On the brink of turning 30, I have come to terms with the fact that I am now a self-proclaimed social minimalist. In high school, similar to most teenagers, I had one or two solid best friends, as well as a small group of girlfriends with whom I went through different periods of being inseparable.
Then, at 19, while my friends were off to their second year of college and living their best party lives, I unexpectedly became pregnant. And although my girlfriends were all supportive, our friendships slowly fizzled out as the gap between our very different lives started to widen. While I was picking out onesies and strollers, my friends were choosing which top to wear to the club that night. It was a rough time for me, but I was able to keep my solid best friends, as well as gain new friends who were living more similar lives to mine.
With the birth of my second and third child, in less than a decade, it became increasingly difficult to maintain meaningful friendships. I felt as if most of my interactions with these friends were becoming increasingly dense, making me question why I was holding onto relationships for the sole reasoning of having a shared past. This lead me to take a deeper look into all of my relationships and cut out the ones who were no longer served a purpose.
These are the three friendships I have chosen to leave behind in my 20s:
1. The Gossipers
This group was made up mostly of friendships I’d held onto for a long time. I realized that with time, most of my friends and I had split paths, travelling in opposite directions. With a lack in similar interests, communication usually dwindled to small talk and gossip — both of which I have no time or patience for.
These friendships, although comforting on some levels, were base at best, and in my 30s I decided to only nurture the relationships that are truly meaningful and healthy for my soul.
2. The Toxics
You know that one girlfriend who only calls when something is wrong? The one who reaches out only when they are in need and never to just hear your voice? These were the next to get the boot. Taking care of young children is a full time job, and although I am always an open ear to a friend going through a rough spot, I will no longer be in friendships where I am only being used and never uplifted.
3. The Trumpers
Before any conservatives get their undies in a bunch, I am not referring to all Republicans here. I believe having friends from different political parties is essential, especially in our current climate. The friends I am referring to are the ones whose morals and beliefs are clearly on polar opposite ends of the spectrum from my own. Ones who support social injustices such as detaining children or a president who publicly mocks a sexual assault victim have been crossed off my list of confidantes. I cannot rationalize maintaining friendships with people who have so little empathy.
In dismissing these stunted relationships, I have been able to pour more of myself in the friendships that truly enhance my life. I am now able to better nurture the connections I have with my close knit group of women, women who uphold the same integrity and purpose as I do. Although it was difficult leaving some friendships behind, I am looking forward to sharing the peaks and valleys of my 30s with the people who matter most.