Here's Some Reasons Why Lifelong Friendship Is Hard To Sustain

You met people, either in the workplace or somewhere else, you get to bond for a while,  share laughter and stories, go for some food trip or out-of-town adventure together. 

Then a blank space. Things halted.

For some reasons you get separated, move to another place or transfer to another job, then suddenly all connections lost. And feels like you barely know each other.  

Yeah, it happens all the time.

Because we need to evolve. We are constantly changing and we need to be surrounded with things and people that can contribute to our personal growth. And would not annoy or stress us out.

It's an open knowledge that  we, socially-inclined humans, are known to form a bond so easily with people as soon as we get to know them.

However, most often than not, acquaintances and friends do not stay long in our circle. Though there are exemptions, few ever get to progress into lifelong friendship.

Why is it so hard to sustain friendship?

It could be a personal choice or by circumstances, but as we move through different stages of life, our concept of connecting to people and how we view life changed. 

We will realize that we are not dealing with the people and friends in the same degree of relationship like we used to be in high school or in college. 

We evolved. We progressed in life. We will find our sense of purpose. And in the process, we desire a new environment, a new meaning of companionship, a purpose of attachment, we cannot tolerate pointless friendship anymore.

Eventually, as we began to move to another stage and desire for more meaning of life, our views and choices get overhauled, which defined our purpose of living and how to deal with people.

Then there are real things, big things, that stood in the way - school, careers, lifestyle, distance. And it can start to feel like there's nothing really common between us. 

Until we realize we have lost our grip in connecting with people, and as we go through transitions in life, we will eventually drift apart.

Friendship is Hard to Sustain

Sustaining friendship across life span can be challenging because our interest and lifestyle change as we aim for more meaning in life. And adult friendship is very complex.

Eventually, some would find their own place in another people's life. Others are simply not the type of people we want to keep in our circle. 

It could be differences in life views or no shared values at all, but we would feel eventually that we are better off without these people in our lives.

Distance is another thing. In fact, it is a barometer where we stand in a friend's life and how far an attachment can endure with the passing of time.

I have childhood friends who became my best friends but eventually disconnected when we parted after high school. Though we reconnected when Facebook became a norm, the level of closeness is no longer the same.

Then I met people in the work place. Lots of them. I developed closeness to some, but as I moved to another phase in life, they also disappeared. 

So, each time I am in a new working environment, I met people, became close for a while then when I move to another job, I also lost them along the way.

But it's okay. That's how life revolves. We need to look in other direction of life. We need to constantly move to meet new people and learn from them. 

Now, only few remain, only those I have common understanding with, the kind of friendship that has been tested with time. Friends who never demand attention.

Despite absence, distance and changes in career and lifestyle, we remain connected, we retained some degree of closeness. We would talk and ask what's going on in life. 

The kind of friendship that never stresses me out.

Juvy and Joice, former colleagues

Juvy, Cherry and Prezie, former colleagues in the university

Rowena and Pressie former colleagues

 Rowena and Helen, my former colleagues in the university

  Reyn and Aya, my ACN colleagues 
who remained in my orbit

I guess that's what friendships are all about. We find ways to connect, we find a certain degree of familiarity, despite coming from different backgrounds and interest. 

The kind of friendship that never demand attention, not possessive and never constantly pester us with needy messages.

I guess friendship is not all about common interest, but passion and perseverance to retain the attachment despite distance.

Realizing it now. Apart from my cousins, I've only fewer friends whom I established a strong bond, a lifelong attachment. They are the one who really know me and understand my personality.

Roadblocks in Sustaining Lifelong Friendships

According to Good Therapy website, there are five barriers why friendships are not sustained in the long term. Roadblocks that could prevent friendship: 

Changes in lifestyle - When one get married or evolve to a new career, friendship often gets affected.

Geographic distance - When one move to a new location, new place, contact eventually lost and you barely hear from each other.

Time constraints - Lack of time that is.

Cultural values and shifting understanding of friendship - You simply drift apart due to differences in life views. You do not find meaning anymore in friendship.

Demanding and obsessively needy - Friends that constantly seek attention and too demanding of our time and never respect our boundaries. Those are the type that annoys us and drives us away from them.

These roadblocks are the reasons why lifelong friendship is not sustained. And yes because as we progressed in life, our priorities change, our views and values differ. Eventually, we prefer to disconnect from some if the friendship is no longer giving us meaning in life.

But there are few exemptions. 

People who are meant to be with us in the road of life will remain orbiting in our circle no matter what happens. They become our lifelong friends.

Friends Are Either Blessings or Lessons

I do not have tons of friends like everybody else. I only have few, about ten of them. Maybe because I am introvert and does not like hanging out with people I don't like

I am not also the type who is chatty, who hangs around with friends to chat. Calls drain me and I hate being badgered with messages to communicate. That's simply not my thing.

But I know how the world works on. At almost every cycle of life, we will meet people, either in the workplace or anywhere else, some would become friends, others would just passing acquaintances.

Whatever it is, they did not cross our road for nothing; circumstances made way for the encounter to take place for a specific purpose, they are either blessings or lessons. 

And somewhere along this journey, something will fall into place, it could be an answered prayer or another lesson to live by.

As we continue with our journey, we will know who are those blessings, the one who will remain in our circle and go with us in the road of life. We will know also who are those lessons, the one who will stay behind where we left our last footprint.

In friendship, I have more than lessons than blessings. Acquaintances rather than friends. But I prefer that way because constant talks easily bore me. Unless, the topic of conversation really interests me.

People come and go

People and friends come and go in our lives. As we move on, only few would eventually remain, and that’s okay, it makes a room for more positive people to come into our lives and allow more time to nurture the true friendships we have

But I am not super sentimental in friendship. I don't spend too much time thinking why I lost contact with them. I easily move on after severing ties. I am too busy to spend time analyzing why I get rid of them in my circle.

Life has to move on.

Here's a beautiful quote about realization in adulthood:

As we grow up, we will realize that no matter how bad our days, life has to move on, we will learn also that even the one person that was not supposed to ever let us down, probably will. 

We will have our heart broken more than once and it will get harder every time.  We will break hearts too. 

We will fight with our best friend. We will blame a new love for things an old one did. 

We will cry because time has passes us by. We will eventually lose someone we love. 

So take many pictures, laugh too much and love like we have never been hurt because every second we spend being upset is a minute of happiness we can never get back.

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