One Significant Reason Why Some Friendships Endure
Why do some friendships endure and others simply fade away or blow up in your face?
Even with all these wonderfully easy methods of communication we now have, maintaining an adult friendship isn’t magically easier.
Are my friends just too busy or do they no longer care about the friendship?
I believe friendships endure for one simple reason:
We stay friends with people who are conveniently close by and easy to reach. The friends who live in the same city or down the road and who are keen to meet up and do things.
When things become too difficult the friendship becomes an uphill battle and both parties will lose interest quickly.
Last year, we moved to a new city for a couple of months. After about a month, friends from our hometown moved there too for work and leisure. And we spent a lot of time with them. Far more time than we had spent with them in our hometown.
Why this sudden renewal in our friendship?
Because they were like us, spending a protracted length of time in a new place and keen to do all things we enjoyed doing: running, hiking, and mountain biking. Like us, they weren’t interested in drinking copious amounts of alcohol or visiting overly priced restaurants.
They were keen to spend time with us and (most importantly), they were interested in the same activities we were.
We made plans at the drop of a hat.
When they were going on a hike and messaged us one hour before, “were we keen?”
Yes, we were!
We didn’t have to plan things; our schedules, routine, and working hours fit perfectly with theirs. It was incredibly easy to see them.
And we had fun when we all got together.
We were both doing the things we enjoyed and we never canceled plans because we didn’t feel like it anymore.
We didn’t want to.
Other friends were harder to see because we had to make plans in advance and think of something to do that both of us would enjoy. It was harder so we saw them less.
Sometimes it's not you. It's the circumstances.
Friendships are circumstantial. They depend on the circumstances and the facts of the case, which differ from person to person, from situation to situation.
We have friends at school because we happen to go to the same school. But then we move away from that school and the friendship breaks down. And sometimes with tears and drama but sometimes with nothing being said at all.
And we invent reasons for the ending of the friendship: she backstabbed me, or she was a liar or she never made any effort. And those things might be true but they also might be covering up the sadness we feel when friendships end.
They end all the time. And it's sad.
But just because a friendship ends, it doesn’t mean it was a disaster or failure. No matter the length of time or drama that unfolded it can still be roaring success.
We say goodbye to people and places all the time. It's sad because something that once brought so much joy is now over and most of the time there is nothing we could do about it.
We can’t control other people and force them to make more effort, or respond to our texts and always be available to make plans.
We just have to let go sometimes. When it becomes too hard to hold on, it's time to let go.
We don’t need to invent reasons why we now hate this person. We can let go with grace, acknowledge the success of the friendship and the pain of the ending while realizing that circumstances determine the friendship.
When it's too hard to spend with someone, or you move away to a new city or they get married or have children, their circumstances have changed and so has the friendship.
Friendships that are easy will endure.