If you are 25+ you are too old to have frenemies. A frenemy is a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry. Now let me say this, I am a Southern Belle and I believe in southern hospitality, being cordial, and polite. Just because you do not like someone does not mean that you have to be rude or nasty with them. Especially, if you are in a position that you have to see someone that you do not like (school, work, church, family, etc.) I highly recommend being polite. However, it is unhealthy for you to maintain a relationship with someone if you are unclear about the authenticity of the friendship.
I don’t believe that anyone at any age should have a frenemy but before 25 years old most of us are just developing what friendship looks like for us. Frenemies are for school girls and politicians. If you are an adult and still have frenemies it is time to reevaluate your squad.
I am also a believer that with age comes wisdom and higher level of discernment. The older that I get the less I am concerned with the number of friendships I have and I am more concerned about the quality of my friends. I am a believer that a good friend is absolutely priceless. Adversely, a frenemy is toxic.
I know many of us have maintained frenemies for a number of years either because of proximity or because you want to keep that person close because you want to keep an eye on them. A frenemy relationship functions in a grey area for a number of years not really knowing if the friendship is truly authentic or not.
There is a clear distinction between someone that is a sucky friend and someone that is a frenemy. A sucky friend is someone that does not all the way have your back but has a good heart. This person may miss your major life events but they show up in the tenth hour. They may be a little selfish and always put their needs before the friendship. Actually, this person may not be a sucky friend but just may be dealing with their own “stuff” in this season of life.
But a frenemy is a lot easier to spot. I narrowed it down to one simple question. Do you have reason to believe that this person has ill will toward you? If the answer is yes, it is time to break up with that “friend.” And yes, I said breakup. I have always found it weird that in romantic relationships most people deeply desire “closure” or some form of breakup conversation. Depending on the length of the friendship I believe formal breakups are appropriate. I think of it is a time to clear the air and be on the same page moving forward. I suggest this for a number of reasons but mainly because when we break up with friends everybody seems to knows but that person.
At the tender age of 31, there are few things I value more than clarity in a relationship. You should not have a Judas/Judy or your team and if you do you need to have to tools to quickly identify who they are and clearly and respectfully dismiss them from your life. Frenemies are dangerous relationships to maintain. The best course of action is to leave them folks alone and develop a real team of people that want to see you happy, healthy, and successful.
Feel free to tell your frenemy, “it’s not you, it’s me.” My mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing are more important than any relationship will ever be.
I’m good luv, enjoy.