• Keeping Friends

In the Media – On reviving a dead friendship (New York Magazine)

March 16, 2017 | By | 3 Replies Continue Reading

New York Magazine (screenshot)

New York Magazine (screenshot)

March 16, 2017

One thing that’s constant is that friendships change over time. Friends come and go in our lives. Sometimes, it’s just the intensity of the friendship that changes. We may feel very close to someone for a certain period of time and then, for a variety of reasons, we become more distant.

Writing for the Science of Us in New York Magazine, journalist Cari Romm interviewed The Friendship Doctor for an article, entitled, “A Psychologist Explains How To Revive a Dead Friendship.”

She writes:

But reviving a friendship that’s died requires more than just hitting the play button on something that’s been paused, explains Irene Levine, a psychiatry professor at NYU and the author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend.

It’s not as simple as just picking up the relationship you had before. It’s also more difficult than starting things from scratch with someone new. Here’s her advice for how to get things rolling with a new old friend.

You can read the entirety of this well-written piece in New York Magazine. The same article was reprinted in Garnet News.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Socialite says:

    Thank you so much for such a great article, Irene! It was very relevant for me as last year I reconnected with my elementary school bestie. We hadn’t seen or heard from each other for 20 years. Then we found each-other on facebook and since we’re both in the same town, we set up a coffee date and we actualy managed to rebuild a new friendship.

    Initially I did some of the mistakes mentioned in the article – like assuming a level of closeness that hasn’t been created yet. I believe it came from all the excitement of seeing her again, all the sweet childhood memories of playing together all day long and being each-other’s “best friend”, the strong desire to make this friendship work again, and yes – maybe some loneliness as my marriage has been on the rocks.

    But soon I realized I wanted (and gave) too much too soon, so I started treating the friendship like a new one, as suggested in the article. I focused on being a fun and laid back person to be around, being enjoyable company, bringing laughter and positivity into our conversations. I reduced the complaining from my marriage as much as possible and also toned down any behavior that would suggest I consider her a close friend. I now realize that if the feeling isn’t mutual, the other person may feel pressured into meeting expectations that are too high for her.

    Now I believe the friendship is going great and we are getting closer, but at a natural pace, nothing forced. We see each other every 1-2 weeks, which is quite often, given that we’re both grown up women with families, jobs and responsibilities. Also I let her initiate most of the time, but I’m always enthusiastic in my replies.

    So I think I’m on the right track now. Time will show how this friendship will progress in the future, but I’ll enjoy it even if it remains at its current level. It’s great to have someone to just chill and have fun with and it’s even better if you have so many warm memories with this person. I’m just grateful to have her back in my life 🙂

  2. LaurenM says:

    Excellent article full of salient points to ponder before reviving a dead friendship.

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