Keeping our old connections can be hard. The transition from high school to college, and college to the real world creates a number of anxieties and stresses. Will I find a niche to suit me? Is this the right move? What will they think of me? ect. All piling into your mind at one, which leads to even more trouble for you. But eventually you find your place, have fun, and meet new people. It’s exciting, nerve-wracking, and time consuming so surely its understandable if you forget to text a friend or two right? Well, maybe not. It may not seem like it but by not texting or calling or IM-ing when already a long distance away you could be unintentionally removing this person from your life.
It’s so easy to get caught up in our own affairs and then suddenly you have break from school or you have a long weekend from work. Who do you call? And when you do get in contact with the old friend does conversation feel strained, almost like if you were making small talk with an acquaintance? I’ve experienced this before and it was the worst feeling.
I wasn’t even having fun in college really, since I don’t live on the campus! It made it hard to find friends and when it came to trying to talk to my old ones? I got half an hour of awkward small talk just to catch up with one another. And when I would send the random ‘hey what’s up’ text, I’d feel lucky to get a response. It’s off-putting and actually rather worrying to think that people you spent years talking to could leave you behind or that you might leave behind someone that was once important to you. But that’s just it–it’s someone you’re used to see almost everyday. The physical distance between you has led to a distance emotionally. Lucky for us, it’s easily overcome.
It may seem daunting or intimidating but sending out simple texts every once in a while (even if they don’t text back right away) is a good way to show that you are still thinking of that person and feel connected to them. Sending a small message every once in a while is good to keep a connection going (it isn’t like you’re dating, don’t assume that they think you’re clingy just because you want to catch up).
If an important day for that person comes up like their birthday, don’t just settle for the customary Facebook wall post, text or even call them. It’s amazing how great it is to hear a friend’s voice after a long time and phones are an easy way to reconnect.
Having Skype conversations and group hangouts are another great way to stay connected and make it effortless. But remember they’re not always going to be online when you are, work hours and other things are that person’s priority sometimes and it’s important to understand that.
And of course, seeing the person after a long hiatus of work and busyness is great to re-establish old friendships and catch up. What you could write in 20 texts, would be said in all of 2 minutes, leaving plenty of time to actually get to do things together like old times.
But above all, remember that simply because a person isn’t an immediate presence in your life doesn’t mean either of you should feel guilty about it. It’s just a part of life and growing that is understandable. If a person is a true friend, reconnecting is absolutely possible. It’s just that when neither of you try to rebuild or revisit that bridge of friendship you’re left in a situation in which neither of you can even relate anymore. Be careful your best friend doesn’t become another acquaintance you wouldn’t recognize on the street.
Have any of you experienced this strain in your personal lives? Is there a friend you wish to reconnect with, but don’t know how?