Recently I called an old friend to touch base. Let’s call her ‘S’. We went back a long way, back to when she was married and I wasn’t, and we lived within a few miles of each other. We’d known each other for almost 12 years.
I was feeling good. Just minutes before, I’d had a pleasant but brief catch-up phone call with another old friend. This one I hadn’t seen in many years, but we kept in touch.
Anyway, I was looking forward to catching up on the phone with S. She and I had done this many times before.
But this time, her voice sounded cool, as in distant. Somewhat hesitant. Maybe even a little wistful.
‘You know, Chichi’, she said slowly. ‘I’ve decided I only want friends I see often.’
A pause and then her voice tapered off…
Her words took me by surprise. They seemed to come out in fits and starts, like they were being dragged out of her.
I thought I knew what she was trying to say and I wanted to get this over and done with.
‘Okay, S. You can be straight with me. You’re saying you don’t want us to be friends anymore because we don’t see each other often, right?’
‘Yes’. Her voice was barely more than a whisper.
‘I have so much to do right now that I can’t commit to seeing most of my friends that often. I’m able to keep the friendship going in spite of this. But I understand this isn’t enough for you and you’d rather we weren’t friends, right?’
I thought I could hear S’s silent transmission of relief.
‘So if that’s what you want, I won’t be calling you again. And that’s a promise.’
‘Okay, Chichi. I wish you all the best in the future.’
‘All the best to you too, S’. I’ll remember the good times. Bye.’
And so ended a 12 year-old friendship.
I did not want our friendship to end, but you can’t be friends with someone against their will. S and I lived about 35 miles from each other and while she had her work and her friends, I was juggling a family, a day job, a home business and countless friendships, both online and offline.
I am not able to meet regularly with friends who live in my neighbourhood, so how could I even think of having regular meetings with anyone who lived over 30 miles away? I know it’s a reflection of the crazy-busy lives many of us lead today.
What do you think? Have you had a friendship end because you both weren’t able to meet regularly? Please share your experience in the comments.