Make it last forever, friendship never ends…

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(Points if you can identify what song that line comes from!)

I have to disagree with that sentiment, though. Some friendships endure. Some ebb and flow. Some, unfortunately, just peter out.

Fresh grad Classy in Philly recently blogged about the disappointment of losing touch with people she thought were real friends. How, post-college, they stopped calling and emailing…and generally failing to live up to the definition of “friend”.

Unlike her, I didn’t have the traditional uni experience. I moved in with BF right before starting my first semester. I lived out in the suburbs. Hell, I lived out west, and only about three other people on my course could say the same thing. I really took my studies seriously, even though first year comms was far from gruelling. I had rent and bills to pay, so for me, uni wasn’t even less of a bubble than high school, it really was the real world. Sure, I was sheltered by receiving a student allowance, but that didn’t cover all the essentials, and it didn’t cover term breaks, either.

So I didn’t really have friends at uni. I had a couple of people I went for coffees with, and sometimes sat with in class. It wasn’t till we were all thrown together in our final year as journalism majors that I formed any meaningful relationships. Even then, we didn’t go out on Friday nights together. We stumbled home exhausted – if we weren’t going to work, or toiling on in the newsroom.

I do, however, know what it’s like to lose a friend. We went to school together for, oh, a solid 10 years. He lived around the corner from me. We got on like a house on fire, traded barbs, and once we got to high school, walked there and back together. We put up with each other’s foul moods (you think I’m temperamental? I had nothing on him) and discussed everything from the true extent of Kurt Cobain’s talent to the meaning of human existence. He introduced me to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, for chrissake.

And then after years of that, we got together. The “relationship” lasted six months. It never went anywhere, physically or otherwise. Nothing had changed.

We broke up. I got another boyfriend. He got jealous, and after a year or so of various dramas and sniping, we stopped talking. He moved over the Harbour Bridge – which might as well be the other side of the world for an Aucklander – and we went our separate ways – me to AUT, him to AU.

Sometimes I miss those halcyon days. On the very rare occasion I run into him, I catch glimpses of the person who used to know me better than anyone else. And there’s nothing worse than making small talk with someone you could once sit in comfortable, companionable silence with.

I’ve changed. He’s changed. From time to time, I hear updates through the grapevine – and while in some ways he’s stayed exactly the same, in others, he’s continued the metamorphosis he begun right about the time our friendship began to rot. I don’t know what he thinks of me today, but for both our sakes, I know it’s better that we don’t have contact, even as acquaintances.

11 thoughts on “Make it last forever, friendship never ends…

  • Reply Amanda July 6, 2010 at 01:31

    Woah, that was a really depressing entry to read. There’s a friend of mine (previously known as “my best mate”) who I’m afraid to even try and talk to these days. I don’t want to lose him as a friend, especially when we were so close, and the friendship somewhat resembled yours (minus the relationship), but it seems inevitable. If not already in past-tense.

  • Reply Rachel July 6, 2010 at 04:47

    I also had a best friend who became a “relationship” after some very, very stupid and bad drunken hooking up when he visiting me at grad school. The experiment lasted a couple months, and we didn’t speak to each other for almost 2 years.

    We’re friends again now, but I know it’ll never be like it used to be, and I still have times when I feel so incredibly guilty about what happened that I have no idea why he talks to me.

  • Reply Airam July 6, 2010 at 04:56

    This line perfectly describes what I was feeling a few weeks ago with an old acquaintance: “there’s nothing worse than [trying to make]small talk with someone you could once sit in comfortable, companionable silence with.”

    Such is life though I suppose.

  • Reply The Asian Pear July 6, 2010 at 05:59

    Spice Girls’ Wannabe. 😀
    Do I get a cookie now? 😀

    I agree that relationships change. Nothing is forever. But I think the key is that those relationships which are dear to you… You try to make them work.

    My oldest friend, I’ve known for 20 years. And the other two for about 15 years. That being said, I don’t have that many friends… But I’ve always tried to keep those “going”.

  • Reply Kara July 6, 2010 at 05:02

    I want to say the title is from a Spice Girls’ song, but I’m not 100% sure. Maybe I’m singing it wrong in my head?

    I’ve lost probably too many friends, and I’m not too sure why. High school non-sense/drama is probably the reason, and while I could probably say “Hello” to these people in public, that’s probably about it. Everything else seems strained.

  • Reply Stephany July 6, 2010 at 13:04

    I agree with what you’re saying. It’s especially hard when friends enter different stages of life (i.e. marriage, parenthood) when you might still be in your studies or single. Sometimes, you just grow apart because of that and sometimes, friends just don’t care to keep the relationship flourishing and growing, as has happened in my case.

  • Reply Bexi July 6, 2010 at 13:13

    I can’t remember the intricacies of corporations law, yet I instantly recognised those song lyrics. My brain is one messed up place.

    Very timely post – in the last year I’ve lost an entire circle of friends, which when you don’t have that many friends to begin with is a staggering loss. Losing friends is hard. Remembering the old friendships is hard. Making new ones is even harder.

  • Reply Slamdunk July 6, 2010 at 16:51

    I can relate to your friend’s experience then.

    I lost contact almost immediately when I graduated from undergrad–I did relocate a few states away for employment. It is likely my personality more than anything though.

  • Reply Veronica July 6, 2010 at 23:41

    For me friends come and go. I’ve always moved around a lot, so I never developed those life long connections. I am quite used to people coming in and out of my life, and just accept it as how things go. I mourn when necessary for those friendships, but in the end I move on.

  • Reply Benjamin Bankruptcy July 7, 2010 at 19:28

    I lost a lot of my friends after high school but mainly because I wanted to change and grow and I couldn’t do that around them they were fast on their way to the middle. I think sometimes you need to lose some friends

  • Reply Reverb 10: Different « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander December 9, 2010 at 17:25

    […] I love solitude and I need more alone time than anyone I’ve ever met (except, perhaps, for my once-upon-a-time best friend) […]

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