It was a friendship like no other.
I loved her, and she loved me.
We connected effortlessly, and doing life with her was pure joy.
We shared our dreams, hopes and fears and one day, while out and about, she shared a story I had shared with her in confidence with someone casually.
I stood there, and it felt like a knife had been driven into my heart.
I felt so betrayed.
As if everything I knew to be true about her had crumbled right in front of my eyes.
It made me question if she shared things about me when I was not around.
This was a long time ago, but that experience made me aware of the importance of defining relationships and being mindful of the words we use.
There is an acquaintance.
There is a colleague.
There is a relative.
And there is a friend.
These all have different meanings and different levels of intimacy-
And that is OK.
There is a friend for a reason.
There is a friend for a season.
And there is a friend for a lifetime.
And that is okay; there is no pressure to have all people on the same level of intimacy.
We often hear about situationships in romantic relationships; you know, the one where a guy meets a girl, and they “vibe”, but no definition is given to the relationship. One basically “finds” themselves in that relationship, and you seem to be in limbo.
You aren’t official 👀
But this is how most people start friendships-
Conversations are not had to define what this friendship is.
Boundaries should be spoken about.
Time needs to be taken to evaluate and see if this fits.
So, trust is not established.
Instead, hot wire connections are created:
– sharing stories about pain.
– gossiping about others.
– hanging out for drinks and partying.
Then suddenly, reality hits, and you realise you don’t know this person.
You don’t know their values or deep convictions.
Or you feel they didn’t show up when you needed them the most (but you probably didn’t communicate that to them. You somehow expected them to know 👀)
Brenè Brown puts it brilliantly:
“It turns out that trust is earned in the smallest of moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds or obvious actions but through paying attention, listening, and genuine care and connection gestures.”
It takes time to build trust in relationships.
It takes being intentional and transparent-
It takes having raw, vulnerable, uncomfortable conversations.
Trust allows you to navigate relationships. When you trust someone, you are more committed to finding solutions to issues because you feel allied in areas that mean the most to you.
So take your time when letting people into your life.
☘️Do they respect your boundaries? Do you respect theirs?
☘️ Are they reliable? Are you able to depend on them?
☘️ Are they accountable? Are they able to own their mistakes and apologise?
☘️ Do they keep the information others share with them confidential? Or do they gossip?
☘️ Are they integral and practice their values, not just speak them?
☘️ Are you comfortable in their presence? Are they accepting of you as you are?
☘️ Can you give them the benefit of the doubt and seek understanding before judging?
Take the time to learn how to love the people around you. 💕
May this new month bring you joy and be reminded that your relationships will be as beautiful as you make them.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this, all will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35 NKJV