Friend groups are great. Seriously, they're fantastic – essential, vital, so important. They're hard, though – harder if there's an odd number in the group, I think. They're also all different, of course, because each and every one of us is different, but there are certain truths about most of them. The difficulties and the stereotypes don't detract from the general awesomeness of friend groups, though. If anything, the tragic truths about every friend group make them that much more amazing.
Always. The party animal is fun – more so when you're younger, granted, and partying doesn't leave you exhausted and hungover for a week afterward. This is the friend who keeps all of you young, though. This is the friend you trust to spice up your wedding reception and your anniversary parties. And yeah, sometimes s/he will end up in your bathtub with a bottle of wine a three o'clock in the morning, but hey. It happens.
This would be me. I am this friend. We often try to disguise our pessimism as realism, and we do try to be optimistic, but it never quite works out that way. This friend is sometimes a downer (sorry), but her or his intentions are always good. And I promise, we do get genuinely excited when our friends have good news.
The Jules friend – from St. Elmo's Fire, you know? There's always one. Sometimes it's the party animal, but not always. This friend exasperates all of you on occasion, and at certain points, you'll all get fed up, but you'll never stop being there for her or him.
It's so easy to grow apart. Sometimes, it's because you all spread yourself wide. People move across the state, the country, or simply across town. New relationships grow. Old relationships fade. Babies are born. People get married. There are promotions and firings, triumphs and tragedies. Life happens, basically. This doesn't happen to all friend groups, though, not by any means – but sometimes you all have to work to stay close.
Keep in mind, friends who do this are not worth having, with the exception of special circumstances. Friendship breakups are always messy, though, so if you're friends with two people who have a falling out, it can get tough.
Then there's this situation. You're friends with a couple and suddenly they split. Not every breakup or divorce is acrimonious. Exes sometimes stay friends with each other, so there's never any reason to choose. Following especially messy breakups, however, you might be confronted by two people who want you to choose. Essentially, you might become property in the divorce.
This is one of the most tragic truths of far too many friend groups. I think that's also why odd numbers are such a problem. It's too easy to leave out someone, even if that's not your intention at all. Then again, in some groups, someone is always purposely left out. I think that applies more to cliques than true friend groups, though.
Are you part of a friend group? How do you strike a balance?
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