September 20, 2014

There's no break-up letter for friends

Friends drift away. I should know. I’ve been on both ends of that: I’ve had friends who slipped away, and I’ve disconnected from a lot of friendships as well.

For instance, in high school, I had a best friend who I considered my sister. We were inseparable—I was with her every day and constantly sleeping over at her place. One’s problem was also the other’s. But when we were in college, we had a fight, and I drifted away. Although we struggle to stay in touch now, it has never been the same. It sounds stupid that that one fight ended our years of friendship, but I knew then that I had to let the friendship have its end.
Then, I had a friend that was close to me in my early college years, but eventually vanished from my life without warning. I was hurt, of course, and until now I still feel a little weird thinking about her. After all, I assumed that we meant something to each other, and it wasn’t easy letting go of the fun we had together.

Like all relationships, some friendships just run its natural course. We don’t like it, but it happens all the time. Even when you think that you’ve found a friend for life, things will always get in the way, and you’ll realize that you haven’t talked to her for months. Or even if you do always meet, the connection might not be there anymore.

It’s more difficult with friendships than in romantic relationships. In romantic relationships, you can talk things over, you can resolve to “work things out”. But how can you do that with friendships? There’s no “friendship counselors”, there’s no talk about “working things out”. How would you even begin that conversation? “I feel that our connection is slowly dwindling. I do not want us to lose that spark. How can we be better friends?” There is no break-up letter for friends to let them know that it's not working out. The lack of clearly defined boundaries and expectations make matters harder to deal with.

In spite of all that, I want to believe that friendships can last a lifetime. I want so badly to believe that the adventures will never stop, and the conversation never dries up. Call me naïve, and maybe this is the five-year-old in me talking, but I still want the friendship bracelets and BFF labels to hold true to their promise of endless love, support, and loyalty.


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