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Beautiful afro black young woman talking with her girlfriend on meeting in cafe.

Source: Husam Cakaloglu / Getty

 

Friending is not for the faint at heart. Friendship, as we know it, is a test of humanity that challenges our love, patience, respect and tolerance. There’s nothing better than being your whole authentic self with someone where laughs are abundant, support is present and connection comes so naturally that a friend becomes family. While having a friend who morphs into a sister makes friending flow more seamlessly, most friendships are not without incident. —And that’s because often friends are not having the simple conversations that need to be had up front. 

While we may not take the friendship for granted, many of us are taking those necessary conversations for granted. The thought being that if people are aligned in their friendship, they will mesh in other areas as well. If only that were true. The real truth is that friends may not agree on everything and in order to keep the peace in a friendship, need-to-know information needs to be known—up front. All parties involved need to know who is footing the bill for lunch; what is one another’s preferred travel style and how much a significant other is involved in the friendship. If these situations aren’t spoken to early on, you’re asking for awkward moments, side eyes, clutched pearls and ultimately, death to the friendship. Now—let’s discuss. 

 

I Got Five On It

When the waitress drops the bill on the table, what are we going to do? Are you the type of chick that likes to split the check, or are you a believer in whoever suggests the outing is responsible for the bill? Are you the friend who needs their own check or the one who orders the most and wants everyone to contribute? Let a good Sis  know. The last thing anybody wants is a server hovering around the table waiting for you and your homie to decide whether or not you want separate checks. 

 

Baby Shark

Striking a balance between motherhood and being single is necessary for your friends who have children and want to maintain a social life. That may call for you to be a resource when relief is pertinent. Are you down to be an auntie? Do you spring into the godmother role? Or is watching the kids a hard pass? Are you the type whose home is a kid-free zone? If you’re not going to babysit, then you gotta lay them cards on the table. Make it plain–as plain as when Michael Jordan said, “F**k them kids.”

 

Flat-Leave For The D

When the good D calls, the poom-poom usually answers and there’s nothing wrong with that—except when it interferes with homegirl plans and safety. Like will you pull out of dinner reservations for the D? Drop out of a hot girl weekend for that D? Will you abandon a bih at the club for the D? Are you running off with a dude and leaving a bihh stranded for the D? If so, that’s need to know information. Let a sis know. . 

Privacy

Choosing pillow talk over privacy is a big no-no. If you’re the person who shares the inner details of a friend’s life with your man—stop. Telling your friend’s business to your bed mate or anyone for that matter is a major violation. If you and your man have no secrets between you two that’s fine. That’s y’alls business. But it’s only right to keep your friends’ business out of your relationship. This might seem like an elementary understanding but it isn’t. Tell your friend not to do this.

Wheels Up

It’s great to have a friend who enjoys traveling as much as you do. Traveling partnerships aren’t always a perfect match. Knowing what kind of traveler your friend is beforehand can make or break a friendship. Disposable money needs to be considered. Poolside lounging in Puerto Rico might not excite like dune buggy rides in Dubai. They don’t run the same in cost either. Some friends want adventure while others want to relax and soak up the sun. Some friends want to blow the bag while others aren’t trying to break the bank. Before traveling with the homie, a conversation on travel style needs to be had.

 

No New Friends

Whew chile—for every new friend an extroverted friend makes, there’s an introverted friend cringing at the sideline. Social butterflies seem to rack up acquaintances as easily as Nick Cannon drops a new baby. However, not all friends are created equal. Some friends only rock with their own. They’re not interested in meeting the coworker who you go to happy hour with. They don’t have the capacity to vet new people and even if they did, they don’t want to. A lack of desire to engage new people is often misconstrued as the snooty, uppity or even antisocial when it’s really just self preservation. Thus, forcing unwanted friendship or interaction onto an exclusive friend is a big resounding NO. Have courtesy and a conversation.

What other conversations should we being having with our besties?

And why aren’t we having them?

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