Sunday, January 30, 2011

Theory On Friendship

We recently have been talking about nursing theories and theorists in class.  It's interesting.  Some good points are made by various people about what nursing is and should be. 

There should probably be theories about most things we get involved in, whether work or play.  I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately.  As a kid I'd say I had a lot of friends.  This extended through my time at college.  Even the two and a half years following college I made and kept friends fairly well.  However, in the last 3 years or so I've seen a distinct shift.  I neither keep nor make new friends like I used to.  I've asked myself what has changed about me?  A lot, surely, but in terms of trying to make friends, not much.  Same goes with trying to keep them.  I am pretty loyal and dependable (though I admit I often am running a few - 15 minutes behind, always, since Kaia arrived).  I am at least decent about calling, texting, emailing, or some other form of social media messaging friends, and yet . . . I am, largely unsuccessful.  I have lost many friends.

So, what is it?  I've asked my husband and my best friend (who thank God I have not lost) what gives?  Is it something I am doing unwittingly?  Am I coming across in a way I do not think I am?  I haven't figured it out and it's both perplexing and painful.

One theory of friendship I just looked up states that friendship is dependent on: similarity, proximity, reciprocity, beauty, and competence (though not too much so).  Well, according to this proximity is probably my biggest problem in losing friends, I'm no longer near them so no longer a priority and, I fear, some of those "friends" probably didn't have that much in common with me but liked me more because I was there to begin with.  OK, so making them?  What's my problem?  I'm competent but definitely not too competent.  I'm not too pretty but I'm not ugly so I think that's good enough.  I treat people well.  I smile and strike up conversation, heck I bring cookies!  I'm here.  They're here.  So is it I'm just not similar enough?  Perhaps but I dont feel like this is my answer either.

I promise Im not having a pity party.  It's more of a think tank right now and you're here with me.  I know that you've only met me through bloggy land (well, most of you), what do you think?  Ideas?  I promise my feelings wont get hurt if you're honest!

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25 comments:

Kat said...

I think it's just harder to make friends as you get older because people run on SUCH different life-schedules.

I know that for me, in terms of growing apart from friends - I had a TON of lovely friends in college, but the only thing we had in-common was...college. But, you'll have friends like that in every phase of your life.

Once Kaia gets a bit older and is involved in things, I'm guessing that you'll have A LOT more (wanted and unwanted) friend-making opportunities. Just don't sweat it right now!

Ameena said...

After Maya was born I found myself kind of withdrawing from my social circle. It was only after I went back to work that I realized how much I needed my friends! Now that you are in school I bet you'll do the same thing. It's easy to forget about yourself when you have a little one to take care of.

WhisperingWriter said...

I have lost some friends too. I think it's the distance, since we move every few years since we're a military family.

And also, like your first comment stated, it seems that as you age, it gets harder to make friends. I'm not sure why.

Anastasia said...

That theory said something about the same beauty? well that solves it. You are too beautiful for them. That's it.

Kitchen Belleicious said...

I agree with Kat, It is so much harder to make and keep friends when you are older because you have so much going on with your family and life. Schedules and everything make it easy to not keep in touch. However, those friends who you have had from the beginning and are still with you through it all- those are the friends you need. Not the ones that will just come and go

Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress said...

I think Anastasia hit the nail on the head!

Could the newbie friends be a little intimidated? I have known you to be nothing but gracious, friendly and kind. You make an effort to reach out and keep up, even with your new crazy schedule. I find it pretty impressive.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

You are in that spot I felt as a new mom. It takes some time. I remember a few years of saying "Um, do I have cooties?"
LIke they said, the tide will turn!

Anne said...

I think having kids definitely changes your social circles. Once your kids start pre-school you end u meeting a whole new circle of friends. I have lost some friends over the years but I also have kept some very dear friends who live far away. It definitely takes energy and effort -from both people- and once you're married and have kids you have less of both.

Mandi Miller said...

Well, I don't have any answers for you. But I am in the same "boat". I have friends where I live but not like I did before I moved. Maybe it is just harder to make and keep really good friends as we get older. My husband is my best friend and my friends' husbands are their best friends too. Plus, life is busy when you get married and become a mom. I do want good friends though! And I think, I hope, I am building strong friendships with a couple of other women at my church (it's a new church too so everyone is trying to make friends).

I think you are a wonderful person and if we lived near each other I would be your "in real life" friend!

Ro said...

I have to agree... as we get older it gets harder because trying to develop a new friendship involves trying to take them on the journey from then(when they didnt know you) to now.. which alot of us dont have time for given all the distractions/responsibilities.

It can be pretty isolating, especially if you have alot of old friends who are in the same phase of life you are now.. or who are not in that phase and thus dont understand. The ones that are in that phase... feel just as isolated but may simply not have the energy to fix it.. and those not in that phase have yet to adjust (and sadly may never) to the "new you" with your new roles. Hang in there mama... as baby gets older... it will get easier.

In the meantime may require more effort on your part to keep the old friends around. They are invaluable. You need people who "knew you when!"

xoxox

Ro
http://randomroro.blogspot.com

Alicia@ Mommy Delicious said...

This is a tricky one. I feel like I have a lot of friends, but only a few that I feel really close to, especially since having my son. That is something that i am working on -- trying to connect to more of my friends. Sometimes it's an uphill battle, but I think it's worth it. i hope.

Alex said...

I just noticed that I no longer had you on blog roll.. and I was like whats up with that. and I figured it was probably because you had my old link. This is the new one http://alexsworld31.blogspot.com/
I'm glad to hear you are doing well and you started school last time I heard from you,you were taking a break.

Kelly @ City Mom said...

I hear you...like all relationships, friendships take a lot of work!

I have my group of high school friends that we have all worked at...but we've grown and changed as adults, so if we met now would we still be friends?

Making new friends is hard now being a mom. The intention is there but its not as easy to pick up and go for a drink or a outing.

Balance must be the key I guess? But how do you find that?

None the less, you're good at making friends in the blogosphere and that's gotta count for something!

I like you! :)

Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

I have to agree with a lot of these comments. I think it's harder to make friends as you get older. And as a new mom, I think you do go through a shift. Hang in there, maybe try a few mom's groups, and keep being yourself. It will happen!! :)

Kristi said...

I think that the older we get the harder it is to make, maintain, and keep friendships. As we get older our lives become hectic with work, school, parenting, husbands... the list can go on and on. It takes work to keep those friendships afloat. The ones that are meaningful friendships will stick around no matter if months go by without a word. The friendship that seem to dwindle off, it doesn't mean they were ever your friends, it just means they came into you life for a reason and once they met that reason it was time to move on.

Susan said...

Just blogging around this afternoon and found your blog. The lady that posted that friends come and go in all phases of your life is right. You will find out hopefully that your husband is your very best friend. Well thank you for letting me visit.
Susan
http://amazingcouponanddiscountdeals.blogspot.com
http://susan-livinghealthywithchallenges.blogspot.com

Mamabear said...

I think it's part of becoming a mom or going through any major life change to lose friends and gain new friends. It's sad but I have also grown apart from a few close friends from college. I also feel like sometimes friendship (especially with other women) is like a giant game for which I never received the rule book....making friends and maintaining friendships is hard work!

Colleen said...

I sure wish we lived closer! I would love to hang out, go for walks and coffee and get to know you better! You seem like a genuine and caring person.

I understand what you're saying here too. I also am friendly but lately have been experiencing the same sort of thing. Partly I know it's my fault. I have had good friends and I am not willing to compromise right now (maybe that's a bad attitude:) but I don't want to hang out with a group of people just to be able to say I hang out with a group of people. I want real connection...

Anyway, I hope you meet some fantastic people soon.:)

The Blue Zoo said...

Not counting blog friends I dont have many friends. But I know why, (its because I dont really like a lot of people... lol). I think as we get older and we have more responsibilities it's just not easy to make time to make friends.

Miss Pancakes said...

I definitely agree that it is difficult to maintain friendships when you are not close to your friends. I hope new friendships are made along the way Kaia!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

girl- i miss ya? where ya at? Hope you have a great weekend!
Jessica

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Happy Valentines Day girl!
Xo
Jessica

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

I think we all feel like that sometimes - but as long as you have your husband and your best friend you'll weather the storm and make some new, just as good friends.

ModernMom said...

I know for me, priorities changed after I had kids. Babies and Hubby first, friends second. I am okay with that. I also know the older I get the less time I have for drama so I don't put up with any:)
Good friends will always be there when you are ready for them...New friends are sometimes the best gift.

Devan @ Accustomed Chaos said...

i have been thinking of this a lot lately too. how do we as adults make friends? it was easier in school because we were with these people every day for like 8 hours. now as a stay at home mom i dont know how to find the same 'deep' connections with people.

 
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