So, on Monday, I read this blogpost and it got me thinking about something that bothers me a lot and that I think about often. Why are friendships so hard these days? Or rather, why are good tangible friendships so hard to find and maintain.
Growing up, I had tons of friends. You see, being a real blabbermouth myself, I find it easy to strike up conversation with just about everybody and so school friends were not restricted to the one group of people I “fitted in” with. I had a handful of friends from different circles at school. I’d get together with them frequently but after matric, most of these friendships fizzled out. The few that I am still in contact with, I barely see even though some of us live in the same city! We chat on wassap, we follow each other’s lives – announcements, family pictures, holiday destinations, all the good stuff (‘cos let’s face it, how often are people wanting to share the bad stuff on social media?!) – on Facebook and Instagram. And we even e-mail each other saying we really must get together, but it just never seems to happen.
Many a long weekend has come where the families in our complex go away with friends an hour or two away and we’re always that family staying at home with no plans. Don’t get me wrong…I have plenty to do over the weekends and it’s not like we never go out or don’t ever see people, but it feels like friendships are just so much more hard work than they were when I was growing up. And I’m not even that old!
I can’t explain how many people I’ve wanted to “write off” because I felt like the friendship was one sided. I’m the one who constantly needs to make contact. I’m the one always inviting them over or suggesting we get together. There’s so many people who cancel last minute when we made the arrangement weeks ago. So called “friends” that I know who tentatively accept a dinner or braai or the likes, and then suddenly forget that they had confirmed our arrangements a few weeks ago, and now something else has come up. Often, I feel as if we are the “second choice”. As if they tentatively rsvp’d – but didn’t confirm – in case something better came up.
The other thing is that people are just soooooo busy! We often arrange get togethers weeks or sometimes even months in advance because we can’t find a mutual free weekend with another couple (I’m not talking about 10 different people here, just two others!). There’s no more calling and just popping around because we’re in the area or getting together at the spur of the moment just because. Everything’s pre-arranged, pre-planned and that’s if you ever get to see the people face-to-face. For the most part, I find people saying constantly – we must meet up – and we never do. And I’m, at times, just as guilty!! I have a friend who I grew up with who I visited last weekend. Her baby’s due in a month’s time and I last saw her when she was 12weeks pregnant and we literally live in neighbouring suburbs!!! In fact, for a few years, we’ve lived a street apart and I can count the times we’ve gotten together on one hand in the 4years that we’ve known that we both live in the same suburb. And we get along…it’s not like I’m forcing her to meet up with me (well, I don’t think that I am 🙂 ). When we do meet, we say we should really do this more often, and then it’s months before we meet up again!!!
What is it with friendships these days? How do you maintain yours? Do you have a set of people who you regularly get together with? Are you planning your friendship dates well in advance using a calendar or diary system? Is it even that important to you or am I making more out of this than I should be?!