Friendships: Why Do They Come and Go?

For as long as I can remember, I have always been able to make friends and then lose them just as quickly. I do not have that “best friend” who I’ve known all my life, that I grew up with and shared so many experiences with. School was very hard for me in terms of “keeping” a friend. I always found the person I thought I had a friendship with, wanted to be someone else’s friend. I was the girl that was “left out” or not thought about, or most hurtful of all, forgotten about.
When you’re young and at school, grown ups will tell you “it will get better” or “you haven’t found your best friends yet”. This gives us hope, and while growing up, I thought I found my Best Friend so many times, and every time I was disappointed and having to search for them again.
Now, I’m in my thirties, and it still hurts just as much as it did when I was 8, 13 or 17 years old. Looking back, I’ve had a lot of friendships end in very recognisable ways, you might read and find you’ve had the same kind of friend, or been in a similar situation. So lets take a look at some of those friends I thought were going to be my Best Friend…

Primary School
I had two friends who I thought cherished our friendship as much as I did. The first one I shared a lot in common with, like our birthdays were the same month, we liked the same boybands, liked the same clothes and movies. Her grandparents were my neighbours and her cousin lived round the corner, so we spent a lot fo time outside of school together. Our mums formed a friendship too, they even got tattoos together! But she chose another girl to be closer with, and eventually, stopped spending time with me, stopped having sleepovers with me, and stopped sharing secrets. I then formed a new friendship with a new girl to the class, who’s family came from the other side of the world. She was bubbly, eccentric, fun, independent and honest. We were close for a little while in primary school, and would get a lot closer when we moved to secondary school. we had other friends, but always came back to one another, and so I thought she was going to be a life-long friend, the one you don’t speak to everyday, but you know is always there when you need them. She stuck with me until she met my now husband, and it just stopped. I never knew why.

Secondary School
This was hard, I had the group of girls that thought they were better than me, who would be nasty to me, who would pick and choose when I was their friend. Luckily one day I had the courage to tell them where to stick it. I then was kindly invited to sit with another group of friends, who seemed to like me and want to be in my company. This group would be my “gang” until I left for Spain, and my second primary school friend would be part of the gang too. During our friendship as a group, I would go through phases of spending time with one particular friend from the group, which I think is normal. But one girl I became very close with in my last year and a half of secondary school in the UK, and we experienced a lot of things together, like smoking, drinking, writing music, boys etc. But when I moved to Spain, she never wrote to me, never kept in touch with me. I would surprise her later when I visited and she got upset because she felt so bad about not keeping in touch… We hugged it out in the end, but haven’t seen each other or spoke to each other since.

Outside Of School
I had two of these friends who did not go to any of my schools, but through family, we were introduced to each other and spent our weekends with each other. The first one I was introduced to when I was 6 years old, but it wouldn’t be until we were 12 that we became close. So close, that they came a spent 6 months in Spain living with me and my family. This friendship is probably one of the ones I get the most angry about, because I don’t know to this day why they stopped speaking to me, and bizarrely they would start speaking to my sister, and forming a friendship with her instead, completely ignoring me, and now they are friends with MY MOTHER! This hurts a lot because a lot of things have happened to us since Spain, personal things that we could have been a shoulder to cry on for, to support each other with, and to celebrate with. My sister doesn’t mention their name anymore because she knows it upsets me, but mother still try to talk about them as if they are still my friend, and I recently had to interrupt her, and explain to her that they are not my friend, and haven’t been for 12 years. She still socialises with them, and other members of my family do as well.
The second outside of school friend I had will be very recognisable to you. We were introduced by family, because I was struggling with friends at school, and the family member thought me ad this friend would have a lot in common, and be the friend I was looking for. Again, it started off really good, we had a lot in common, similar tastes, and bonded very quickly. Spent a lot of weekends together, and even a holiday to Tenerife. But nearly a year before I moved to Spain, she got a boyfriend… you know where this is going don’t you? Yes that’s right, she didn’t want to spend her free time with me, she wanted to be with him, and there were a couple of occasions I was with her and her family, but she wouldn’t talk to me or sit with me because of her boyfriend, and I ended up sitting with her mum. I moved to Spain never talking to her again until a few years ago, when she found me on facebook. But that was a very brief catch up which hasn’t come to anything since.

Spain
The friends I made here were important and they would help shape me into the person I am today. The college I went to had people from all over the world, but we all had one thing in common, our parents moved us to Spain to start a better life. Although as soon as they turned 18, they would leave for their future, whether it was university, or just going back to their home country. These friendships were always going to end, and they were never going to last. But each one had an impact on me, taught me something about myself, and helped me escape my home life. However I had one friend at college who was very important to me, and I still keep in touch with now. She was literally a cowgirl, a Texas gal who’s parents were French. She spoke Spanish, she smoked, she drank, she partied, and I thought she was amazing! I idolised her, I wanted to be her. Sadly for me, she chose to go back to the States and go to university there, and she still lives there now, and has a family of her own. We keep in touch through facebook, but obviously, the thousands of miles between us keep our friendship to a bare minimum, and its nice to know she’s still there, but we are not as close. I hope one day to see her again though, and I’d love it if we were able to meet each other’s family.

Work
I’ve made friends in all my jobs, I mean I met my husband in the bar I worked at in Spain! I think work can be an easy place to form a friendship because already you have something in common, the job. But it wasn’t until I got my first job back in the UK 11 years ago, at The Disney Store that I would form close friendships like I did at school. Out of all the jobs I’ve had, the friends I made at Disney were very important to me, and helped me fit in again, and settle back in the UK. I had several close friendships at Disney, but one that was so close, we were at each other’s weddings. This friend was exactly who I needed in my life. They were kind, funny, intelligent, magical, honest and it was like our brains were one, I mean I knew what they were saying while their mouth was full of food! I honestly thought I had found my best friend with this one. I left Disney 6 years ago, and I still kept in touch with fellow cast members, and the people I formed close friendships with. But I don’t know if it was because I left, or because I started a family, but they have all fizzled out, including “the one” that I thought was my BF. I tried so hard to make arrangements to see each other, to have a catch up, but it got to a point where I felt I was coming across as “desperate”, and even though I was very sad about it, I had to admit that the friendships, especially with “the one”, were over. I stopped texting, and I’ve never heard from them since.

Sometimes, I feel very sad, and lonely, when I think back on all my past friendships, and I torture myself on the “why are we not friends” argument in my head. I know I’m a good person, and I know I’m a good friend, and I honestly don’t know why my calendar isn’t full of social engagements or ‘catch ups’.
There was, however, one friend that kept in touch with me after working with them at the Disney Store. We always got on, and worked well together, but while we were at Disney, we weren’t “close”. Now, oh my god, there isn’t anything we don’t talk about, and we don’t live far from each other, and I’m also friends with their other half as well. Which is great because we can do things as couples, because Ben, has had the same bad luck with friendships as I have had. Speaking of Ben, he is my best friend, and always will be, but it’s nice to have that one other “close friend” so that I can have break from home.

This has turned out to be a REALLY long post, I do apologise, but I hope you have managed to stick with it. Life can get in the way, and I do believe that friendships fizzle out due to life, and that sometimes we don’t make time for EVERYONE. I cherish my friendships that I have got. All two of them.

Have you had similar friendships fizzle out? Do you sometimes feel you don’t have any “real” friends or “close” friends?

Jamie

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