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I’ve always been interested in friendship. What constitutes a friend versus an acquaintance? How do you make friends when you’re an adult? Or maybe the question is how do you find them?
I once went to lunch with someone and asked her how she found friends. I don’t remember her answer but I do remember she looked at me strangely and we didn’t go to lunch again.
I learned asking how people found friends may not be the best way to start a friendship. Much better to ask the third or fourth lunch date.
Losing friendships is also a curiosity to me.
I lost a friendship this year. it was the oddest thing that’s ever happened to me and it made me second guess myself immensely. I’ve lost friends due to growing apart, moving, graduating; normal instances when you may grow apart from someone. This was the first one to memory where a friend asked if we could take a break.
I knew something was up because suddenly texts and phone calls weren’t returned. I wanted to figure out if I’d done something. I think it’s interesting that when someone pulls back, I think it’s my fault. What did I do wrong? What did I say wrong?
It made me question my other friendships as well. I wasn’t sure what happened and so sometimes I wonder why anyone is my friend. If so, why?
I had thought she and I were close friends. I counted her as one of my closest. And then she was gone. It was unsettling. It is unsettling.
I was reading Falling by Jane Green. Her main character had a similar “break up” with a friend. Except her main character didn’t question herself. She saw this friend again doing the same thing to someone else. She collected people. So the main character did well moving on.
It was nice to know that people go through similar things, but I doubt I’m going to find my previous friend around town. In fact, I haven’t seen her once since.
I recently saw a performance of Random Gifts of Art, a social art project. They spoke of how sad it is so many are isolated from others and connecting with people is one of the most fulfilling things we can do. They connected with others through giving art. I don’t have any art to give people but I realized I can’t isolate myself. I can’t live in fear that people won’t like me. Even though it’s a deep fear I’ve developed from this experience, I can’t let it stop me.
I try to help my kids with their friendships. I tell them that they are amazing people and that friends come and go and that’s alright. That they will only have a few truly close friends and to cherish those. And I try to remember that myself. The hard part is when a cherished, close friend comes and goes. There’s really nothing to be said about it. It hurts and may make you questions yourself, but are still good people out there and you need to trust in them.
But it’s hard.
There aren’t even any good songs to sing while eating ice cream about it.
A true travesty.
Has anyone else lost a friendship without knowing why? Any good coping mechanisms? Besides cake? Or am I the only one this has happened to?