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?