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Through Thick and Thin

August 21, 2009

I have talked about friendships a couple of times on this blog because it always seems to be something that I continually struggle with. Since dating Erik, I have been worrying slightly less about having as many strong relationships with girlfriends because I have him. Which is kind of a stupid fall-back plan because clearly you can’t say or do everything you need to do with a guy (especially one you are dating) that you can do with a girl friend.

My friendships from home have waned, and getting replacements has been slow in coming. My time on the East Coast has started out rough, then seemed to pick up ever-so-slightly, and then when I started dating Erik, things seemed to start sliding around again. I was talking to my roommate, E, tonight, and I told her what I told all of you last spring: that with all the weddings going on around me (I attended two this summer, and Erik’s niece is getting married next month), that I am afraid that while I may have found a husband, I may not have much of a wedding party. “Is it possible to find a husband but not a maid of honor?

So I was talking to E about my sordid history with friendships and how even two years into living on the East Coast I still don’t have many solid friendships. I always seem to almost get there. I have met plenty of girls (and a few guys) who I think are swell and we have a wonderful lunch, or dinner, or concert outing or trip somewhere and for some reason or another I just don’t see them again for, like, six months. And we live IN THE SAME TIME ZONE!

This really shouldn’t be that hard.

We also started talking about how one is actually able to keep up with friendships. We have a lot to be grateful for with the advent of Facebook and Twitter and blogging. Most of my friendships from high school were saved with the advent of Livejournal. That’s how we stayed in touch between winter and summer breaks at home. But most of us don’t keep with Livejournal for one reason or another. I, for one, found it difficult to manage two blogs. I can barely keep up with this one! Livejournal has fallen to the wayside and with that, many memorable friendships with girls who literally shaped the kind of person I am today (and guys too – though I never really had that many guy friends).

Do you think it’s easier in this day and age to maintain friendships with people from your childhood or college or perhaps just another town you used to live in? Or do you think if you didn’t still speak regularly on the phone or see them in person that your friendship would not be the same. Sometimes I wonder if social media perhaps falsifies a sense of security in the relationships that we have with people. That we think we have solid friendships with 400 people because they can see our status updates when we eat a yummy tuna melt sandwich or are pissed off because Facebook took town the Regional Network option (seriously, what’s with that? But I digress…). What does it really take to keep friendships meaningful to people? How do you maintain your friendships with the people who are important to you? I’m not sure I’m so desperate as I once was in my last post because I’m still trying to figure out how to grow and maintain the relationships with girls that I have already started.

Truth is, I know that by the time I get married, picking out a wedding party will probably not be as challenging as I am making it seem right now. My concept of a best friend has never really been that strong and it’s never really been part of my life and there’s no reason, really, to think that it will suddenly change right now. I think what I want more than anything, at this point, is just to know that when I do get married that I am surrounded by lots of people who love and care about me and my husband.

5 Comments
  1. justcallmenora permalink
    August 21, 2009 9:33 AM

    I think that’s the downside of growing up and moving away — as much as you want to stay in touch with old friends, sometimes it’s just impossible. I always tell myself that friendships are just like relationships and you have to *want* to make them work…but at the same time, it has to be reciprocal. Your friends have to want to make you a part of their life, too.

    Social Media like twitter and Facebook do make it easier now to keep in touch with friends and family, but really, sometimes it’s just not the same as getting dinner or catching up over a glass of wine.

    It was good to meet you in NYC last weekend — hopefully we can hang out again soon!

    PS: just changed my blog to — http://toughtoswallow.wordpress.com

    Kate

  2. August 21, 2009 10:07 AM

    Almost all of my really close friends right now are people I met through blogging/twitter in some way.

    But they didn’t become REALLY close, solid friends until I got to see them face to face.

    So, yes, that face to face interaction – or at least ear to ear – is still crucial.

  3. August 21, 2009 2:30 PM

    Yeah true friends are hard to find. But a good friendship can be made everlasting as long as you wish to. Would agree with Kate when she says one needs to have the ‘want’ to make them work. For that matter any relationship needs to be nurtured and has to face the test of times…Trust me the true ones do last forever…:)

  4. August 22, 2009 3:12 PM

    i have learned over my 46 years, that to have friends, you have to be a friend. don’t ever wait for someone to call you. CALL YOURSELF! share little things – that great sale on eggs at the store, a movie you want to go to, even if all you do is talk about it, that connection and knowing someone is there is immeasurable. BE THERE for your friends, no matter when. Then they will be there for you.

    I found one of my best friends when I said to her “I would really like to take this friendship to the next level and be more than just acquaintances.” Now I can count on this person no matter what. I call her at least 3 times a week, even if she calls me. You need to make that personal contact, not just twittering or email. PICK UP THE PHONE!

    hope this helps.

  5. Autumn permalink
    August 27, 2009 2:49 PM

    I have a good network of friends from as far back as jr high. What I’m finding hard now that I’ve been married for a couple of years is how to make friends with other couples.
    I agree with the above posts, building a good friendship takes time and energy and requires being inconviencenced on occassion.

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