• The Hopefulist

Friends who come and go

I can't tell you how many hours I have spent wondering what happened to friendships in my life. I say often that I was never prepared for the amount of friends I would lose throughout my lifetime. Some just drift apart. Sometimes there is a situation that happens to separate you. Sometimes a spouse has something to do with it and other times you will never know what happened. As someone who has spent way too much time trying to save friendships that failed anyway, I can tell you it isn't worth the heartache and headache.

Maybe it's me. Maybe I am a bad friend. I'm not ruling that out. But I've always tried. There have been times I have reached out and bared my soul to save a friendship and it still isn't the same. There are a few times that the loss of a friend has upset me so much I would have done anything to have it back. There was one friend in particular who just started pulling away from me. At first I responded in kind because I was upset. I didn't understand why we talked all the time and all of a sudden I never heard from her. Things went on strangely for some time before I realized if I wanted to save this friendship I had to do something. I reached out and asked if there was an issue and why we weren't as close as we used to be. She told me she had just been busy. I felt blown off. I tried several times with this person and it finally became clear she just didn't want to be my friend anymore. Why? I have no idea. She would never explain. It hurt but at there wasn't anything else I could do. Maybe it was more an issue with her than it was with me.

I've also sent out soul baring letters to people I had friendships with in the past to show how important they were to me. That time it worked. We reconnected. We started chatting via text. I would often ask if we would get together but there was always a reason why we couldn't. When you seem to be the only one who tries to keep in touch you have to start questioning whether you are important to this person anymore. Maybe the other person doesn't think you have anything in common anymore. Maybe they don't like the way you live your life now. Maybe they are jealous of something you have in your life and can't even admit it to themselves. More times than not you will never know for sure what really happened. If you have truly tried to no avail then it is time to move on with your life. I think I get so stuck on the loss of friendships because I see it as a signal that there is something wrong with me. That I am some sort of horrible person that nobody wants to be friends with. But that isn't true. I have other friends so I can't be that horrible. And the reason that person has pulled away from you may have nothing do with you at all. It may all be their own issues.

One thing I don't address very often is when you want to end a friendship. There are times when people just don't fit in your life anymore and that's okay. Sometimes it can be tough to extract yourself from a situation but don't put yourself in the company of people you don't want to be around. Did you ever have a friend who makes cutting remarks to you often under the guise of a joke? Yeah, I'm done with those people. I don't need them in my life. I only want to be around people who are positive forces in this world. Not people who love to bring others down and make them feel bad. It's okay to want to end a friendship of your own. If someone makes you feel bad about yourself or you find yourself drained after spending time with them then maybe it's time to let that one go. You don't owe anyone anything.

Friendships do take some work though. You need to keep in touch. You need to make an effort to get together. You should be celebrating them when called for and taking part in their lives by going to kids birthday parties and milestones. It's what good friends do. But if you are the only one trying to keep in touch it may be a signal that the friendship is one sided. I have decided that if someone isn't trying to stay in touch with me at all then they aren't worth my time. There comes a point where I feel like I am begging someone to be my friend and that is not what I want. If I am constantly reaching out and never get contacted in return there may be a problem. At this point in my life I just step off the gas. If that person doesn't attempt to reach out to me then I have my answer. If it's been a really important relationship in your life than communicate your feelings and see what is happening. Hopefully you can salvage your friendship. But at this point in my life, I'm done chasing people. It can be tough to move on sometimes but always do what is best for you.

It's Thursday. By the way, football tonight has Nick Foles and Tom Brady going head to head. Just like in Super Bowl 52. Should be fun! Now, go on out there and be a badass. I'm here cheering you on.

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