There is a problem which has bothered me throughout my life- something I am hoping you, my online friends, can shed light on. The question is- Why are friendships often viewed as dispensable? As not being worth hard work and nurturing?
Let me explain…I have a long-time friend that I called in October to see if there was anytime in the next 2 months that we could get together. In response I received a text saying that she was too busy. This is a friend I have seen maybe twice this entire year who lives within 20 minutes from my apartment. We were once very close and have even roomed and traveled together. It honestly made me sad.
Why do we do this? Why do we drop friends with so little care? Are we too busy for nurturing friendships? Surely there is time, but we fail to allocate it to old friends (often in favor of new, perhaps closer, more dazzling friends)? My theory is that friendships satisfy certain needs (girl talk, companionship, hugs, party friend, a buddy with similar interests), so we make friends to meet these needs. However, when things change we focus on satisfying the need, not on maintaining the old friendship. Once our needs are met, the old friend is forgotten. Isn’t this the definition of selfishness? What if the old friend needed you?
Am I perfect in this regard? Of course not. I am guilty of forgetting/losing contacts with friends; however, if there is any effort on the other person’s part I have a pretty stellar track record for keeping friends. Just this week I spent time with four friends I have known for four years or more.
My friend Emily and I went to lunch on Wednesday and we marveled that in March we will have been friends for 10 years! For 10 years we have loved one another and been an inspiration in each others lives. We both agree that Heavenly Father knew we needed to be friends. Meeting Emily is one of the miracles of my life. It is a precious friendship. To read about how we met read this post. I know not all friendships will be as impactful; however, any relationship has potential- the potential to save souls and provide Christlike charity.
It’s not as if you even need to see friends frequently for them to matter. In fact, some of my best friends I rarely see (Are you reading Camille!). There simply has to be a minimal amount of effort to keep the friendship alive.
I have a friend whom I have known for over four years. To be honest, we were more acquaintances when we met one another, but for some reason we stayed in touch- despite living on different parts of the country and her getting engaged (marriage and kids are definitely reasons people typically dispense of their single friends. Its happened to me a million times. Its horrible, but I almost anticipate getting dumped when my friends get married). Eventually she moved back to Utah (to Draper in fact). In the last year she has gone through some trials and I was able to help her in a few small ways. As I was grieving with her the thought struck me “What if it was all for this moment? What if all those years of keeping in touch was for this moment?” I am so grateful we both nurtured a dear friendship so we could be there for that moment. It makes me shutter when I think how easy it would have been to drop a friend who had moved away. I’m so glad I didn’t.
I am fortunate to have many wonderful friends. Friends that have stood by me through ‘thick and thin’ (literally!). Friends that have cried, laughed and prayed with me. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STICKING BY ME!!!! You don’t know how much it means to me. I am also grateful for my family- particularly my sisters. I talk on the phone with my mom and sisters all the time and we almost never end a conversation without saying “I love you.” I am so blessed.
When I lose contact with such friends I mourn their loss. Why does it seem that others “forsake friends” with such thoughtlessness? I don’t get it. Do they really have so many friends that they can dump established ones? I certainly don’t. This phenomenon seems especially strange considering how easily friendships can be maintained. The list of modern-day technology, which allows us to communicate quickly is unending. Surely an email, a phone call, text, or a skype call/chat is within everyone’s grasp even if a full-fledged visit is not?
What do you guys think? Why are friendships more difficult in the modern world? Have any of you experienced this?
Here’s a collage of photos from some of my most cherished friends. There are many others not featured.
Just to show I don’t take things too seriously I had to end with this song.