On Friendships That End

 

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship.

friends

(source)

I’m not sure what brought this on.  I suspect it has something to do with a few heart-breaking posts I read on other blogs – of friendships fading, ending.  Then I read another friendship story in a book I was reviewing, and it got me thinking about it again.

However it started, I’ve found myself mulling over some of my friendships – from the past and present, successful and not.  I’ve been particularly thinking of the ones that have ended.  I still can’t figure out why or how things changed, though I have a rough idea in most cases.  But I’m not really sure what I could have done differently to prevent the friendship from ending.

I think I’m a pretty good friend, in general.  I think one of my spiritual gifts is mercy, and I give everyone the benefit of a doubt.  I’m a pretty loyal person, and it takes a lot to lose my loyalty.   I’m also not afraid to be the one to initiate the friendship, which has served me well.

Oh, I have my moments.  Like when it took me over six months to write Hazel back (sorry Friend!), or a similar length of time to write Felicia back (I’m working on a letter today, Girl!), or when Erin came to see Wyatt in the hospital and didn’t see him again until he was six months old (it still makes me cringe).

But those friendships are still firmly in place, and I don’t see them ending any time soon – even when time and distance separate us.  That hasn’t been the case with some of my previous friendships, even though the complicating factors were the same as in my successful friendships.

I think the difference lies in the commitment of each party to the friendship.  Friendship can’t be a one-sided thing, it takes two.  And if one person isn’t willing to make the effort . . .well, you can’t make someone be or stay friends with you, and I’ve had a few too many experiences that taught me that. 

But I think it’s better to look back and know you did everything you could.  At least everything you could without losing any self-respect.

Thinking back over those friendships that ended makes me so grateful for the friendships I have that have stood the test of time.  The friendships where we may not see each other for months (or even years) but we can still get back together and pick up right where we left off.  The ones that have lasted even through moving to different places, going to different colleges, being in different life situations.

  I can’t shed too many tears over the lost friendships when I have others that show me what true friendship is.  Those are the friendships I want, and those are the friendships worth investing in.

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(pinned here, couldn’t find original source)

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By the way, when I say I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately, I mean for a couple months at least.  Yeah, it’s been that long, and things just keep coming to my mind.  I’ve written probably four or five posts of things to do to build/keep a friendship, based a lot on my own friendship experiences, and I’m thinking of doing a little blog series over the next few weeks on “Tips On Friendship From An Average Girl”, or something like that. 

Because you all know I’m not perfect, not any more than you are, but I think we all have a sense of what makes a good friend and what doesn’t.

I think it actually might be encouraging to hear what you all have to say on the friendship subject too, so I was considering turning this into a link-up.  Maybe not every week, but we could at least do one and see how it goes from there. 

You could write about characteristics of a good friend, feature one of your own friends, talk about a friendship that went awry and lessons you learned from it, write about what you try to do to be a good friend, or how someone has been a good friend to you, write about how to be a good blog friend (that would be interesting!).  Whatever you want!  Just as long as it covers friendship.

If you’d be interested in writing a post on friendship and linking up, please comment below and let me know!  If I get at least a couple people interested I’ll do the link-up and post the details soon, otherwise you all will just get to read my ramblings on the subject for the next few weeks. 

Which you know will be fascinating reading all by itself, yes?

Don’t answer that.

(Unless you have something nice to say, then answer away – ha! . . . I’m just kidding. *smile*)



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Nicole said...

I think that some people are placed in your lives for just a season... and that's ok. Of course, the best way to "end" a friendship is by mutual pulling away, without a blow out or confrontation. I have moved around a bit and I have found friends in every place I've lived. While at one time they were "call you everyday and meet up" friends, now their only FB friends... and that's ok. But the ones that stand the test of time AND distance... those are TRUE. I'm lucky to have 3 of those... all in different cities, none close to me. And that's ok. I know that God's hand has been in all the friendships that have ended... and I trust that His plans are better.

Venessa said...

I think that this would be a great idea for a link up...there is so much to talk about and friendship may not look the same for everyone!

My Dear Gs... said...

It's a lot harder to keep friends as a grown-up than I ever thought! I lost a close friend a few years ago and I still think about and pray for her and miss her and our friendship. Thankful that God does allow some people to be in our lives long-term and also brings new people in for a breath of fresh air!

My Dear Gs... said...

It is a lot harder to maintain friendships as an adult! I think often of a friendship that ended about 3 years ago. Still makes me sad and I miss her! But I am thankful that God brings new people in our lives for a breath of fresh air, too.

Veronica and Daniel said...

Great idea! I was thinking about friendship all evening. How some friends I just grow apart from and it is okay, and some friends - even though they are hundreds or thousands of miles away - it's still like they live 2 doors down the dorm hallway. I think some of it is personality - if both friends are intentional about keeping a good friendship going strong. Clearly I have not had enough time to think this topic over - since I am just typing out random thoughts :) I will work on putting my thought puzzle together!

Felicia said...

Oh, we have been friends for such a long time and it's so wonderful! I have only a couple of friends that I can say have been there for my whole life, then there are some that are newer, but I know they will be there for the rest of my life. And there are much more friends who have been in my life for a season. It makes me sad when I see some of these friends and we don't talk the same way we used to, but I know that's how life goes. I would totally participate in a linkup if you had one, by the way.

Melanie said...

Callie..what a great idea!! I'd definately be game if you decided to do a friendship link-up. I have alot to say on the subject too..I've went thru my fair share of failed friendships for one reason or another..but also have friendships that I value to much I know they will stand the test of time. You were spot on when you said it takes two to make a friendship work..its not a one sided business at all. Loved your thoughts!!

Jenni Lynn said...

I have been thinking a lot about friendships too, your post came at such an interesting time for me. I have been feeling sad about a friendship that I have been working on for years, and am finally at the place where I am giving up. I just can't handle the one-sidedness of it and have felt hurt to many times. It is hard to just release it though and allow Christ to completely fulfill me. I know God created us to have friends, we need one another, I just am learning that I cannot rely on them to make me feel whole, only Christ can. So thank you Callie, for writing about exactly whats been on my mind. Can't wait to hear more.

Unknown said...

Love this post! I've been thinking about friendships lately too! Sounds like you're a great friend! Wish there were more out there like you!

Allison said...

This post has so much truth it-I've been pondering this topic lately too! Love your blog name by the way...our sermon at church was on this very verse today. So glad I stopped by your blog today-).
-Allison

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