". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friends are Friends Forever . . . Not

Online friendship sometimes gets a bad rap. People have legitimate concerns about it. It's harder to maintain a friendship when you don't see the other person for long periods of time. You sometimes wonder if you really know that other person as well as you think you do. Would you like each other as much if you saw one another on a daily basis? And yet one thing about online friendship is that if someone continues hanging around, reading your emails, responding back, interacting with you on social media, occasionally even making an effort to get together in person, you kind of start to think that maybe he or she really does care about you. Because if he doesn't, dropping you is a mere click of the mouse away. Flesh and blood people, on the other hand, are kind of stuck with you. If you work with a person, live in the same neighborhood, go to church together, etc., you don't have much choice but to put up with him or her. So you learn to get along. Sometimes you even get along really well. But when contact is required rather than optional you don't really ever know what the other person thinks of you. You may think you do, but you don't--not until such time as that person has a choice of whether to continue the relationship or not. And I suppose that's a good thing. We all do what we must to get along, and we can't be bosom buddies with everyone we come into contact with on a daily basis. Some relationships are for a lifetime; others are only for a season. But sometimes there are people in your life that you come to think of as friends who, it turns out, were just being polite, putting up with you until they didn't have to anymore. And that is disappointing to learn.


Karen said...

Sometimes, it's a matter of priorities. It easy to maintain a friendship when you see the person regular. Once the regular meeting has gone, the friendship is on hold because of time constraints. I don't consider friendship in a black and white fashion. Closeness with people often has an ebb and flow pattern.

There are several people who I consider friends, but no longer have regular contact. There just isn't time in our schedules to meet. We still think about each other in friendly terms, but don't see each other.

Susan said...

(I like what Karen said too.)

I blogged on this not too long ago. Sometimes I wonder if anybody is my friend, or if they're all just Being Polite. But then I have to tell myself that it shouldn't matter, because if I get to wondering these things, I'll never enjoy anything. So maybe people like me. Maybe they don't. But can I appreciate whatever-it-is that I share with those people anyhow?