“I don’t feel the same connection I once did with her,” I said to my husband, not too long ago. I was talking about a longtime friend with whom it was getting harder and harder to remain connected.
“You’ve moved on,” he said,”and left her behind. She’s still back in the old life.”
I thought about what he said for weeks. Do true friendships change?
Part of me was uncomfortable with the the idea of “leaving behind” –did it imply that my journey was progress and hers wasn’t? Maybe that was true, but maybe not. It’s certainly true that I couldn’t live the life she was comfortable with and in fact, had left it behind. Maybe he was right: I’d left her behind, too.
I didn’t like it. But I couldn’t deny that we simply were no longer on the same page. Our connection had diminished and it made me a little sad.
And that’s the thing: friendships can change over time.
The problem I have is that I am pretty much the same throughout the term of a friendship. Or so I think, anyway. I approach friends with an open heart, open mind and a desire to connect.
It always seems to me that it’s others who change, who move in different directions.
But maybe that’s not true.
Even with what remains of my analytical brain (now that I’m 65 and retired), I couldn’t really fit this idea into a place where it made sense. Finally, I decided it didn’t have to make sense. I just needed to accept that friendships change, this one did and really move on.
And that reminded me of a song.
This touching John Denver song is about romantic love, but it is also true of deep friendships. And I’d love to know if you have had a similar experience and what it was like for you.