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How to Cope with Friendships Ending

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From the U.S.: Let me first start out by saying I am not gay whatsoever, nor is the person I’m about to talk about. That person we are to talk about is a male, and for privacy we’ll call him John instead of his real name.

I work for a company that requires training after starting. When I got to the hotel all the new guys were to be staying at, I wasn’t expecting to have a roommate. So, whenever I get inside and I check in, the lady tells me my roommate has already checked in; I give her a look and say “okay, thank you” i then walk my stuff up to the room.

When I get inside, I see my roommate sitting on the bed on his computer, normal as can be, he’s a real chill guy, real cool. To keep things short, “John” and I basically built up a friendship by telling each other’s life stories (consisting of us both being engaged, when and where we were getting married to our fiancée’s, where the honeymoon’s were to be; also where we went to school, our age, previous work places, etc…all the basics), cutting up all week, and all that.

Now, come end of training, we’ll go back to our “districts” which ours are about 3 and a half hours apart so basically hanging out and going out with other friends isn’t really an option, so the friendship we built up, probably won’t last. I think we became close friends so quick because we are somewhat just alike in how we act.

Moral of the story is, I hate when I make a new friend (a close one at that) then our friendship all of a sudden ends rather quickly or comes to almost a halt due to something we can’t control, and it ending within a very short period of time after meeting that person.

I suppose it’s just part of my personality, but when this happens it bums me out for a few days. This has happened a few times with people I’ve met, which is one reason why I have a hard time making new friends, is because I don’t know if they’re going to stay in my life for a long time or just a season.

I’m looking for ways to cope with this now and in the future.

There’s an old saying that some friends are for a reason, some for a season, and some for a lifetime. All are valuable. All give us companionship and support in this crazy thing called life. But, as the saying says, not all of the people we meet and like will be lifetime friends. Some will teach us something we need to know. Some will be important to us for awhile. And probably about 3 – 5 will be close, lifetime friends. (That’s the average, by the way. Most people have 3 – 5 good friends who stick with each other for a very long time.)

It makes sense to me that you connected with your fellow trainee so quickly. You were both in a novel and perhaps anxiety-provoking situation. You had much in common. You were thrown together many hours of every day. It makes absolute sense that by the end of the training, you felt the potential was there for a lifetime buddy. But then reality in the form of distance and regular life stepped in. If he lived next door to each other, you might have kept it going. But, you’re right, living 3 hours apart means that you won’t have the opportunity to get to know each other better or to widen the circle by including your fiances and by doing things together regularly.

Value that “friendship” for what it was — one of the “for a season” kind. In this case the “season” was the training period. Or maybe it was one of the “for a reason” type — in that it may have helped each of you manage a challenging training while away from the people who love you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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