As a school counselor, the one thing I find myself repeating to people (co-workers and parents) is that the only constant in education is change. The same can be said of relationships too. Over the years, several friendships have ended and I’ve found myself very disappointed. Disappointed because I thought these friendships would last a lifetime.
This is the last post in my February relationship series. I’ve focused on marriage and kids, and now I’m moving into friendships. Now that I’m in my 30’s, I feel more comfortable telling the people around me how I feel. I also value the friendships that I’ve been able to maintain over time. The older I get, the more I realize that maintaining friendships is a quite a feat.
Everyone can’t go into the next season with you.. it may hurt, you may shed tears, just know that you are being guided by something greater to serve in a magnitude that in this moment, you do not even realize. There are stadiums waiting, women and men literally waiting for you to step up. So while you are on your journey and you are feeling discourages, battling through the hard times, just think about the lives that you will transform by standing in your greatness and resurfacing integrity, character and blessing others with your unique ability to do what you have been called to do.
There is no one like YOU! Sacrifice today so that you can serve bigger tomorrow.
–Philisha Mack, CEO of The Mack Institute
The one thing I’ve had to come to grips with is that people change. And that’s okay. Sometimes relationships can’t stand the test of time due to life events like:
- Location (you move away or they move away)
I never understood (before I was married) why my married friends got off the phone when they got home. I never understood why they never really talked about their marriage to me. Were they part of some secret society?
When I took those vows myself, I understood why keeping their marriage sacred was so important. I still struggled to understand why some of my friends seemed to lose their identity in their husbands. As some of my friends and I struggled to relate, I realized that it’s okay for a close friend to evolve into an acquaintance. If you’re struggling with this concept, then release that friend to acquaintance land. This is tough, especially if this person has been your go to gal (or guy). The quicker you realize that things have changed, the less heartache you will experience from disappointment.
From the title of this blog, I’m sure you can guess that I can talk about this subject all day. Becoming a parent was one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened to me, however, it has made the task of maintaining friendships more difficult that I could have imagined. Working (whether inside the home or not), balancing a relationship with your spouse, caring for children is a job in itself. It seems like some days don’t allow for time alone, let alone time for friends.
Friends that don’t have any children sometimes struggle to understand why you don’t call them back in evenings, why your text message responses are so far apart, or you spend half of the conversation yelling at your kids. It can be painful when your girlfriends want to have a night out, but you don’t have a babysitter. Or, you’re just too tired and would rather sleep. Have no fear. One day, you will make friends with people who get it, or your current friends will be patient with you. They will visit and not judge you for the cheerios your kids are eating off the carpet.
As an Air Force brat, seeing friends come and go was a daily occurrence. I learned to embrace new people and to be okay with not knowing anyone in the room. Luckily, I lived in the same town most of my life and I’ve built friendships that have stood the test of time. However as an adult, I’ve moved from city to city 3 times in the past 10 years. In some cases, absence does make the heart grow fonder, but in other cases it has been out of sight out of mind. This is probably one of the toughest factors affecting friendships. You can’t always jump in the car/plane and see your friend to repair the relationship. Thankfully, we have Skype, Face time, texting and email to help keep our friends in the loop. We must also remember that some friendships can stand long periods of silence, but then catching up feels like you never missed a beat. For others, the long periods of silence drive a greater wedge in between what once was great. In these cases, the friendship may need a permanent period of silence.
How have you come to grips with evolving friendships?