Some mates are only "small dose friends", and that's OK.

Image: Girls/HBO.

Small dose friends. You know the ones I’m talking about. The people you adore seeing when it’s been a while, but if you see them too often it’s emotionally draining. Or irritating. Or just exhausting.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re not a very important part of your life.

Hannah and Marnie? Small dose. Miranda and Carrie? Small dose. Annie and Lillian? Small. Dose.

To have a friendship that is strong, meaningful and full of love, doesn’t mean you have to be in one another’s pocket all the time.

Psychologist Irene S. Levine told Mic that it’s a good idea to focus on the benefits of your friendship with a small dose mate.

“If something is consistently toxic or consistently negative, then you just don’t want it,” Levine told Mic. “But if it’s somebody with whom you have a shared history that’s irreplaceable — somebody who knows your parents, grew up on your block, went away to school with you — these are treasured memories you share with a person.”

To make myself feel less alone, I asked whether other people had small dose friends. Newsflash: everyone does. Here’s what they all have in common and why we should all feel OK about it.

1. They only talk about their significant other.

“I have a small dose friend. She only talks about her boyfriend/her boyfriend’s dog/her boyfriend’s job all the time. It is really hard to hang around her too much in one go but I still love seeing her.” – Sophie

Listen: Rebecca Sparrow and Robin Bailey, on how to go about breaking up with a friend. Post continues after audio. 

2. They are a little too intense.

“I have a good friend from high school who is just exhausting. He never just wants to grab brunch – if we ever catch up, he kinda expects it to be an ‘all day’ thing and looks physically wounded if I say, ‘OK, thanks for coffee, I have to go and do other things now!'” – Cynthia

3. All she wants to do is talk about herself.

“I have a friend who I have known for my whole life. When we were at school we could hang out all the time, no problem. But now whenever we catch up she only talks about herself. It is exhausting. I now only see her occasionally, because I genuinely do want to stay friends with her.” – Fran


4. She is too much of a gossip.

“I have a friend who just talks about people when we meet. It’s like they’re my go-to gossip person and all they want to talk about it is this random person from high school and how they dropped out of their uni degree and is now working at the local wherever. It’s a maximum hour of time spent with them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hang out occasionally.” – Megan.

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Coffee is never just coffee with some friends... (Image via iStock.)

 5. They get me down if I spend too much time with them.

"I have a friend who is really negative and cynical. She can be super funny, but also I find myself feeling drained and depressed after hanging out with her too much. A lot of my friends are small dose friends." - Belinda. (Post continues after gallery.)

 6. They complain a little too much.

"One of my best friend and I are so different, she just complains all the time and can be a total killjoy, but after about half an hour of complaining she's great to be around." - Rose

Do you have any small dose friends?