Have you ever thought about those one-way friendships you have? You know, those ones that you’ve tried to keep alive as you’ve drifted apart, or moved to different parts of the city, country, world. Perhaps at the beginning of the separation, you were both great at keeping in touch. You Skyped, you messaged, you Facebooked or Tweeted. But as time went on, the gaps between messages grew longer, the updates less frequent … and suddenly it was all one-sided. It was just you sending the messages, sending emails.
How long do you let this one-sided friendship continue? Do you just give up, realising your friendship was for a time, and while it’s sad, perhaps it’s best to let it go?
I guess the stink part is that as you get older, it becomes harder to make new friendships.
Primary school was easy, because if you had the same favourite colour you were instantly friends. If you shared felt pens: friends. If you gave someone half your sandwich: friends. If you sat on the mat next to each other: friends.
In high school, you made friends through your classes. Both love Algebra: friends. Both can’t do biology or wonder why it’s needed for life: friends. Pen runs out in an exam and you need to borrow one: friends.
Sure perhaps in high school and leading up to University, it’s more complicated than that, but really that’s the beginning of friendships. But what happens when suddenly high school is over, and University is either in a different city or you’ve chosen to go straight into the workplace after school but everyone else has moved away?
Suddenly all those friends and people you saw every day are no longer around. You’ll make more friends at Uni, never fear, and if you’ve got a good work place then there will be people there too. But what if you’ve finished Uni, you’ve started working, and yes, it’s all fine and dandy, but those friends you had that you thought would be friends for life? What happens to them? Where do they go? Where have you gone?
Drifting away from friends can be tough, and making knew ones when you’re an adult is even harder. But those friendships which were so great when you were together which start to disintegrate when you move apart .. where do you draw the line in terms of trying to keep the friendship alive?
Life is busy. People are bustling around doing all the things in their lives, and keep up with the people who are already around you can be tricky at the best of times. Those friends who have moved away, though, can become a memory if you don’t try and keep up with what they’re doing, send them a message every so often to check in.
I’ve been very lucky the past few years. After coming to a city where I knew very few people, I’ve managed to make some incredible friends, and that’s thanks to Church. But if you don’t have a place that is separate from your work, then it can be hard.
What I’ve learnt from being an ‘adult’ and trying to make new friends is that it’s okay to let those others go. Yes, it’s difficult to do that, but it’s better to let them go than to waste all your energy on something that’s not working out. One day you might meet up again, you might become inseparable. But not today.
I’ve learnt that everything is for a season. I’ve learnt that it’s not great for either party to try and force the friendship.
I’ve learnt that it’s okay to them go.
Have you ever had friends like this? Did you make it work, or let them go?