Did it fade? Did it fizzle? Did it crash--bang--die?

One of my goals for this blog is to be honest with my readers. I want to keep things real. So here's what's been on my mind these last few days...

I've been thinking a lot lately about the relationships in my life that have faded away, fizzled out or crash-bang-died (!)

I'm a "boy-friend" girl. I got that line from the movie I LOVE YOU MAN where the main character (played by Paul Rudd) is a "girl-friend" guy. He has great relationships with girls but is a little dysfunctional when it comes to friends of the same gender. How does this apply to me? Well... I am the girl who married her high school sweetheart at 22 (so I obviously didn't have a lot of different boyfriends in my teens or early 20s) - I pour my heart into my relationship with Brandon. If I'm totally honest with myself, it has been a different story when it comes to my girl-friends. Although there are a few (you know who you are) that have stood the test of time and are still very close - there are many that have come and gone. A part of me says "that's normal, right?"... another part of me wonders... "what's wrong with me?"

Brandon doesn't understand why I think about these things. He's very matter of fact and as a supportive husband "takes my side" in all situations (where there is a side to take). This is great, but it doesn't help me to pin point the areas in my life that might push people away... that might need work. He encourages me to forget about the negative friendship losses and to foster my current relationships. Here's a good example: Ever since e-mail came into the picture, I'm really bad at calling friends and Brandon is always the first to tell me to PICK UP THE PHONE. It's quick. It lets the person know immediately that you're thinking of them. And it's so much more personal. (I'm working on it... I am.)

Some of my friendships simply faded... some people moved away and although there were very good intentions of staying in touch, time and distance took their tole. For others it was physical distance - it was more that we were living two totally different things and had lost our common ground. You know - the kind of "friend-break" where there's no bitterness or hang-ups. It's mutual and you don't really have anything wrong with other person. You still enjoy chatting if you see each other... but you accept that you've gone your separate ways. I have one friend in particular (one of my longest friendships) with whom I have am on-gain and off-again closeness status. I love her and care about her a great deal but we go through phases and we both know it. When we're close, we're very close. When we're distant, we can go months without talking. Ours is a rare and bizarre friendship because in the distant times... I always know that we'll be close again someday.

Some endings were a little uglier... and this is where I'm stuck right now. Whether the end of the friendship was because of something I did or something the other person did (or a nice mix) - I simply don't want "bad blood" with anyone. I'm tired of trying to figure out who is more to blame in situations that occurred years ago. Was it their fault? Was it my fault? I'm pretty sure that no one is blameless (myself included). I may not think I did anything wrong... it may be a question of misunderstandings and perspective... but I don't want to absolve myself when someone may have been hurt by something did or said. And if I am guilty... I want to know. I want the chance to say I'm sorry and then move on.

So what is the right thing to do? If these "ex" friendships are on my mind, should I try and reconnect if simply for a chance to apologize? Or is that selfish on my part? An attempt to "absolve" myself of blame and in doing so risk the chance that I will open up an old wound for someone else...

I don't think I'm a bad person. I don't even think I'm a bad friend. Any situation where there might be "bad blood" happened several years ago. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since. I've changed and matured.

Maybe you agree with Brandon. I should let bygones be bygones and move on. Invest my time in the friendships that I have now... the tried and true ones and the ones that are just starting to grow. In my current friendships I always try to see both sides of the fence. I lower my expectations (and try to remember that nobody else's life revolves around me). I recognize that being a good friend can sometimes mean saying I'm sorry and doing my best to avoid situations that lead to the need for an apology(!).

So... what about the old friends? The ones that I might have hurt (or who might have hurt me) along the way. Have they forgotten about it, about me? Would they appreciate or resent the idea of being able to reconcile?

Have you ever felt this way? What would you do in my shoes? (there's place for your feedback below...)



Melanie said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. I'm a little late on it, but I was actually just thinking the same thing a few weeks ago. I am currently trying to re-foster a friendship that was the tightest of tight way back when. It IS hard to know when to let things lie, but I think it comes down to a gut feeling really.....if it's something that's eating at you, why not try, what more do you have to lose?


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