I’ve struggled with this for as far back as middle school days. From a young age, we are taught what good and bad friends look like, and when we get older, we start to learn what healthy and unhealthy intimate relationships consist of. What teachers/parents/mentors don’t tell us is that we deal with and put up with what we think we deserve. For years, I convinced myself my high school relationship was just fine and we were happy, when the rest of the world saw right through it (and eventually, so did we). The same happens with friendship.
A good example of the point I’m trying to make happened junior year of high school. My best friend of eleven years and I were drifting apart and I took it upon myself to mend things, to make our friendship what it had been before this bomb called high school hit our lives. I would call to ask if she wanted to hang out, invite her into my homecoming/prom group, ask to study with her, etc. But it was always a no. She had new friends, which was great. It wasn’t that she had made new friends besides me, it was that eventually she seemed to wonder why we stopped hanging out, ignoring the fact that I had tried to stay in touch with her. I decided during the semester I was done reaching out to her. If she wanted to hang out with me, she could come to me and ask. I was done being the only person putting in effort. Friendship is not a one-way street.