Being a millennial in this age is a whirlwind. One day you’re in high school and talking about the cute boy you saw from church last Sunday—because where else would you see a cute boy? Nextthing you know, you’re in college, joining orgs, having internships, and forgetting all about your social life. Soon enough, you’re moving out, paying for your own rent, and learning how to live independently with your day job.
Crazy, right? That’s how fast-paced life is, no matter how much you want to slow down.
Through those years that just seem to swim by, you meet people—a lot of people, whether you like it or not, whether you remember or forget their names right off the bat. People come and go, that’s life. You come and go too. I guess there are just some—more than others—who find a reason to stay. And despite the busy schedules, the weeks that fly by without talking, and meeting up only once a month (or maybe even two), they are still there.
These types of friendships are what people call “low-maintenance,” are—honest to the world—the most genuine relationships a person can ever have. And that’s saying a lot.
Yes, it is important to always be there for people, and it is vital that you always have someone to run to whenever needed. I believe that a person should always surround herself with people that she loves and those who will look out for her. And who will look out for you better than your friends, right? Who doesn’t love constant plans, weekly girls nights, and every day lunches? Well, here’s where I’d like to contend just a bit.
Friendship isn’t a routine. It’s a bond. A bond of mutual affection between two people, or even a group of people. It is a contract-less pact that you will be there for each other for as much as each person can, and that it will, at times, be your duty to be the shoulder to cry on. Or the “get-me-out-of-here” phone call. Or the spa buddy. Or the person to slap you in the face in the event of utmost stupidity.
That’s what friends do.
Meeting up every day isn’t a requirement. So is talking—whether through a phone call or through chat—every day necessary. The bond isn’t meant to go stale over a period of time, it’s meant to last forever. For as long as the relationship possibly can. Why exhaust everything in such a short span? Isn’t it better to go day by day, feeling secure, but also broadening your horizons at the same time? That’s pretty epic.
Low-maintenance friendships are low-maintenance not because you plan it to be. It just is. It gets to that point where you are assured of each other so much, that you don’t doubt the distance and the time.
Am I getting my point across? Okay, here’s why, I value it so much:
There are no expectations
When you’re with someone or talking to them every day, expectations are set that you must alwaysdo those things. Then when that one time comes that she or you don’t get to deliver, all hell breaks loose.
Friendship isn’t a barter trade. It’s not always you giving, because she gave, or she’s there because you were there. It’s the spontaneous dates that matter, the unplanned phone calls, the communication. You’re never afraid to ask each other the most basic or the deepest questions. “Hey! Are you busy? Can I call you any time soon?”, “Is it okay if take a rain check on that movie? My meeting got extended,” “WHY ARE YOU DATING THIS DOUCHE?” You’re unapologetic about each other, you understand from a point of view that sees the big picture, and you compromise.
You understand each other too much to fight
Drama is definitely lessened. And not because you don’t spend enough time together to even build any drama, but because you know what the other is going through. Both of you are busy and working on different things, that you can’t even imagine the hardships that your bestie is handling. Besides, both of you don’t have time for drama.
Your time together? Precious.
You both know that it’ll be a hot minute till the next time you see each other, so when you do, the sky is the limit. Every second is never wasted. Whether it’s a shopping date, a road trip, a movie night, or even just a plain old lunch date, nothing is ever just plain. It’s loud, filled with laughter (or tears), and it’ll always be the highlight of your week. Time with your bestie will never be dull. You’ll soak in every moment and it’ll be magical.
This is probably the most important. Low-maintenance friends can go on for days without keeping in touch. It won’t be like high school when you knew where your BFF was every second of every day. No, this is the real world. It’s either you’re too busy in different colleges, or too caught up making your own living, but one thing remains: the urgent phone call? The video chats despite the long-distance time difference? The perpetual shoulder to cry on after the painful breakup? That all stays. Because that’s what you have—an unconditional bond. A relationship that will build stronger with the hardships, and will wither all sorts of challenges that hinder you from loving each other. Distance, stupid decisions, or a really bad drunken night can never change what both of you have. And whatever happens, you have each other.
Everything else can go fast-paced—time, the people you meet, your jobs, your emotions—but a friendship that is true will always stay and work with the current of your daily lives.
Art by Tricia Guevara
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