Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Is this just a sign of adulthood or are there darker forces at work?

Like many people my age, I have several circles of friends: work friends, college pals, law school friends, family friends, and neighborhood acquaintances. Each of these groups dates from a different period of my life and there’s rarely any mingling between them. In fact, the few times I’ve tried to combine groups of friends, while it hasn’t been bad, it has been awkward.

One of these circles of friends is slowly imploding. It’s been a long time coming, I’m sure, but it’s become more apparent recently.

I always thought the whole group of us would stay friends forever (innocent and na├»ve, that was me) but as time as gone on and the realities of busy lives, changing priorities, and different personalities have come into play, we’ve splintered. Keeping in touch with people takes a lot of effort, an effort that might not always be worth it.

In some friendships, keeping in touch is easy as short, chatty e-mails are quickly exchanged and long stretches of silence are punctuated by get-togethers where you talk, laugh, and act like you’ve never missed a moment.

In other friendships, however, either one party or both parties falls behind in the communication and somehow, the relationship just disintegrates.

What’s worse, though, is when friendships crumble for other reasons.

A jackass husband that is impossible to get along with.

A falling out between two friends forces a group into factions. Some people are assigned to a faction without even knowing it and suddenly they are excluded from activities without understanding why.

Hurt feelings. Misunderstandings. General bitchiness.

Slowly, over time, the group falls to pieces. Some friends are cut out of lives like band-aids ripped from skin – a quick sting, then relief that it is over. Some friends just fall to the wayside. Others become even more cherished.

Is this just a side effect of adulthood? Do growing older and growing up mean growing apart?

1 comment:

Molly said...

I think it's a sign of adulthood - except that growing old doesn't necessarily mean growing apart, it just means growing apart from friends who you don't click with anymore. You'll always be close with "real" friends.