Do distant friendships really work?

Now do not get me wrong, I love all my friends. However, I see the dynamics of the relationships changing. Even though I moved hundreds of miles away, I figured a few people would still be daily chatters as they were when we lived in the same city. However, I am finding that is not the case.

What I am finding out is that when something happens, I am turning to people who are the closest to me in terms of mileage. There is a big difference in giving news over the phone and giving news to someone face-to-face. There is something about us humans that want that personal touch, and a phone call or text just does not satisfy that urge.

It does not mean that I love my newly long-distance friends any less, it just means that they are being left out of the daily dramas of my life. After getting settled into a whole new environment, I find myself relying on people in the same environment. So, instead of calling someone 700 miles away to tell them my good or bad news, I go next door and knock on the neighbor's door.

Do not get me wrong, when I do  finally get involved in a conversation on the phone with my now long-distance friends, I tend to ramble on and on. They do the same. It is sort of a catch-up moment. However, instead of turning to them for advice, they just get to hear the story of how it all turned out.

This becomes more obvious when I am having a conversation with them and they stop me mid-story. They stop me not to be rude, but because they did not know the back-story. How could they not know how I got to this point in the story? Well, it is because they are not kept in the loop on every minor detail like local friends are.

The same thing happens vice versa. I was on the phone the other day with a friend when something was said that took me by surprise. Of course, I had to stop them and ask questions. Come to find out there was this whole back-story that I was not privileged to because I was not within ear shot when it happened. So, I was left with just the end story instead of being kept in the loop the entire time.

I do not take it personal, and I hope my friends do not take it personal. I do not think it is done on purpose; however, it is sort of sad to see how the dynamics of a friendship change with a relocation. Even though we all said we would not allow it to, distance has a way of changing things.

Of course, I still have friends that I keep in touch with on a pretty regular basis; however, the majority of my distant friends are now regulated to the occasional Facebook message. Eventually, I know we will be down to that annual "Happy Birthday" greeting on Facebook that we both know we made only because Facebook reminded us that the other was having a birthday.

It is sad, but it is life. I guess people come and go from our lives for a variety of reasons. It is just strange to actually see which ones disappear and which ones stay. Considering I have only been gone for a little less than ten months, it will be interesting to review this again when it has been a full year since my relocation.

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  • I get what you're saying,...and it does make me sad..but it is what it is..true...However, we will NEVER be Happy Bday Facebook Buddies only!!! I refuse to permit such.. :)

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    You and I didn't talk often over the past couple of years, but I did know you were just down the street. Just look at it like this, you are making new friends and you have your friends back here, so you have more friends. I am happy that I got to meet Kyle and see you briefly before you moved away. If I ever make it to Chicago you'll be on my "must see" list.
    barb

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    David W. Quinn

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