Losing friends

Remember these?
Remember these?

Do you ever feel like you are losing friends?

Either you have had a falling out, never hear from them or you make all the effort, which leads you to wonder: do these people even like me?

One very efficient way to lose half your friends is to get divorced.

The night that I found out that my ex-husband’s friends (and probably all of his family too) hate me was one of the saddest of my life. What about all the dinners I cooked? The BBQs I hosted? The hundreds of nights they spent on our couch and the hungover breakfasts¬†we shared?

It all amounts to nothing.

And then there’s the falling out where something happens, someone¬†gets upset and someone calls it quits. Decades of friendship down the drain in one fell swoop. I’ve done that – the walking away – several times. I’ve also been walked away from. These days, I wonder if it was worth it? Was it really such a big deal?

In mid-life, it gets harder to see your friends. Children, work and distance all play their part, and then there’s what happens when you do catch up. It’s not always as easy as it once was. The common ground you once shared has shifted and you need to find new ways to relate.

I am not the same person I used to be. I am a boring old married lady. I don’t drink anywhere near as much as I used to, I don’t have funny dating stories, and I don’t even try to be cool any more. Gardening Australia is my favourite show.

I also don’t want to put up with being treated badly for the sake of having friends. Sure, there are going to be bumpy patches but if the whole flight is crying babies, turbulence, delays and holding patterns, that’s not a journey I want to be on.

I have so many friends that I love and I want to keep that affection alive but it seems to get harder. Is there some secret to holding onto your friends as you get older? Will people still love me when I’ve made the full conversion to a Western suburbs-living mother, complete with patchwork quilts and total garden obsession?

How do you guys do it? How do you repair and maintain old friendships, and forge new ones?



1 comment on “Losing friends

  1. Let me first say that I will always love you.
    Let me also agree that friendships appear to come unstuck easily when the glue dries up. But I have faith in the good ones. When I think about having not called someone in too long, I now hope and kind of assume that the same person is thinking the same thing about me. I think that the friendships worth keeping are sustained by hope, mutual understanding and acceptance that our time will come again and it will be worth the wait.
    Morphing into older, less ‘fun’ people is a state of mind. Aren’t we also growing into wiser conversationalists with deeper feelings and passions? Changing expectations of friendship is something I’m trying/learning to do.
    And, I happen to think that friendship is as much familiarity as shared coolness. If we try to stay familiar with our friends’ lives, feelings, loves and goals, should that be part of keeping the glue sticky?

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