Updated: May 1
In this context "dating" your friends is defined as two or more people who are attracted to each other deciding to develop their platonic attraction into a friendship. Friendship is scientifically proven to help you maintain or attain overall good health so it should not diminish you. The term friendship may mean something different to each of us so it's important that you first reflect on what it may mean to you. When you don't reflect on this you can get caught up in believing that you don't have any friends but have you even asked yourself what it means to be a friend? I mean a good friend? or is your perception of friendship skewed since you've haven't been applying it yourself? Once you become clear on your expectations you need to apply it and communicate your expectations to the people you do consider friends or would like to pursue a friendship with.
Reflect On What Friendship Means To You
I think we can all agree on one thing a healthy friendship is suppose to add positivity more than negativity into your experience but that it isn't always the case. As we were growing up we were easily pliable and friendships were our main priority. It was how we made sense of who we were becoming. Now as an adult we are quick to cut off friendships because we don't need the added stressor in our life on top of everything else we have to go through. Sometimes it's not even that it's a bad friendship it just no longer aligns with your own or lack there of perception of friendship. It’s important that you become clear about who you are on your own. Knowing who you are and what it is you want to experience will allow you to connect with the people who match your energy. Reflect on what friendship means to you by creating a list of the expectations you have for friendship and notice that this list or the lack there of is the simplest way to explain the reasoning for your own actions and/or the reaction you have when your expectations are not met by others
Below is a list of my expectations for friendship
- Being supportive of our business/entrepreneur endeavors
- Prioritizing special occasions
- Speaking kindly to each other
- Speaking kindly about each other to other people
- Trusting each other with our vulnerability
- Celebrating our accomplishments
- Having conversations about our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health
- Being of service to each other during our time of need
- Having common interest
- Communicating with each other when there is an issue
- Coordinating dates to hang out
- Spending time doing things we are both interested in and/or doing things only the other person is interested in
Uphold Your Own Perception Of Friendship
It's not just about your friends meeting your expectations it's honestly more about you acknowledging your own needs and fulfilling it yourself by being it for others. Exhibiting the energy you expect opens up the possibility of attracting it in others. It's important that you do that instead of trying to change other people into something they are not. You have to be able to spend more of your time trying to experience your expectations within yourself instead of trying to identify your expectations in someone else. Be the kind of friend that other people need if you want to attract the kind of friend that you need. There is no need to have entire dialogues with yourself in your own mind where you jump to conclusions about another person actions but fail to take accountability for how you can improve yourself. Express your needs out loud and ask others to do so too because you will never truly know what anyone else is thinking if you don’t. If you are only hearing yourself in your own mind saying the things you believe to be the truth then is it really happening? or are your thoughts just being created based on how you feel at that time.
Choose Friends Who Have Similar Expectations
Every friend is a stranger that you've chosen to keep around because of your attraction to one another but in reality all of our relationships have an expiration date, some much sooner than others. From childhood to adulthood your expectations have changed and so have the people in your life. This is totally normal but if you want to experience your perception of friendship you need to choose friends who have similar expectations as you instead of trying to mold people into fulfilling your expectations. You can do this by communicating your expectations and asking the people in your life that you want to keep close what their expectations are. There may be people who are uninterested in aligning with your perception of friendship and that is okay. You shouldn't have to force anyone to do so. There are tons of people who will align with your expectations but you have to open yourself up to attracting these people by paying more attention to the people who have proven to have similar expectations as you and trusting that you will be surrounded by the love that is within you.
Adjust To Differences in Expectations
Your friends not having the same expectations as you or none at all doesn't necessarily make them a bad friend. Friendships aren't always blissful. Sometimes your friends will be down and they will need your support because they don't have the energy at the moment to apply the expectations that you guys have for friendship. Other times you will have to be able to distinguish if the friendship is simply no longer healthy. It can feel a bit uneasy for weeks, a month, a few months, maybe even a year so use your own discretion but don’t take for granted the people who have come into your life and stayed through it all.This could be a chance for you guys to effectively communicate and clear up any confusion/tension by becoming aware to create expectations for your friendship and/or adjust to each other differences in expectations. If you mutually understand that you reflect each other energy and are willing to adjust to each other expectations then you will organically foster a stronger foundation of love.
Friendship is also fundamental when you are interested in cultivating a long lasting romantic relationship. To often men and women will prioritize identifying and applying their expectations with their partner and forget to find time to give the same energy to their friends. It’s important that you try to truly put forth the same effort as you would in building a solid romantic relationship by dating your friends too. Like a romantic relationship, friendship is more than just hanging out and having fun it should teach you about yourself, help you improve your communication, and allow you to trust that you are surrounded with people who will serve a helping hand through your failures and praise you during your success.