Growing up: how to deal with long-distance and high-maintenance friendships

I have learned a lot about friendships over the years. When I moved away from home to study at uni, I began to realise the importance of friends that will always be there to help you through the harder times, as well as being there to enjoy the best bits. Friendships naturally come to an end, often allowing others to begin. One thing that I have noticed on social media over the last year is an increase in the number of people that say you should ‘cut people out’ if they ‘don’t deserve you’, and similar inspirational quotes. I completely agree with this. In fact, at times I may have gone too far.

Here is my advice to you.

After big life changes, such as moving to a new place, it’s only natural to lose touch with people. Keeping lines of communication open, even if it’s to share good news once a month or arrange a weekend together twice a year, is essential. If you’re lucky, you’ll find that it will feel like barely a second has passed between meetings with your good friends, even if it has taken you months to arrange a suitable date and time.

On the other hand, I think it’s generally a good idea to make time for people who make time for you. When you are the person always trying to arrange a meet up or initiating conversation, it can quickly feel one sided. According to social media, this is when you should drop them as a friend. Only put in time for people who put in time for you, they say. I’ve bought into this for a long time. It’s a ‘one strike and you’re out’ type of policy, and it can be quite tempting. We all lead busy lives, and making time for those who don’t value your time can seem like a waste.

Sometimes this has worked quite well for me. Promising to not put in effort any more has seen some people completely fade from my life. It’s a reminder that without my effort, we probably wouldn’t have seen each other for a few years already. With others, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Letting distance appear can sometimes make people realise that they’re missing your company. It’s so refreshing to find out that a person did value your time all along. It has even led to much better friendships with some people.

Now, though, I think I’ve taken it too far on some occasions. When someone has tripped up or shown a lack of interest, I have been tempted to cut them out immediately. If they don’t care about me, then why should I waste my time? At times, I think I’ve been overly quick to judge. Though on other occasions, it has clearly been the right thing to do and has meant less negativity overall. Finding a balance has proved difficult.

I want to make sure that I make the right call in future. Is it their first offence? How big a mistake was it? Is it because of other factors in their life? Can I still trust them? Taking in my past experience, I think I might finally be in the position to judge properly now.

Have you had friendship difficulties lately? What did you do in the end? Forgive or forget?

9 Comments

  1. Aqy
    April 21, 2017 / 5:19 am

    I have cut off some friendships because they were bad for my mental health. The true ones will stick by you no matter what and they will always understand you. Over the years my circle has been growing smaller and i’m ok with that.

    skinnydecxflatte.blogspot.com xo

    • Lisa Mae
      April 23, 2017 / 9:26 am

      Well done for doing what is best for you! It’s never easy, but I’m sure you feel a lot better now

  2. Charlene McElhinney
    April 21, 2017 / 10:40 am

    I absolutely loved this post! My best friend and I have both been living our own lives recently, she’s been doing a bit of travelling and I’ve been busy with studies etc but I just know we will always be best friends and always pick up where we left off! This post resonated so much to me right now!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Charlene McElhinney
    http://www.charlenemcelhinney.co.uk

    • Lisa Mae
      April 23, 2017 / 9:25 am

      Thank you Charlene! It is tough when you lose contact with such a close friend, but it sounds like you two will always be there for one another

    • Lisa Mae
      April 23, 2017 / 9:24 am

      Aw I’m so glad that you were both able to make it work! It’s so lovely when that can happen.

  3. Kayleigh Zara
    April 23, 2017 / 1:35 am

    I’m not very good with long distance friendships! I tend to forget to get in contact with people and plan things if I don’t see them! I only have two friends from before uni and I see them occasionally but not enough x

  4. April 25, 2017 / 5:56 pm

    I really needed to read this, thank you so much. I’ve been really struggling with friendships, so this is good to read. Thank you for sharing!

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