March 24, 2009

On friendship

I had no idea that friendship was weighing so heavily on my mind until last night during dinner. What started off as an off-the-cuff comment about friendship ended up being a pretty lengthy discussion with Roy.

I have to wonder about friendship sometimes. It seems more often than not to be a product of convenience. You make friends with people you go to school with or work with or whatever, and then circumstances change, and it seems that many friendships seem to kind of fizzle out.

That's been my experience, anyway. I have very few friends who have stuck around for the long haul.

As much as I wanted to delete my MySpace and facebook accounts, I was also kind of reluctant to do so. So many people only communicate with me via those sites (which is weird to me), and so deleting my accounts seemed very final to me, in a way. But I did it anyway, for reasons I already talked about.

It makes me wonder if these friendships tend to fizzle out because the mode of interaction isn't equally effective for both sides. For me, I love communicating through email, especially during work hours or when talking with someone long-distance. (Of course, email is second to talking in person.) But several friends I have (who are even in different time zones) just don't use email that much - or perhaps they just don't email me that much. However, they are/were great about leaving comments on MySpace or sending messages through MySpace, and that never really worked for me. I'm sure we could talk on the phone, but no one seems to be a big phone person anymore. It seems that I talk to voice mail so much more than I talk to an actual person on the phone. Thus there is this breakdown in communication, and it honestly feels that no one is to blame.

But still, it's sad. It's sad that friendships have to change. Someone that I used to talk to and see every day now has to be pestered to no end to have dinner with me once every six months. While I know she's busy (as am I), I also know that we only have the time if we make the time.

It feels like several of my friendships are in the process of changing, and that is never really easy to deal with, especially when the changes are unwanted. But I'm not sure what I expected. I've been in the middle of a big, huge, gigantic change since September, and things are only going to change more. It's only natural that it would affect my relationships.

Obviously, this is really bothering me since I'm up at 4:45 writing about it.


Jessica said...

It's funny you mention's so true.

My very best friend moved across the country several years ago. I love her to death, but our relationship has been changing so much since she left, mainly because of communication issues.

Not only is there a time difference to deal with, but she is a phone person and I am an internet person. I am all about e-mail, facebook, whatever, and she likes to talk on the phone. I HATE the phone, but, of course, I will talk to's just not as easy and convienient for me.

I have found myself becoming better friends recently with "internet people" like myself--people who are willing to use the internet as their primary source of communication. My friendships with non-internet people are fizzling out because it's just not as easy for me.

It's really weird.

phairhead said...

I've been struggling w/ the change (or in some cases mutation!) of friendships. It's been weighing heavily on my mind since many of my close friends live out of state. But I'm rolling w/ the punches.

Angie Eats Peace said...

It is sad when these things change...I am learning that more and more all the time.

A said...

I know what you mean about friendships. I have about 3 friendships that I feel are lifelong friendships. They last through time and space. 2 of my friends live back in Bama and one I haven't seen in several years. Yet, we talk every once in a while and when we do, it's the same closeness. As if it hadn't been several weeks between chats.

When I got married and had children, the dynamics of some of my friendships changed. Everything revolves around my family and everything else is second. And it's not just my time that changed. I changed too. My interests are different. Some of my friends just don't fit into the thought process I now have.

It is sad to lose friendships, but I feel blessed to have the very few very good friends I do have. I'd rather have one really good friend than have several flakey friends, you know?

Crazy Daisy said...

My husband and I have talked at length about this "friendship" thing too. I am so happy you brought it up here.

I graduated from my (cohort model) masters program less than a year ago, and there are only 2 people I keep in touch with.

It does seem people come and go. I often feel selfish for "giving up" on trying to keep in touch. Yet, it is hard to continue to try. I have a couple good friends that I have known for a long time, and we always email, call, or have a girls weekend. I feel we just 'click' and understand that if one doesn't contact the other for 2 weeks, it is just we are busy, and that we will spend an entire weekend catching up.