Every time I’ve made a new friend over the past couple of years, within a matter of months the person has moved away. It’s happened so many times just in the past year that I have begun joking with my husband about it.
This reminds me of the old saying: “some friends are in your life for a season, some for a reason, some for a lifetime”. I am apparently a “reason” kind of friend: my role in these folks’ lives seems to be to somehow be a part of transitions. I am the person they meet during some sort of major life change which, once complete, necessitates that the person then settles somewhere else permanently.
It’s for this reason that I am grateful someone came up with the concept of social networking. Through sites like Facebook and Twitter, I can keep in touch with people as far away as Australia and as close as my own backyard. I have made some wonderful connections this way and am grateful for each one, although in addition I’d like a little more.
I know that distance alone does not cause the friendship to end but it does alter the relationship. I admit to being a bit clueless about what makes a friendship a “reason” or “season” one versus a lifetime one, although my “reason-season” relationships felt like real friendships while they were happening. I mourn each one when it ends, going through each of the classic stages of grief until I finally reach acceptance that I have drifted into the background of the person’s life.
In 2011, I want to make a forever friend. I don’t know how or where to find one, but I will try to have hope that it will happen someday. Years ago, another “reason-season” friend told me, when I was single, that I should ask The Universe for the specific qualities I was looking for in the Man of My Dreams. Now, I wish to meet the Woman of My Dreams (although I suppose under the right circumstances my BFF could end up being male).
My lifestyle might not be the most conducive to friendship. I work somewhat long hours, and even when I’m off the clock I still am kind of on the clock. My husband works several jobs. I have a special needs child. And – perhaps this is something I should change – I tend to give people their space, thinking that if I am too eager to be their friend it will be a turnoff for them. It can come across as aloofness or disinterest and has cost me friends, boyfriends and other opportunities in the past. There has to be a balance somewhere.
I don’t know of any matchmaking services for best friends that exist. If you’re reading this, what would you do if you were me?
I hope to make lasting friends in my own neighborhood someday. I think – hope – that I’m still not too old to have a best friend, someone I can call up at 2am, for example, and am opening my heart to finding that person, whomever he or she may be.