Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Fading of Friendships


This is not a treatise on the well-worn sitcom Friends, a program I can no longer watch without inexplicably vomiting bile from my eyes. It is instead, in keeping with this blog, something of a moan. Any long time readers will have gathered by now that I’m something of a malcontent.

It's still better than watching Friends.

While I’m loath to become one of those still-relatively-young people who whine about becoming old, with a quarter of a century behind me I do find myself stumbling into some of the social pitfalls of age. My chief concern is the gradual fading of friendships. 

Immediately after university friendships are shed like a malting cat rolling on a crisp white bed sheet, but the strongest connections remain intact. Far more troubling is how these connections are slowly rubbed out in the following years.

I’m somewhat socially awkward, not terribly amusing, and unfairly scathing of pretty much anything that other people like. Shockingly, I don’t make friends easily. This has made me all the more desperate to cling to the few that I already have. But, as friends relocate overseas, enter into serious relationships, and have children, it’s only natural that I become less important in their lives.

The problem is that not everyone can be successful in such endeavours. If we could all retreat into our marital microcosms, occasionally offloading our offspring onto irresponsible teenagers so that we could meet up and complain about how tired we are, everything would work out fine. But in any circle of friends, there’s the one person who can’t quite manage this, and as a result refuses to stop texting the others, inviting himself to their children’s bar mitzvahs, sleeping unnoticed in their sheds. They even make movies about that person.

Terrible, terrible movies.

You can tell where this is going – do I keep being the one to text friends suggesting we meet up, when really all I’m doing is holding them hostage? Or do I accept that they’ve moved on and back off?

One of my very best friends has recently been back in the country for three months. Despite his arrival in the midst of one of the deepest bouts of depression I’ve ever experienced, regular meetings with him for this short period have made me feel better, at least temporarily, on every single occasion. When he flies back to the other side of the world for at least the next 18 months, it’s truly going to come as quite a blow.

The only other thing that cheers me up is Grumpy Cat

I suppose all I’m trying to say is that my friends mean a lot to me, and, from a purely selfish perspective, I don’t want to let them slip away. I’m deeply lonely. But perhaps it’s time to accept that if I really care for them as friends, I should respectfully leave them to get on with their lives.

1 comment:

  1. I'm about to do one of the most irritating things imaginable to a writer and quote you to support my argument against what you're saying, so apologies in advance. "...it's time to accept that if I really care for them as friends, I should respectfully leave them to get on with their lives." Dave this is worrying - it sounds like something an abusive partner would say to his battered other half, or, if it could talk, a parasite with a conscience. It's clear from the relentless self-depreciation, though ingeniously articulated, that you have very low self-esteem, but you can't let it dominate your life like this. If you really care for your friends, you should become more of their lives, rather than retreating whimpering into the background. You're incredibly charismatic and I want to be your bloody friend, even if you don't want to be mine! I'll stop writing before this becomes too creepy and await your message (re)organising a beer, or a badminton thrashing, or whatever, eagerly.

    ReplyDelete