Do Friendships Have an Expiration Date?

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Absolutely and unequivocally yes. While there are those gal pals who shall remain “friends for life,” this concept does not apply to all “friends.” Many of us hold onto old friends much like we hold onto our youth. We know it’s fading, but still slightly reminiscent of what we used to be. We just won’t let it go and furthermore refuse to accept that the time has passed. Somehow, over the years, we’ve grown comfortable with our gal pal -shared secrets, created lasting memories, cried on a shoulder here and there….we’ve all been there at one point or another. Let’s get one thing straight, cutting a long-time friend who no longer qualifies for this title is not without some difficulty, unless you have a) no heart b) no conscious or c) are completely devoid of any feelings. If you are lucky enough to fall into any of the three categories, then yes you can “cancel” a ten year friendship at the drop of a dime and never look back. If you’re like the majority of women and have a pulse, then navigating the murky waters of cancelling, albeit terminating a long-lasting friendship will be slightly challenging.

First: You will experience guilt. After all, how can you inexplicably remove this person from your life; they’ve been around for all the important stuff (weddings, babies, divorces…….). And they’re not so bad ALL of the time. Still, something is off kilter-maybe it’s one thing you know for sure or cumulative situations that have occurred over time.

Second: You will experience doubt. Being the analytical beings that we are, as women, we will question ourselves over and over again. To let it go or not to let it go. To this I say, trust your instinct and go with your first mind.

Third: You will experience fear. You’ve put fifteen plus years into this relationship and you’re not twenty-one anymore. How will you ever find another “real” friend that you can trust? More importantly, who has the time to invest in a newbie anyway? Plus they know all of your “dirty” secrets. You have way more important things to do and you are SO busy anyway….right?

Fourth: After the fog clears and you take a true assessment of the friendship, you will experience certainty. You know for sure that your friendship should not leave you feeling: unsupported, betrayed, doubtful, out of sorts, just plain tired. This is when you truly know that you’re making the right choice, really the only choice to let the friendship go. This will quickly be followed by a sense of relief, peace, and exuberance-you really should have done this a long time ago!

For the friends that you know are true and here to stay; cherish, support and appreciate them-they are certainly few and far between and they’re worth itpd

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