Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Expiration Dates

Here's the thing. I believe that not all friendships are meant to last forever: people change, circumstances change, lives change. Sometimes it's the loss of the thing that brought you together - a job, a class, a favorite bar - and the friendship either adapts to a new climate or fades. People grow and evolve at different speeds, and you might still be in your partying days while your former last-call buddy turns in early because she has early morning work obligations. I don't think there's anything wrong with letting a friendship slip away if it's no longer working. The problems come when one person needs to hold on longer than the other, or when both keep going through the motions way past the friendship's optimal expiration date.

So, yeah, the loss of my friendship this weekend was not pleasant, but it really was overdue. I'm still less bothered by missing her than I am by missing the idea of having a friend. I don't have very many, I'll admit, so it's hard to let them go even if I know deep down I'm not getting much out of the relationship any more. Especially hard, I think, because I've had several key ones end in the last couple of years and not many replacements. Harder still being a single person whose ability to make friends is all her own - no extended friendship opportunities through a partner's.

Am I feeling sorry for myself? Maybe, a bit.


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