In my opinion, the older you get, the harder it is for you to forge a new friendship. Likewise, the older you get, the harder it is to sustain certain friendships that you’ve had for a while. It’s also hard to maintain friendships depending on how you’ve “compartamentalized” them.
Exhibit 1: “High School” friends –you know you still have them in your life. I have a really good friend I met in junior high, we lost touch somewhere near the end of high school, but then rekindled it after we graduated from college. This girl knows me. What kind of books I read, my hobbies, goals in life, you name it. But unfortunately, we don’t live in the same state. So we don’t communicate nearly as much as I’d like to. I always feel like I am the one reaching out, sending e-mails, etc.
Exhibit 2(a): “College” friends –to be honest, I felt I’ve squandered my college experience because I didn’t make nearly enough good friends as I should’ve or left some friendships to dry out. Why is this? Because I was in a bad relationship during college that I spent most of my time in. Time spent which I TOTALLY REGRET. But let’s not talk about regrets now (more on that some other day). But I did end up with a few goods friends here and there. We still keep in touch, but now they are more like acquaintances. I see these folks once and a while, but I feel these friendships are becoming strained in that we are all in our own worlds. Some of them, I am would like to be close with, but friendship is a 2-way street.
I have a good college friend who totally surprised me a few months ago with a hurtful e-mail saying I always criticize her and her decisions in life, and that I always want “acknowledgment” when I plan dinners and things like that. I’m like, what the fuck?! Seriously, I see this girl maybe once a month tops, and during those moments, we don’t talk about anything serious, let alone discuss what she wants to do in life. So I ask her to explain and she’s like, “nevermind, let’s not talk about it. Let’s pretend nothing happened.” Needless to say, I haven’t made plans to see her lest I rub her the wrong way again for no reason at all. To tell you the truth, I’m still pretty peeved. I don’t know what will happen.
Exhibit 2(b): “Post College” friends –I have made some really goods friends after college. Some of them I went to law school with, or met at work, etc. But once you stop hanging out on a regular basis, I feel you begin to lose touch. Heck, after graduating, some friends wouldn’t even meet up for drinks on my birthday because they were too busy studying for the Bar Exam. Come on. What is a 2-hour break in the grand scheme of things? Yes, I know the Bar is VERY IMPORTANT, but life doesn’t stop just because you have a test. Lots of things went on during the time I had to study. Major things that have brought emotional turmoil to my life, but I carried on.
Yes, I know we are all busy with work, life, family, etc. But if you think something is important to you, shouldn’t you make time? I feel like I’m always the one reaching to keep in touch. I am always the one sending Christmas cards and other forms of correspondence. I put an effort in being thoughtful and get good presents I think my friends would like. I plan get-togethers to try to keep in touch with my friends’ lives (it’s so hard to do this by the way since most of the time, they say no thanks.). And I e-mail them (well, that’s partly also because I feel bored at work sometimes =).
I know I don’t have to do any of the above stuff, but the point is, I want to when it comes to friends I care about. (Disclaimer: I don’t do this for every single acquaintance that I have, just good friends). The problem is, I expect these things back. Let me explain, I don’t expect presents back, what I expect is the same amount of respect, concern, and thoughtfulness that I show to certain friends. I was told that I was expecting too much and my standards are high regarding friendships. Maybe I should just expect the fact that this is true. But really, I’m pretty easy-going, low-maintenance (most of the time, expect when it comes to clothes –different story!), and I’m easy to please. So what I expect back it really very minimal work. Like an invite to go get a cup o’ joe; go watch a flick; a card saying you’re sorry for being such a bitch!!; go out for drinks; Anything!
Oh well. *Sigh* I am expecting too much. I’m sure people feel the same way about me sometimes. In any case, I will stop whining because I know certain folks may think I’m this needy, super-emotional person. Which I am not. Really. My point after all these ramblings: Take the time to show your friends you care about them too. Period.