We Take Our Friendships for Granted

Friends who stay friends from far away are the rarest breed of all.

Zulie Rane

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Photo by Adrienn from Pexels

For me, the hardest part of growing up and becoming an adult is the slow, inexorable realization that friendships are not forever.

People I thought I’d invite to my wedding elected to drop out of my life. Friends I cried with, laughed with, confessed everything to — well, they pulled away. It was never anything personal. It’s just tough to keep friends when you’re miles and miles away.

The thing is, when we’re kids, we think it’s easy to keep friends. We have the time, the energy, the motivation to make play dates, hang out after school, go out on club nights.

But we get older. We’re wearier. We’re more sleep-deprived. We’ve got less money and more worries. Things that aren’t easy to maintain, that aren’t simple and convenient and stress-free? They take a backseat.

The process of understanding that most people do not value your friendship enough to continue it has been a painful one for me. And this is doubly true for those friends who don’t live next door to me.

You might think that long-distance friendships are easy to keep. You send a text here, make a call there — Facebook even reminds you when their birthdays are. You don’t have to leave your bed to keep up with a long-distance friend.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

But it turns out that the best predictor for friendship isn’t necessarily what you have in common, or the memories you share, or experiences you’ve gone through together, but rather proximity.

Folks you chat with because you’re going to the same party, or to ask them to pick up milk at the grocery store on their way to your house or that you run into on the street — that’s the easiest way to stay friends.

People are, as a rule, prone to favoring convenience over everything else. And long-distance friendships take more than maintaining those of the people in your city.

I moved away from the country I grew up in, I moved away from the city I went to college in, and I’m now…

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