Not all friendships last forever: I lost my contacts in a NYC taxi cab

Published: September 27, 2011 | Last Updated: September 27, 2011 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading

QUESTION 

 

Hi Irene, 

Last August, lost my cell phone. I left it in a cab
in NYC and to make matters worse had not properly backed up my contacts. In an
effort to regain some of those contacts, I sent out messages on Facebook. Some
people responded and some did not, which made me feel very sad.

 

Next year will be my one-year marriage anniversary.
I have a large family and many friends/acquaintances. My husband and I fell in
love with a venue that wasn’t conducive to more than 200 people for the wedding.
Therefore, I had to narrow down my guest list, which made me upset and anxious.
On top of planning the wedding, I was finishing graduate school and building a
house, so I genuinely lost track of things by being overwhelmed by a lot at
once.

 

The wedding was wonderful. I wasn’t able to invite
two people in particular with whom I had been friends for quite some time (on and
off with college, etc.) and I am now trying to rekindle those friendships. They
both recently got engaged and in no way am I thinking I will be invited to
their weddings — nor will it upset me that I’m not.

 

My efforts to reach out to them are being ignored
and I want more than anything to say I’m sorry for losing touch without them
thinking that I am doing this just because of their new engagements. It’s the
guilt that I’m having difficulty with and it’s taking a toll on my
relationships with husband/family. What do you think the best way to contact
them would be? And say what? 

Thank you for your help,

Jordan

 

ANSWER

 

Hi Jordan,

After high school and college, our lives become increasingly
more complex as we get involved with new careers and romantic relationships. It’s
often impossible to juggle all these new roles and responsibilities
simultaneously and as a consequence, some of our relationships drop by the
wayside. Perhaps, they were less important, less convenient, or have become less
compatible with our new lives. While these changes are taking place for us —
they are also taking place for our friends.

 

In terms of your lost cell phone: My guess is that
some people didn’t see your Facebook message, some people saw it but didn’t
have a chance to react, and that some were involved with new things. It’s not
surprising that some cell phone contacts become "stale" over time.

 

In terms of your friends who were recently engaged:
Few brides can invite everyone they want to their weddings. It’s difficult to
figure out whom to cut out and we muddle through it trying to do the best we
can. If your friends are reasonable people, they will understand that. Perhaps,
it would be better to approach them after their weddings. You could write each
one a note or send cards congratulating them on their marriage, saying you felt badly you
weren’t able to invite all the wedding guests you wanted to the wedding, and that
you would love to stay in touch.

 

If you are edgy with your husband and family, it
may be that you’re simply feeling the stress of the dramatic changes that have
taken place in your life. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on the relationships that
didn’t last. Instead, try to maintain relationships with your workplace colleagues
and set aside some downtime for old friends or new ones. You may want to find
some way to reduce tension and stress — by attending a yoga class or joining a
gym, for example.

 

You’re obviously someone who values friendships and
that’s a wonderful trait but you need to realize that not all relationships
last forever. 

Hope this is helpful. 

Warm regards,

Irene

 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This post really made me think about the difference between lasting friendships and temporary ones. I have made so many great friends in Omega Phi Alpha, and I was thinking about each and every one of them as I read this post. Of my sisters and other friends, there are several people that I hope to be friends with for many years to come, and this post made me realize that I need to foster these friendships to ensure that they do not become “stale.” I know that once we graduate college and move our separate ways, it will be harder to stay in touch. One of my greatest hopes is that I will be able to stay in touch with my Omega Phi Alpha sisters through our alumni organizations.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sensible advice. Personally, I wouldn’t know how to answer some of these sensitive questions. I do feel for Jordan, and am sure your wisdom goes a long way toward helping her sort things out. I guess that’s why YOU are the Friendship Doctor (and I am not 🙂

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