why Chicago can be tough for new pals–and quickly into the conversation she apologized for dropping the ball on our relationship.
You see, we went on one girl-date, and I followed up for date number two twice but never heard back. Turns out, she told me this weekend, that about three weeks after our lunch date, a close family member was diagnosed with cancer. She went into caretaker mode, and shut down the rest of her life to help out her ailing relative.
Even before I heard the story, I told her she didn’t have to apologize. That it was totally fine. After hearing what she’d been through, I begged her not to apologize. The health of her family is what matters.
It was nice, though, that she said anything at all. It got me thinking, again, about how you just never know what’s going in someone else’s life. Sure, most of the time if someone disappears it means she’s just not that into you. But sometimes there’s more to the story.
The big lesson this story hit home for me, however, is what I always say about quality versus quantity. People love to say that it’s the quality of friends that matters, only. A couple great friends is all you need. But I say it’s quality and quantity, and this is a perfect example of why. When I was pursuing this friendship, I was also working on a number of others. So when this woman dropped me, it really didn’t upset me. Sure, I wondered what happened, but I had other new friends to concentrate on. There were other girls who were, in fact, into me.
What’s great about friend-dating, as opposed to romantic dating, is that you can go out with many people at a time. You don’t have all your eggs in one basket. So when someone seems to lose interest, all is not lost. You don’t have to start back at square one. And, when someone lets a potential friendship slip away, it really does hurt less when you have other exciting relationships in the works. Those other PBFFs soften the blow.
So the lesson: If you’re looking for friends, take advantage of the fact that this isn’t romance. Be open to friend-dating more than one person. I promise, it’s not cheating.
Do you believe in quality and quantity? Or are you more of a one-and-done type of girl?
MWF Seeking BFF, the book, is out in two weeks! December 20 to be exact. Can you say “awesome BFF Christmas gift?” I would totally be your best friend forever if you might pre-order a copy (a free friendship bracelet to all who pre-order: Just email me your address). Thank you!
3 responses to “Put Your Friend Eggs In Lots of Baskets”
Well, I agree with you – in general. Especially when you’re looking for new potential friends, it’s good to have and pursue different options. However, I find it hard enough as it is to meet one new person that I’d like to befriend, let alone a few at a time. It all comes down to “opportunity”. If you can, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but if you don’t have that many options, I think you don’t have a choice.
Oh, your poor PBFF. I’ve totally been there, and agree, it’s really hard to make time in your life for anything else, especially a new relationsihp. It’s hard to engage in any kind of normal conversations while everyone around you is doing just fine and going on with their lives, and you’ve got this huge thing going on.
I definitely think quality AND quantity are good things. I don’t need like 20 BFFs or anything, but I like that I have friends from various different parts of my life: friends from home, friends from school, old work friends, new work friends, friends of friends, friends I’ve met through my boyfriend, friends I’ve met through blogging, neighbors, etc. I have a pretty decent social calendar that way, even though I often don’t see some friends more than every month or two.
I definitely agree. And, actually, with all the parallels you draw to dating romantically – a friend of mine read that when online dating (in the earliest stages, of course) it is okay and even encouraged to be “dating” (I don’t know if one date constitutes as dating, another discussion, I guess) more than one person. It actually encourages 3, so that you can compare and not head to head like with 2. It was interesting.
So, yes, I agree that especially with friend dating you can have multiple dates and have a great time and maybe even get a whole new group going (I love group dynamics and hanging out with groups of friends as much as I love hanging out one on one – maybe more?)