I had coffee with a former work colleague who had moved away to take a new job. Michael and his wife, Staci*, returned to the city where they met in college. He mentioned that Staci had connected well with some of her old friends yet was having some difficulty re-establishing a relationship with others.
It seems some of Staci’s friends got a little miffed that she didn’t stay connected like they thought she should have when she moved to the opposite coast. So now that she’s back in the flesh, they’re rebuffing her a little. Staci wasn’t intentional about not connecting as much as she would have wanted. She got busy with her career, home, in-laws and building new relationships. She thought she was doing what we all would do – making new friends while keeping in touch with her “old” ones.
This story made us wonder: Maybe we should discuss our expectations of how we want to stay connected when one of us moves away. Isn’t that better than setting a threshold in our mind, and if our friend meets it, she remains in good stead, and if she doesn’t, she’s unknowingly moved from the friend to acquaintance category?
It’s something to think about. Can you remain friends with someone even if you haven’t heard from her in awhile? What does it take to sustain the relationship? Do you have a friend you only see every year or two—yet you take up just where you left off?
Please share your wisdom. Thanks so much!
*Names changed for privacy