Staying “In Love” with Friends

Kaitlin Lee, Staff Writer

Lunchtime has officially become the only reason that I go to school. Not really because I like eating food (though that doesn’t hurt) but because I get to hang out with the greatest people I have ever met: my friends, my amigos, my Broseph Gordon-Levitts. These are the people I can spend hours just talking about the dumbest stuff or the most serious dilemmas in our society. And honestly, I wouldn’t change much about them.

Okay. I’ll admit that the last sentence was a small lie. Sure, most of my friends are amazing, and I don’t have problems with them. However, with some of them, the problems that I had have suddenly inflated into major grievances. For one friend, I once found her determination to pet every single dog endearing, but it has now turned annoying; for another, I saw her interest in video games amusing, but now I think she’s childish for thinking so.

Nothing changed about how we interact I think, but maybe it’s the extent of time that we do. Now that I hang out with them more often, now that I’ve seen them through good and bad times, something has changed. This is common in relationships. I know that. But, all of the advice I can find is “have a discussion with your spouse” to “tell them what is bothering you about the relationship.” But really, the grievances I hold are small.

However, the problem is when these grievances lead to a breaking point, a point in my life I haven’t reached yet, but I’m scared could destroy my friendships. Not only with the people that I find myself annoyed with, but everyone else. I still love my friends, but these aspects of them can make them less likable to me.

As I looked over it some more, I suddenly realized something. Sure, these problems may seem small, but they most likely a sign of something bigger that is disrupting our bond; like how a fin is a sign that a shark nearby. Annoyance at my friend’s animal obsession might actually be hinting at differences in how I and my friend think people should behave in public. Maybe I think my friend is childish for liking video games because we don’t share a lot in common in the first place. Suddenly, I found bigger issues to talk about with my friends. And to solve these problems, it’s going to take work and compromise from both parties. It will need patience, understanding, kindness, and most importantly, love.

Even though I haven’t started on resolving these issues, I know that in the future this revelation will pay off. We’re going to find problems with our friends, our family, our romantic partners, and every other person we meet. However, if we manage to get to the bigger root of these issues and are willing to work through them, then it won’t be so hard to stay “in love” with those most important to us.