Growing up I had no friends, I did not come out of shell till I was maybe 16. Since then I tried to be the person inviting others to things and starting the conversation, trying to stay in touch etc. Living abroad adds another difficulty to it. If you want to have a support network, you need to get out there, introduce yourself to people who already have their own support networks and don’t yet know how awesome of a friend they could find in you. Also, your “old” friends are not in the same town, country or sometimes even continent anymore, so you need to make a conscious effort to either stay in touch or let it go. That is why social media plays a very important role in my life (it is not just about Candy Crush).
Recently I have realized that I have lost the spark in me to try and ask or email or call people who I might have considered good friends and some point. It is strange, in a way that makes me feel lonely, other times I…just cannot be bothered? My life is fast and complicated and filled with necessary interactions on a daily basis..and so is everyone else. So when I come home, I might chat with my roommate, send a funny link to a friend on Facebook and then not talk to anyone else. Anything more seems too tiring. I am not saying it is inevitable but for me these are the types of people I have lost touch with over the last few months/years.
The “I don’t like online interactions” person– While I do get that some people are more comfortable chatting face to face with a cup of tea in hand, welcome to the 21st century! It is insanely frustrating to get super short replies from people who are online once a month. Makes me think you are mad at me but no, you keep asking when I will be in town so we could meet in person. Answer: not soon enough.
The “I am always traveling” person- Everyone knows an eternal traveler, the only way to know which country they are in right now is to check their last log in location on Couchsurfing. I cannot be mad at them, (more like jealous admiration) they are probably in a no internet village somewhere but I do demand postcards.
The “My life is perfect” person- Again, everyone knows someone who, according to their Facebook profile travels the world, is in great shape, has a rewarding job, a perfect boyfriend and is generally amazing. They are not, I know that. But keeping up the facade takes hard work and they need to be really liquored up to have an honest conversation. These friends are draining and I have lost a few of them along the way.
The “Drinking buddy“- You guys had some great times, 2 for 1 days, 2 Pound Tuesdays, St Patrick’s Day green beers etc. They showed you the best hang out spots and taught you great drinking songs. But somehow, if you are not in the same city anymore, it is insanely difficult to keep this friendship going because there is only so many times you can talk about the good old days (neither of you can remember).
The “They were not really friends to begin with” people- We all have those people that somehow make us feel so small or they are always too busy for us or they judge us and the things we are passionate about. I am pretty black and white, once I decide to not let this person bring me down, I will not talk to them ever again. You should delete those motherfuckers too, you know you want to.
The “It was intense while it lasted but what now” person- Maybe you went to school or university with them, worked on a difficult project or even traveled together. You were stuck seeing them on a daily basis and became great buddies while in that situation but afterwards you wonder, what did I have in common with him/her? Especially if you learn, years later that they have become proud Scientology proponents or worse, press secretaries of crazy right wing political organisations. Neither of you wants to let it go because of the fond memories but that friendship does not have longevity.
The “You live for a job or a hobby that I cannot relate to at all” person- Yes yes, you should not only have friends who are exactly like you and into the same things. However, as a creative person who enjoys traveling and television and a good neurosis every now and again, I find it veeery difficult to talk to people who became bankers or lawyers or stay at home moms or yoga teachers. I might admire their intelligence and expertise but what the hell do we chat about other than the weather and the news? Sad but true, people change and that makes friendships run its course.
The “Family is everything to me” person- Another one to hate me for but I am not big on family, I like my independence and babies are cute but I have no desire to settle down anytime soon. I do have lots of friends though who want to tell me about the new facial expressions of their babies. Or you ask the person how he/she is and they answer “we are well” for themselves and their husband/wife. My highlight is people who have a joint email account with their spouse from which they send you holiday cards (example: email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org) . Where is your identity? In theory, one gains a lot and does not lose themselves when starting a family (or at least that is why “you can have it all” memes have told me my whole life) but I find it hard to get on common ground with most of them.
Do you think it is inevitable to lose friends in your 20s? Leave a comment below.
I do not own any of the pics in this post.