Thank You for Being a Friend

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Dear Dharma,

I need your advice!  I have a 30 year friendship (even though I’m only 29 🙂 ) that appears to have run its course.

We grew up together, got married 2 years apart, had families and held each other’s hand through my divorce and her losing her husband to cancer.

Over the past 4 years we have drifted apart. At first I made a point of calling at least once a month, but it seemed one sided.  Gradually my calls to her became less frequent and now it has been 2 years since we’ve spoken.

I hate to see a 30 year friendship end, but do I even bother anymore? I cannot be the only one holding this friendship together.

Please help,

Rose

Dear Rose,

No one should ever be the one person holding a friendship together.  All relationships, no matter what type, require effort by all parties.   That effort might not always be in  balance, and it doesn’t need to be for it work, but it needs to level out in the end.

Let’s look at the dynamics of this – 30 years is a long time, and neither of you are the same people you were when you met as little kids.  On top of that, you’ve both been through some significant life changing events – divorce, the death of a spouse.  You don’t come out of either of those things unscathed.

I don’t know if you have tried approaching this friend to see if there is a reason on her side as to the distance, but after 30 years, it’s definitely worth the question.  I think you have more to lose by not pursuing it, don’t you?  It could be the thing that’s needed to get things back on track.

Or maybe it accomplishes nothing, but at least you know you gave it a whirl.  And then you may have to come to terms that this person was a season.

What do you mean, Dharma?

Ever hear the saying, “reason, season, life time”?  I think I saw it on a bookmark or some such cheesy place – but it stuck.  When you think about it, the truth and simplicity of the statement just makes sense.

People enter your world sometimes just for a reason.  There’s a singular purpose for them to be in your life at a particular time and once that’s accomplished, they move on. Others are around for a season, so for a longer period of time, contributing much more and the mark they leave is substantial. And then you have the lifers.  Self-explanatory, right?

So maybe this lovely, long-term friendship was only meant to last a season.  Life has changed and evolved for the both of you and perhaps this union has just run its course.  If you can accept things under those terms, maybe it will be easier to understand and move past it.

Nonetheless, definitely worth a letter or phone call.  If you just leave it as it is, you’ll always have questions.  Life is too short for that, especially when you have some control in how this plays out.

Dharma

golden-girls

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