I used to be quite a loud and popular person in high school; I spoke to nearly everyone and it seemed that most people liked my presence. After high school, I realised that I had only two friends; a childhood friend and one guy I met in high school who's fancied me for years.
My childhood friend has always had issues and although our friendship has improved recently, it's not remarkable. I asked her to be my best friend about 15 years ago and we have been ever since. I thought our friendship was quite special and still do now to some extent because we've stuck around for so long.
When we were younger I felt she copied me at just about everything and not only that, she had to go that little bit further. I once bought an expensive teddy and named her Elizabeth. Not long after, she bought a nice teddy and called her Libby, which I'm sure you know is a shorter version for Elizabeth. I'd bought mine some outfits, she went out and got a couple exactly like mine because she thought they were so nice. I was happy with the bear and clothes I had, but she then went and got a teddy wardrobe and cot for it! That kind of situation happened a lot growing up, she even copied my laugh and mannerisms but I didn't mind her copying me too much, she was looking up to me (I think she still does now).
In high school, she started hanging around with the "cool" people. She didn't alienate me from her at that time, but I felt our friendship was going to end after high school because she seemed to prefer her new friends over me. I knew her new friends weren't genuine; they all needed someone to follow them around and my friend was someone to do that. You could say she's always been a lost puppy who just needed to be accepted somewhere and she was. My friend involved me in parties but for the most part, she was enjoying her time with them and I was enjoying my time with my friends.
Like I predicted, a year or so after high school, she admits that she's lost contact with most of the people from high school and the one friend she was really close with (whom she probably preferred over me for quite some time) didn't seem to care about her problems. That's where I came in. She suffers with depression and has real bad mood swings so about 3 times a week, I'll get a huge text/rant in which I reply with some advice. I don't really mind doing it; I like to help where I can. However, it makes me feel like she's just using me as a shrink now she has no-one left. Exactly what she'd do in high school. She would regularly blow me off to hang out with others, she'd invite me somewhere, only for her to cancel last minute or most prominently, she would ask me to go out because her other friends had cancelled on her. I became that rebound friend. So although she doesn't/hasn't treated me very well in the past, I feel like we benefit from each other but I don't remember it ever feeling like a genuine mutual friendship. A lot of the time I see her, it feels forced, not because I actually want to see her. I'm not saying I don't enjoy being with her, I just never have that craving to see her and haven't had it with anyone until recently so I presumed it was the norm or that I wasn't a very social person anymore.
The guy who's liked me throughout high school and even to this day (not as much now) is friends with me, for that reason. I know if he didn't have some feelings for me, he would not be friends with me now. He always says he genuinely cares about me and to be fair, he does show it but I feel it's only because of his feelings. I don't feel like the friendship is genuine, I rarely if at all have an urge to see him and sometimes I don't want to as he can make things uncomfortable.
Now I've made new friends in college, it's made me question my longest lasting friendships. I've made one friend in particular who I get along with really well and he also agrees that we do. It's gotten to the point that we say the same thing or just one look and we know exactly what the other is thinking. We have the same sense of humour, he can have intelligent discussions, he's mature, he's trustworthy, not clingy and a genuinely great person. He brings out the best in me and makes my day brighter. I've never been around someone like that. He even has qualities my boyfriend doesn't and can me feel happier than ever. Most of the time, I look forward to seeing him and feel sad when I leave college. I don't think I've ever felt like that over a friend before. Despite practically pushing myself into the group at the end of last year for other reasons, they've made me feel accepted and have openly said how they prefer me over other people in the group who've been in it for the entirety of the friendship!
This is the first time that a friendship has made me beam with happiness whilst driving home, just from the thought of my friends. This is the first time I want to socialise and make an effort with these people because they're so good to me, I don't want to lose them! It's a strange, yet sadly new feeling but it's also a nice one.