What Happens When a Friendship Fades Away?


It’s not uncommon for a fight between 5 year-olds to end with someone shouting: “You’re not my friend anymore!” There’s an honesty there that I can respect, a directness that’s refreshing: Let there be no confusion — this is where we stand.

Adulthood, however, is something a lot less clear.

I have a friend who I’ve known for almost 20 years. We’ve seen each other through a lot: cheating boyfriends, health problems, depression, divorce. We once went five years without contact because I was lost and selfish and couldn’t bear to have anyone in my life who believed in me. In that time she got married and I wasn’t there, and for that she has forgiven me. Which is all to say, our friendship is the durable kind.

But over the past few years, there’s been a subtle shift that’s been hard for me to admit, still harder to explain. We still love each other. We still want only good things for each other. But separated by thousands of miles and very different lifestyles, there’s a distance between us that is beginning to feel insurmountable. And I’m left wondering: What do you do when you can feel a friendship fading?


*To read my brilliant answer to that question, head over to The Washington Post.


3 thoughts on “What Happens When a Friendship Fades Away?

  1. carolyn May 4, 2016 / 10:09 pm

    Heartfelt and insightful


  2. Kristi May 5, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Yes. This.
    Thank you for writing this. I’m in the midst of just such growing-apart pains. I’m caught between feeling childish anger, and feeling reasonable frustration and un-kept promises. Where do you draw the line? When is enough enough? But how do we do this? Do we have to have some kind of formal agreement that she’s not my BFF anymore? There’s no lawyers around to sort out the shared pieces of our lives.
    Anyhow, its good to know you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sumofmypieces May 5, 2016 / 10:57 am

      Friendships are sometimes more intimate than romantic relationships and yet the “rules” are so much more vague. Wish I had some answers to your questions!


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