Should you remain friends?

“Being friends with your ex shows you two are mature enough to get over the fact that you weren’t meant to be together” 

Most people’s answer here is: NO.

If you don’t follow what I’m talking about, i’m talking about whether you should remain friends with your exes or that guy/ girl you had a crush on but rejected you. I understand why you shouldn’t. People always say “well they are your ex for a reason” or “it just would be better – a cleaner break”. But I have never found this answer convincing. I think the reason for this is that I have always ended up dating my best friend (bad habit but oh well there are perks too).

I always believe that a friendship doesn’t need to be ruined just because you try to date them and it doesn’t work out. If it started as a strong, solid friendship, why would you have to give it up just because it did not work romantically? Who knows if your relationships became stronger because of it instead?

There are positives and negatives of remaining friends after your break-up. I know this cos  I dated and broke up with my best friend and we are still best friends. Please take this situationally because of course it depends on how close you were before, how you broke up, etc. Luckily for me I was really really close with my best friend and we broke up on really good terms.

The negatives:

1. It is so difficult to move on.
I suppose because you still text or call or just remain in contact with that person constantly it is so much more difficult to move on. You have to act as if a few years of your life was not invested in being romantically involved with that person. You have to deal with falling out of love while still constantly being reminded how great they are because you still talk to them often. This can lead to taking years and years to get over the person.

2. You have to deal with them talking to you about their newest crush/ girlfriend/ boyfriend
You might think you are so over them and don’t want to be with them which might be true but it still hurts when they talk about their newest interest or love. Especially if they ask for you advice on how to get closer to their newest crush or how to resolve a conflict. Oh and the worse thing they can possibly say: “Oh I’ve found this new girl and she reminds me so much of you” (oh wow thanks for telling me I’m so replaceable).

3.Can’t we work it out? That constant question of whether you can work it out. I mean you work well together as friends, why can’t you work your differences out? This question will continuously be tugging at the back of your mind. But whatever happens, your ex is your ex for a reason and you have to just set it aside no matter how tempting this thought is. Just don’t go there.

But the plus side:

1. You’re still able to talk to them about anything and everything
If you remain best friends there is absolutely no filter that goes through what you say to them. You can literally talk to them about anything in the world even intimate details about other people or yourself because well they’ve heard it before either as your best friend or your previous boyfriend/ girlfriend.

2. There is no judgement/expectations if you hang out together (even if it’s just the 2 of you)
I guess if they already have a new girlfriend/boyfriend you have to be lucky enough that they dont mind (which luckily I am). But you’re still able to be go out together and catch a movie or have a besties-date having fun and with limited boundaries without being scared that it might end up being awkward/ that one of you will have feelings again because that’s over and it didn’t work in the past. So now you can just enjoy the friendship 🙂

3. You can still hang out with his/ her closest friends
There is no loss in friendship with his/ her friends because you are still friends. You can even still hang out as a group without it being weird. You can still have fun with their friends and your friends won’t tease the 2 of you either because they know that you are just friends. It would feel as if nothing has changed.

4. Reminiscing “those old times”
Just last week my ex sent me a picture of a bookmark I gave him a while back asking “was this from you? I was cleaning up my room 😂” and “wow those good old times when we were dating. That was so long ago!”. Which is a conversation I have with him once in a while. We know that we are so over each other and so we can always look back to those memories with little pain and just smile about it – that it happened 🙂 I mean, every relationship comes with its own lessons. Value the lessons you had with your ex as something precious and a part of you.

5. Most importantly – you dont lose your friend. Enough said about that. Friendship is precious especially if you were such close friends before.

Well I have given what I think the + and – of still remaining friends with your ex, reflecting my own experience. And I would say I never regret the choice.

Of course the main thing here is that both of you need to be mature about it. Rebuilding a friendship from a broken relationship doesn’t take overnight. There are moments where you know you have to give the other some space and let them think about it. But the most important thing is not to give up on it, not be awkward and be mature about it. Rebuild the dynamic that you had before you started going out.

And if you were never really close to begin with… that might be a little difficult because you have no comparison to fall back to. But still hope for the best and don’t give up if the person matters to you! 🙂

Find your passion. Follow your heart.

Maintaining Long Distance Friendships

“Though miles may lie between us, we are never far apart. For friendship doesn’t count miles, it’s measured by the heart”

I think those of you that read this would know that I have moved around quite a bit in my life. With this, comes the amazing opportunities to make so many new friends from all over the world. It’s a huge blessing and I am eternally grateful for it. However, there is one downside to it – I would never have that particular friend who I have been friends with since kindergarten.

Over the years, I have finally come to realise that friendship (and relationships too but that will probably be for another day) takes a great deal of effort to be maintained – especially if you are no longer in the same country. For those of you who feel frustrated that they have distanced from their old friends, here are some tips that I hope helps you (cos it has helped me so far :))

1. Make the effort to contact them

This may seem very obvious (at least for the first 6 months when you’re apart but becomes less so the longer it is) but you do have to make that extra effort to contact them. Not having their number is no excuse nowadays 😉 (don’t forget facebook messenger/ email/ etc). Find whatever way you can and contact your old friends.

2. Reply with all your heart

It might seem tempting to not reply after a while because you are busy and the conversation might not be so interesting but do reply. Of course you will be busy with other things (especially when you live in different timezones. But you can always reply later on (a few hours later, or even days later) when you actually have the time to reply all your friend’s messages. This really shows that you are making the effort. Half-hearted messages are the worst because it shows that you are in fact feeling bothered by the messages and your friend might be hesitant in replying again after that.

3. Maintain regular contact

There are friends that you can only talk to for a few hours while there are those who you can have a conversation for years non-stop (I’m not even joking it has happened). So whatever the conversation length is, make sure you keep in regular contact with them. Check-up on them when you feel it’s appropriate (e.g every week/ every month). This shows how much you do still think of them.

4. Remember important dates/ events

This is another thing that helps to maintain the friendship. Of course it’s a given to remember your friend’s birthday – so I’m not talking about that. But do try to remember important events happening in their lives – exams/ presentations/ job interviews/ when they are going on holiday/ etc. This is not only a reason for you to talk to them (hey sometimes even the closest friends run out of topic right? :p) but also it shows that you remember about them even though you are halfway across the world (and trust me it matters :)). Another extra step you can take is to maybe send them a card/ note/ present (depending on the situation) for this specific event especially if you know that your friend will really need that extra support from you 🙂

4.1 (?) Mini tip (especially for those that have friends that are in different timezones)

search the timezones on google or put the specific timezones your friends are in in your phone so you don’t forget the time difference. It comes in handy when you want to wish your friends a happy birthday/ good luck at a specific time. Hopefully then you won’t end up missing the event completely which has happened more often that I’d like to admit for me and my friends unfortunately :/.

5. Plan something

If you have plans to visit your friends in the various countries/ at home this is one thing I have always found helpful. Through this you get to finally meet your friends again and catch-up with them. Often I feel that this will make your friends feel remembered even amongst the new friends that you have made.

 

I focused more on Long Distance Friendships here because I know how valuable friendship is especially when you are someone who moves around so much and don’t get the security of having that 1 friend that is always there (because hey you are not even in the same country). I will write on Long Distance Relationships sometime later. The most important thing I think to remember is that Long Distance Friendships (like all relationships) takes both sides to make the effort. If you are the only one making the effort it’s not going to work out. So don’t forget to make sure you and your friend is on the same page :).

Oh if it doesn’t work out the first time round, try again (if you believe the friendship is worth it). There is never a point where it is too late as long as you’re willing to take that extra step. I just recently reconnected with a friend that I lost contact with for 4 years and another that I lost contact with for 9 years :). So hopefully these tips will be useful to you. And if you have any of your own tips please let me know too 🙂 I would love to get some inputs.

Friends are treasures – don’t forget that 🙂

Follow your heart. Find your passion.

Finding Good Friends

“Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget”

Friends are the people who you hang-out with, talk to and have an overall good time. But how often do we find loyal and true friends? True friends stick with us through the happy times, the sad times, and all the moments of our lives. They are there for you no matter where you are and when you need them.

I have observed that when we’re young, we make friends quickly, with less prejudice, less judgement and less expectations. All it takes is a single moment of happiness playing together to become friends. But as we grow older, broken friendships and hurt often either cloud or change our perception and we tend to be more selective in making friends. On one hand, the friendships we make tend to last longer as we grow older (not always true but well sometimes) because we tend to be more picky. But on the other, we surround ourselves with only people that we like, people who are usually similar with us or at least who gets/ appreciates us.

It made me think of a few questions on certain traits of friends that we always look for.

1. How easy is it nowadays to find loyal friends?

“Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there”

Friends who are always there for us. This might seem quite cynical-but it’s rare.

Whether we want to accept it or not, the moments you spend with someone matters. If you see someone everyday, you’ll get close to them because you are automatically around them. But if you only meet that person once every 6 months, it often requires a lot of effort. The differences in schedule, changes in views, and often time difference changes how much you feel that person is able to relate to you. Now, I am not going to dwell on long distance relationships/ friendships. I think I’ll save that for another day but friends often come and go. It is just part of life. As we grow, the type of friends we make continue to change.

Then how do we define “loyalty”?

By definition, being loyal means: giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.

In my personal opinion, being loyal as a friend just means being there for them when they need them. Or at least if you are busy at that time to ask them what happened or message or call them when you’re no longer preoccupied. It means that you occasionally ask how are they doing and what is going on with their life. It simply means to not forget about them.

It’s oh-so-easy to forget about old friends when you have made new ones. Especially if it’s in a completely different setting, place and environment. But I’ve always believed that every friend you make contributes to who you are (bad and good). They have impacted you one way or another. It is as how the dictionary simply puts it a way of showing your friend that you care and support them constantly and giving them attention.

2. How easy is it to find trustworthy friends? Who will stand up for us when we need help? or who will take care of us in our moments of vulnerability?

Friends are easy to come-by. Especially if it’s merely for a night of fun. But when it comes to the deep and more complicated things in your life – you find out who you really can trust. In the end I think that finding a friend who have the same values as you, matter. Of course this doesn’t mean that you can’t have friends that have a different mindset than you because you definitely can as long as you compromise. But, having friends that have the same way of thinking as you help a lot. They defend the same thing as you and ultimately help you achieve the goal of what type of person you want to be.

Find a friend that you can confide in the most difficult situation. Find someone who not only can keep a secret, but is willing to break that secret if it means to improve you. Find a friend that cares about you, who won’t take advantage of you.

I have found it difficult to do so but often these things take time. Finding a trustworthy friend takes a lot of searching and questioning. Trust your gut instinct. It’s often right. Can you trust the person? It might take a little more effort, but when you have found that trustworthy friend, it’ll be worth it.

3. How easy is it to find a non-judgemental friend? Who will accept you for who you are? Not try to change you but yet will try to make you a better person? Who won’t make you do stupid things that they know is harmful?

“A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked”

I do believe that having friends that are non-judgemental takes a while. We are all, after all, very judgemental people (unfortunately). A few of us are lucky enough not to be as judgemental. But I, for one, know myself – I’m judgemental as many people are. It is so difficult to not judge someone especially if they are your friends (newly made friends, that is) because you are in the process of getting to know them and you might find out more than you really want to know. However, I believe that with time you just begin to accept them for who they are.

Then if we are all judgemental how do you find non-judgemental friends?

Don’t go for friends who you know are quick to judge or at least judge people out loud. Because that indicates a lack of effort for that person to get to know you. If the person try to get to know you and ask questions – I believe it’s a good sign. I think that it is a sign that that person is trying to understand your way of thinking and trying not to judge you by understanding you.

Luckily, most of the time, once you have hit at least 1 year (or even less for some) of friendship you just don’t question your friends as much and just accept them for their quirky self-and-all.

Ok those are my quick thoughts on finding good friends. I’m definitely not going to list out  all the qualities of what constitute a good friend because then I will be writing a novel probably. But these are just some thoughts of mine. Would you agree? Do you have any other tips to find good friends? or other qualities to look out for?

For my own friends:
“Here’s the nights that turn into mornings with the friends that turned into family.”

Don’t forget: follow your heart, find your passion.