As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that a lot of things in this life are NOT guaranteed. You will not always have the metabolism you had when you were 17 – (most of us will someday) kiss it goodbye. Your first love will rarely be your last. You will face plenty of rejection and disappointment as you grow. And relationships – be it decade-long friendships or the ones you were born into – may not always survive with the same amount of effort you are used to putting in.
You will pursue new interests, put down new roots and create new branches on the tree of your life. It is not guaranteed that those who were once important to your existence will continue to be important.
If you want them to stay important, you need to make them important.
Life gets busy. One day, you and your high school buddies are laughing together in 9th period study hall before you go home to the house you share with the family you were born into. And then, in what seems like the blink of an eye, you’re applying for a mortgage on your own house, the one you now share with the family you’re creating on your own.
I have been guilty of assuming that my relationships would grow with me, without any extra exertion on my part. This naivety nearly cost me a fifteen year friendship during the most stressful, life-altering time of my life. During that period, I often had pangs of disappointment and sadness, knowing that I would no longer be sharing these highs and lows with my friend. (Although we missed out on a year, we are both working to rectify the situation and for that I am very grateful; as an adult I’ve learned the hard way that best friends and confidants no longer come easy.)
Before getting angry and defensive, you need to take a look in the mirror. If you aren’t accepting any blame for the dispersion of the relationship, then you need to look harder. What could you have done differently? What are you going to do to rectify the situation?
Lots of people will come and go in your life. Are you ready for this person to be one of them?