You Deserve People Who Show Up For You

A pink photograph of three statues of nude women posed together like close friends.

You deserve people who show up for you. 

You deserve a dozen phone calls on your birthday even though you hate attention because your crew knows how important it is to you to be remembered. 

You deserve friends who grant you grace when you get locked out of your apartment while walking your dog and you show up at their doorstep in the middle of the night and ask to sleep on their floor. 

You deserve a best bro who sends you a potato in the mail that has “I love you” written on it in black Sharpie along with your name and address, because apparently the Postal Service will in fact deliver a potato as long as it has the proper postage.

You deserve “lunch is on me, I think you got the last one.”

You deserve loved ones who talk to you directly about the tough problems, the uncomfortable shit, the miscommunications and mistakes that pile up and derail a friendship overtime if you are not careful and kind. You deserve mutual investment.

You deserve better than frosty silence via text.

You deserve a chosen family who helps you move out of your ex-boyfriend’s apartment when it’s sweltering outside and your FreshDirect bag full of clothes keeps falling off the luggage cart and they nearly get shut in the elevator doors. 

You deserve to be asked if you’re okay, no really are you okay, is there anything you need right now, is there anything I can do, even when your friend lives several states away and they can’t do more than send you heart emojis and affirming voice memos and $10 via Venmo so that you can treat yourself to McDonald’s french fries and not feel wasteful getting it delivered because you’re drunk off a single can of beer.

You deserve friends who check in—not just the day after, or the week after, but months after, even when by all accounts you should be “over it” but you’re not because emotions just don’t work that way.

You deserve an invitation to sleep over because it’s getting late and they know you’ve had a rough few weeks. You deserve to borrow pajamas and brush your teeth with your index finger and crawl into bed beside them with the windows open and their plants swaying in the breeze as the city roars you both to sleep. 

You deserve a friend who says, “I think you deserve to be treated better than that.”


Share this essay with a friend who has always been there for you.


Show up for me by joining my Patreon, which allows me to continue writing about intimacy and relationships as a full-time independent creator.

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Ella Dawson is a sex and culture critic and a digital strategist. She drinks too much Diet Coke.

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