What are we to do about “sometimey” friends?
I learned the term “sometimey friends” from my grandmother many years ago. The definition is pretty self-explanatory, but for the sake of this blog post:
A sometimey friend is a friend who is…sometimes your friend and…sometimes not.
A friend who sometimes wants to hang out and sometimes doesn’t even text you back.
A friend who sometimes makes you feel like their bff and sometimes ditches you for someone else.
As opposed to fair-weather friends, a sometimey friend’s presence in your life is not solely contingent on how well or badly things are going for you. The sometimey friend’s pattern of closeness (and distance) is unique to that particular sometimey individual.
As most of us have learned, there are many different levels and nuances when it comes to the umbrella of friendship. In theory, there is nothing wrong with having – or being – a sometimey friend.
Problems are likely to arise, however, when your expectations and desires conflict with reality (or another person’s expectations and desires).
If you’re expecting a sometimey friend to be a consistent best friend forever? There are going to be issues.
Conversely, if you want a friendship you can generally dip in and out of and your friends are expecting you to show up consistently and be ride-or-die? There are going to be issues.
There is power in being honest with yourself and others about the type of friendships you want, the type of friendships you are able to offer, and the the things you need in order to feel valued and fulfilled in a friendship.
As in the dating process, it helps if all parties can be honest and communicative about these things initially, as well as on an ongoing basis.
But as we know, this doesn’t always happen.
Instead, we often have to observe others, ourselves and the situation, come to our own conclusions about what is going on, be honest with ourselves and ask:
If this never changes, can I accept it?
There is nothing wrong with deciding that you cannot. Sometimes you just aren’t looking for the same things as someone else.
There is also nothing wrong with accepting a sometimey friend for who they are, if you are okay with having this type of friend in your life. If, for example, you have several close friends and are comfortable including a couple of sometimey friends in the mix, you can enjoy that setup if it works for you.
Be a good friend to yourself first, and start by being honest with yourself about what you want, need, and are able to offer another person. Don’t be afraid or ashamed of the answers. There is power in your truth, and it takes bravery and a healthy amount of self-love to embrace it.
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This site is for informational purposes only. It isn’t intended to diagnose or treat any mental health problems and is not intended as psychological advice.
© 2022 Gina Davis, PsyD. All rights reserved.