Progression of Friendships

The progression of a friendship can go one of two ways. Either you will bond and become close friends that share everything and no matter what happens in your life you two will still try to stay in contact and be involved in each other’s lives or you will become close friends and gradually as the years go by slowly start separating until, without you even realizing, you no longer talk.

Most of my friendships ended up the second way. I could point fingers for why they ended like that but, what’s the point? People grow up, start their own lives, and things change.

As you get older you start careers, have babies, get married, and move. I mean this is a fact of life. Sometimes you might not have babies or maybe you don’t get married but things change, the older you get, that separate you from people you once called friends. I know this, yet at the same time I didn’t think it would happen to my group of friends.

I mean there was a group of around 7-10 of us that were inseparable throughout high school and community college. I was a freshman while the rest were mostly juniors and seniors but, it didn’t matter. We would ride to school together, had classes together, got food on lunch break together, and cruise around like typical high school kids after school. I mean we hung out from the time I left my house in the morning until my curfew at night.

Almost every memory I have of high school involves these people. Even when they graduated and started community college we made time to hang out. The ones that stayed in town and commuted to college still hung out together all day/night and the ones that moved for college still invited us to stay at their place and hang out all weekend. There was this unbreakable bond between all of us. Until the bond started to rust and pieces began to flake off.

I remember it slowly starting right before I was to move for college and it was never the same after that. I left and maybe it’s because I left that its never felt the same for me. I was gone for almost 4 years. I visited and two or three visited me but, it wasn’t the same. Then gradually there wasn’t anymore text messages, phone calls, or Facebook photos to tag. Slowly other people started taking over the group and new friendships were formed.

I guess it’s all part of growing up but, I thought once I moved back for my new job things would change and the friendships would gradually become stronger again. It didn’t end up that way though. I guess I grew up and changed more than the people I once called friends had. I still like to go out and have fun but, I have responsibilities that keep me from hanging our throughout the week and most of them can’t understand that. I’ve grown up and moved away and yet they are still doing the same thing they were when I left almost four years ago.

Don’t get me wrong though not everyone is doing the same thing there were plenty of marriages and births. It’s just that I never realized how much the bond had rusted until I moved back.

I’m leaving for Macedonia for two years and I’ve been thinking about having a going away party to say goodbye to all of those friends. Yet, the more I think about it the more I think what’s the point. None of these people even talk to me anymore and they have their own lives and new friends.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not sitting here weeping about it. I’ve made new friends who I’ll miss when I leave and that will miss me and I understand that people grow apart and all that jazz. I guess since I’m leaving for two years it has just made me contemplate my relationships and life a little more than usual. It has made me reminisce on everything that used to be and how much has changed.

 

Have you ever had friendships you thought would last a lifetime? Have they lasted or have they crumbled like mine? If so, do you know why?

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22 thoughts on “Progression of Friendships

  1. I am in my late 20s and have been friends with one particular friend since we were 5. We’ve had our ups and downs, but up until college were mostly inseparable. We began to drift, which felt natural if I’m honest, with both our lives taking us in opposite directions.

    Last year, said friend had a baby and has been reaching out more. Let me tell you, I wish this friendship had been able to fade naturally into a peaceful place because it has become difficult and forced. She reaches out occasionally and interactions are full of feelings of obligation. Besides our past, we’ve grown to have very little in common as people and adults. But every time she calls, I feel obligated to meet up or hang out, even when there’s nothing to say, simply because we’ve known each other so long.

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    1. I am in my mid 20’s and this is what seems to keep happening with friendships. I too had a friend that I was close with since 8th grade (one of the group) and we were inseparable. We too began to drift when I left for college and she stayed. Whenever I came back to visit everything was the same until around the 3rd year. That’s when we stopped texting and when I came back to visit I didn’t stay at her place. Like your friend and you our lives where taking us different places and it felt natural. When I moved back home I thought it would go back to the way it used to be but, it didn’t. I completely agree with you that fading out naturally is easier. We haven’t had those awkward times trying to figure out what to say or do when you never used to have those. Maybe it is a good thing that is how my friendship ended because I wouldn’t want to see how awkward we would be together now.

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  2. Hey I found you on community pool and I like your stuff. I’m still young at 16 so still in high school and I’ve never really had very many friends and the ones that I’ve had have always ended the second way for so many different reasons ranging from I moved to a different area to we simply went to different schools. Keep up the great posts

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    1. For being so young you are able to clearly and articulately express yourself kudos to you. I found your blog interesting too. I didn’t have many friends either just my close group so it’s different not having them anymore. I just read your, “How to Impress Teachers” post…I’m a teacher so it was quite funny to see what you wrote. Keep up the writing.

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  3. About a year ago and a half ago my best friend and I started to drift apart, then some drama went on but we “sorted it”. When I finished school and went off to start college I stopped talking to her- and she didn’t try and contact me. We haven’t spoken since but we see each other the odd time. The crazy thing is that we were so close, neither of us would have thought this would happen. And even now a year and a half later I still miss her a little but I don’t know if the friendship can be salvaged. I found your post so relatable even though I know I’m only young still, I have more growing up to do. But the part about drifting apart, I completely understood.

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    1. Did she move off to start college too? Just wondering because I’m the one that left for college and my best friend didn’t. In fact she’s still in the town we grew up in. As someone else mentioned in the comments they were glad their friendship ended naturally and I think I might agree. Trying to talk to someone you used to be best friends with and realizing that you guys can’t talk the way you used to is ten times worse then letting a friendship that was meant for one phase of your life fade out when you enter the next phase.

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      1. It’s a funny situation really. I didn’t like how I was in that friendship. Then there things that built up and I just didn’t feel like I was getting what I was giving to the friendship. We both go to the same college (where we live too). I think I just need some time to grow into being my own person again. In both our defences to the things that went on, we were both in our final year of school, trying to do well to get into college, so that probably would have contributed.

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      2. Sometimes a best friend was meant for a certain part of your life only. I feel like that’s how it is with the friends I had. They helped me through so much in high school and community college but now I don’t really need that kind of help and we’ve gone our own ways.

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    1. I’m not great at making friends and that’s probably because I made what I thought were life long friends in high school. As time went on I realized that wasn’t true. I’m ok with it though. I’ve built my life and am living it the way I want to and I think that’s what really matters.

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  4. Have you ever heard the expression…”If you want a friend, you have to be a friend.” I have friends that I’ve had for more than 30 years. There have been huge chunks to time where we weren’t in contact. Then I decided to change that. Who knows exactly why people seem to move on. I suspect it’s because in today’s world we have lots of things vying for our attention. There’s only 24 hours in a day. Then there’s the old saying: “Out of site out of mind.” If you know where these folks are that you’d like to have in your life again, reach out to them. Don’t wait and complain because then you start feeling bad, and thinking wrong about your self. If you don’t know ask!

    My sister and brother-in-law have friends friends, and more friends. I promise you, I wouldn’t want to have that many friends just to say I have friends. The way I do it, I can pick and choose. Try it…you may like it!!!

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    1. I’ve heard the expression and I do agree with it. My thing is that during the 4 years that I was gone for college I was the one making the effort to be a friend, stay in contact, go back and visit while they were the ones who had more time to goof off and couldn’t come visit me. Every time I came home they would say, “Why didn’t you text or call me?” while I was thinking that they could have done the same. I guess it just got old always being the one to try while they were to busy doing their thing.
      Plus, there’s only one or two other people that were in the group that went off to college. A lot of the other ones are still stuck in the “party” phase of the early twenties while I moved on to the career and figuring out life phase. Don’t get me wrong I still like to go out but, it seems that’s all they really care about and they get mad I have responsibilities that keep me from doing that with them.
      I’ve now made some different friends that like to go out and have fun but are also teachers like me. They understand better that some weekends you might make plans to go out but, you get caught up in all your work and can’t make it. I just feel like I’m in a different spot in my life then my “old” friends and we just don’t work together anymore.

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      1. Then…it is time to move on. There are billions of people in the world. You are going to make new friends who are on your same path. Keep enjoying your adventures, and have fun!!!

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  5. We all had those friends that we thought would last a life time. I was sure that the group I ran with when I was young were always going to be my friends.now they aren’t…I think we need different friends at different times in our lives…we have one set as children….another as young adults….then the ones we make in middle age..those are the ones that last forever (unless one does something stupid). We tend to reconnect with childhood friends as we age. There was a child I was friend with from age 3 to 10…..and we are friends again in our 60’s. Never connected in between at all, just found each other on social media and clicked. don’t spend too much times worrying about those friends that have fallen by the wayside. the new ones you make will be the important ones. good luck with your move and may you blossom with this experience.

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    1. Thank you for the well wishes and the insightful advice. I actually was talking to someone about how maybe we need different people throughout our life when we are at different ages. I agree that we do. If it wasn’t for those friends I had I would never had made it through high school. But, would they be extremely helpful right now….no not really. The friends I have now are in a time in their life like me and I look forward to seeing how those friendships workout. Thanks for the comments and conversations. Always nice to get another’s perspective.

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  6. Friendships are hard. I try to be a good friend but I know I mess up sometimes. I thought I had a best friend for life but then she moved 2 hours away and we gradually grew apart. When we tried to reconnect a few years later and she had so many other priorities than me. She just never had time for me. That hurt me so I just stopped calling her and she has never tried to call me since. I guess she hasn’t notice I am no longer apart of her life. Great Post 🙂 Please head over to my blog and check it out 😉

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    1. I slightly feel like I’m you and your friend at the same time. I moved like you did, a little over 3 hours from home, and we slowly grew apart. We didn’t grow apart until my last year at college and when I came home. It’s funny because I was always the one going home to visit and she only visited me three times. I’ve seen her once or twice since moving back around where I grew up but that’s it. Another girlfriend the same thing happened except she got mad at me for answering my phone saying what because I was in the middle of moving. She hasn’t talked to me since.Whatever. I kind of feel like if they don’t want to make the effort why should I? I mean I was the one making the effort for 4 years to come home and visit.

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