When Friendships Fade

12 Oct

June 2012 marks 10 years since my graduation from high school. It’s crazy how fast time goes! TEN YEARS have passed. A Facebook group for the Mayo High School Class of 2002 has been started and plans for a reunion are getting underway.

I’m not sure I’m going to go. I mean, I guess it would be kind of interesting to see what everyone else is up to now and there are a few people that I wouldn’t mind reconnecting with. But overall? Meh.

It’s not because I had a bad experience in high school — I actually loved those years and I had some really close friends. But I don’t talk to them anymore. None. Not a single person from high school.

When I went to college, I remained really good friends with a few girls. But eventually, those too dropped off, mostly caused by my becoming a Christian and doing a 180 in how I lived, essentially making everything we used to bond over things I no longer did.

Once you lose the commonality of shared interests and hobbies, you lose what inspired the friendship. C.S. Lewis writes this in his book The Four Loves:

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one’….

I still remember the first night that I realized my old friendships were fading. I was sitting at home alone waiting for my best friend from high school to come to town, only to find out she had arrived quite a while earlier but was  hanging out at one of my friend’s houses with my college roommate – without me.

It felt like a slap in the face. I hung up the phone and sobbed. Matthew 10:39 gave me comfort and reassurance that the pain was worth it – “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” I knew that to follow Christ, I had to let go of my old life – including old friends.

It was hard to watch the friendship fade into nothing, knowing that it was my choice. I was the one who essentially walked away. But what else could I do? Jesus had changed my life – I couldn’t go back.

When you have so much history and so many memories with a person, it’s hard to let that go. It’s hard to not feel like you should stay friends, if only for the sake of old times.

But that didn’t work for me. I tried to stay friends with her, but through a series of events, it became clear that we were very different people. The only thing keeping us together was memories. Little by little, we stopped calling each other. We stopped emailing. We lost touch.

Would I say hi to her if I saw her on the street? Of course! I have no ill will against her, or any of the other friends I’m no longer in touch with. But I have found that it’s hard enough to keep in touch with my good friends from Campus Outreach, who understand and encourage me, and whom I truly love and appreciate. You have to cut your losses at some point.

Out of the 5 bridesmaids in my wedding, I only regularly talk to 2 of them anymore. Even at the time, I knew that I was growing apart from 2 of them. But it felt weird to me to have them at the wedding, but not in the wedding, since they were such a big part of my life at one point or another.

Looking back on that, I’d probably have more of my family in our wedding party instead. After all, I’m still talking to them and will hopefully grow closer to them over the coming years. But those friends? I might never see them again (unless I go to the reunion, huh?).

Just today, I was putzing around on Facebook and noticed that one of those friends had removed herself from being tagged in some of my pictures.

Even though it shouldn’t matter, I was hurt. It brought back that feeling of losing friends. But I can’t say I completely blame her. I was a horrible person before becoming a Christian (so much so that I am amazed she kept being my friend then), and even after I did, I still handled some situations with her very poorly. I’m sorry for the pain I caused her and hope that she forgives me.

A part of life is that people change and move on – friendships come and go throughout the different stages of life. I think the biggest reason why I have lost so many friendships over the years is because I have changed so much – for the better (by God’s grace!).

So do I want to go to my high school reunion just to take a stroll down memory lane? Maybe. Maybe not.

Did you or are you planning to go to your high school reunion? Were you happy with your decision?

Have you ever let a friendship go because you drifted apart?

3 Responses to “When Friendships Fade”

  1. Heidi Nicole October 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Life happens, people change. At least you’ve changed for the better and that is what matters! I talk to very few people from high school but this morning my FB wall was flooded with “happy birthday” wishes from people I haven’t seen or talked to in years. Its weird… I completely bailed on my 5 year anniversary and highly doubt I’ll be heading to my 10 year. I had a tiny graduating class (50 people!) and have managed to keep in touch with those I actually want to talk to.

    I have a few college friends I’m close to but that is about it. I’m a firm believer that if a friendship is a lot of work with little gain then maybe it is time to just let the friendship fizzle. Not exactly poetic, but hey, people change!

    And FB is a crazy beast – I found out one of my closest friends from HS had a baby…three weeks post-birth by way of FB comments. I didn’t even know she was pregnant.

    If you are happy with what you’ve become it doesn’t really matter what others have to say/think!

  2. specialkkluthe October 12, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Happy Birthday Heidi Nicole!! Thanks for the encouraging words. (And yes, you find out all sorts of crazy things on FB).

  3. B. in the Know October 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    It is sad how some friends we drift apart from – but a lot like you I do not talk to any of my friends from high school and a lot has to do with the fact that I didn’t become a Christian until I was in college. Love you, friend – and thankful we are still friends even if we are far apart in distance.
    Much love,
    B

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