Remember when you were a teen, and your Highschool time comes to an end? The last big hooray before you split up and go to college, university, or starting a job? It was the time when friendships were made that we thought would last a lifetime. We promised each other always to stay together whatever comes. We hugged, we swore oaths, and then we made a step into adulthood. How many friends you have left these days? For me exactly ONE person. And this guy and me, we kept this friendship for nearly 3 decades now. We met during our military service whenever possible (he was in a tank regiment, I was at airborne)…we kept contact while we both started our university time (he went for pharma I went for design)…and now years later we still meet, now with our companies (both got married in the meantime). Still each year I give him a call on his birthday and reverse. We wish you the best on the 31st. December and once or twice a year we manage to see us face to face.

This is the friendship that I have for the longest time now, and I´m pretty convinced that we will keep this friendship for some more years/decades. But this is an exception. Sure I have found a couple of new friends, but I can not tell you if those have the same quality as this special one. Many times it´s more like you meet some people…and you go the same way for some months or years…and then a silent process starts. You don´t chat that often, then less and less. And then….it disappears and goes into the thing we call “memories”. And someday, for whatever reason, you remember this person and you say something like “Ah, yeah…we were friends some years ago…but our paths separated.”.

Sounds familiar? I think that s the way it is. Both parties decided that it´s the way this friendship comes to an end. Friendship is like a relationship. It´s a promise between two people to share the good and the bad times together. But when it comes to a point where one part of this “relationship” decided to take another part…things are over. You can not force somebody to stay friends, as much as you like it. This is what logic tells us. Unfortunately, we don´t always act in a logical way. When emotions come into play and you want to stick to this friendship because it means something to you, and you are not willing to let go. Then friendship becomes hurtful. First, you didn’t recognize it…you just recognize that the frequency of the contact is getting lower. But that´s ok. You tell yourself that the other one is busy with the job…or moved to another town and has its brain loaded with other stuff. That´s ok, you tell yourself. But very soon afterward you recognize that the quality of the conversations drops. It´s not any longer those long-lasting calls, emails, or text-conversations via Whatsapp or Telegram….or whatever Messanger is out on the market. It´s more the conversations like this:

  • “Hi, how are you?”
  • “I´m ok…how are you?”
  • “Ok too”

And you think “That can´t be it.” So you start writing good old fashioned emails. You try to put some personal stuff in them, things you would normally talk about when you had long conversations. And then you wait if the other side picks up the ball and plays it back. Well, sometimes you get feedback…sometimes you don´t. But that´s the point where you need to consider that you already separated your paths…and not just a bit, but the other is already miles away and you have just a small silhouette at the end of the horizon. It´s a sad feeling because you need to let go. The other one already did. And everything you imagine is already gone. As soon as you accept this fact this friendship will find it´s way to the “memories” and takes the rightful place there.