Do you have friends or family members that you like a lot but haven’t seen in years? I do. I’m not talking about a relationship that ended in anger or a disagreement. I mean people I grew up with or shared experiences with. People that bring me good memories, people I love. How can you lose track of people you love? I can explain it to a certain degree:
1) Geography: Let’s face it. It’s hard to keep up a close relationship with people who don’t live near you. If you have to fly or even drive over two hours one way to see someone, you probably won’t do it often, and that distance creates distance in your relationship.
2) At different stages of life: I got married and had kids much later than many of my friends so when they were changing diapers, I was working on budgets and strategic plans. The tables have turned, and while my schedule is now tied to football and baseball games and spring break, theirs has fewer appointments and more open weekends. When I’m an empty nester, I hope my old friends will become a priority again like they were when we were younger.
3) Lost your common interest: It’s easy to maintain friendships with people you see frequently like running friends, work colleagues or parents attending children’s sporting events. But it takes more effort when you stop running at a certain time, switch jobs or become an empty nester. When you lose your common interest, you can lose your connection to your friend.
I always feel bad when I’ve let a good friend or family member slip away, and I feel responsible that I haven’t taken the time and effort to see them. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier to find people and gradually reconnect by sending a Christmas card or becoming Facebook friends. For some, that’s enough but for others, I need to see them in person, hear their laugh and listen to their recent story.
Continue reading this post on Kathi Prien’s blog, Breaking 50