Friendships change as we grow up. Where once we were both crews of the same ship, suddenly we’re the captains of our own sailboats. Even a small change in direction can send two people, once inseparable, thousands of kilometers apart.
Our life experiences, our jobs, our relationship; they all leave a mark on who we are and what we value. As our priorities shift, naturally we gravitate towards those who are traveling in the same direction.
When you start to feel distanced from now old friends, it’s hard to know when to work on deepening the friendship, and when it’s time to step away.
Sometimes, it’s just a case of remembering to pick up the phone, to organise a coffee, to show up to an event. Often, friends become old friends, not for lack of care, but lack of time. Time spent together, time invested in the relationship, time on the phone.
A deep intimate friendship doesn’t manifest overnight. It takes many months of time and effort to develop a trusting basis to form a strong relationship. Friendships drift apart for the opposite reason.
Amongst all of the competing demands of modern life, it can be hard to consistently put in the effort required to cultivate a deep friendship.
If you believe a friend is worth the effort, it’s important to schedule a regular time in your calendar to invest in your relationships. Knowing the time has been set aside, all that is left is to simply organise a catch up. Whether that’s an invitation to a cooking class, to work on a new project together, or just a phone call. Setting aside regular time to connect, be vulnerable and open to the deep conversations that will nourish the connection you have. If you find your efforts are often met with resistance, it may be time to re-evaluate, and consider stepping away.
“Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget”
– G Randolf