friendship

'For years, Sally and I were close friends. Then I couldn't bring myself to call her.'

*Sally was my ‘person’.

For years, we were in each other’s orbits.

At the height of our friendship, we had dinner together several times a week. We knew the nitty gritty of each other’s lives. We were each other’s biggest champions.

But like with most friendships, our life circumstances changed and so did the intensity of our friendship.

Sally moved interstate to start a new life with her boyfriend, and I moved cities to chase my dream career.

For a good few years, we managed to keep the ‘friendship spark’ alive.

We spoke to each other regularly on the phone. Our Facebook chat was littered with funny GIFs and memes and familiar personal jokes.

We celebrated each other’s successes and we provided a digital shoulder to cry on whenever the other one needed it.

It felt like distance and time was only having a small impact on our friendship, that we would always be a big part of each other’s lives. I thought we had somehow managed to smoothly transition from ‘living in each other’s pockets friends’ to long distance friends.

Then last week, it dawned on me.

I hadn’t actually spoken to Sally in months. I couldn’t remember the last time we had talked on the phone, and our text messages had become fraught with miscommunications.

It was like we were going through the motions, but the ease of our friendship wasn’t there anymore.

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So, I decided to give Sally a call. The moment I picked up the phone and dialed her number, I knew something wasn’t right.

Instead of feeling excited about the prospect of catching up with an old friend, I was filled with dread. I was nervous, like I was cold-calling a stranger and I didn’t know how they were going to react.

When Sally didn’t pick up, all I felt was relief.

Suddenly, Sally felt miles and miles away. The distance between us – both literally and metaphorically – felt palpable.

I realised that at some point over the past two years, Sally and I had drifted apart and I hadn’t even noticed.

We’d lost the ‘friendship spark’. Ours was now one of those friendships based on obligation and the sense that we should ‘put in an effort’ to keep the spark alive.

I feel like we’ve fallen out of love with each other, but instead of a big dramatic breakup, we’re just going to slowly fade out of each other’s life.

Sally isn’t the first friend I’ve ‘broken up’ with over the years. But it never gets any easier.

With each friend I drift apart from, I feel like I’m losing a small slice of myself, a piece of the puzzle I’ll never get back.

I still hold out hope that me and Sally can get our ‘spark’ back, but for now it feels like everything has changed.

*Names have been changed. 

Have you ever lost the ‘friendship spark’? Tell us about it in a comment below.

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