Friday, September 05, 2008

Friend Radar

As I get older, I find my concept of friendship changes. When I was little, if you had cool toys and we agreed on things, you were my friend. Needless to say, I had a lot of friends with such simple criteria. In the teen years, friendship became more complicated. You had to be part of the same social level and participate in the same activities. Also, you couldn't date a friend's ex-boyfriend without asking permission.

During this period, I developed the friend radar. I had an inner circle and other friends floated in and out within the radar. We weren't angry at each other or less of a friend but our attention was elsewhere. I did used to feel disappointed and betrayed when an inner circle drifted out to the periphery but I grew up.

The last several years have featured a lot of flux in my friend radar. It makes sense that as people get married or have kids, they drift away. It can be difficult if you're not dealing with someone who understands the radar. They can feel guilty/angry that there is lack of continuous contact. Sometimes lack of contact is my choice because I need a timeout from a particular kind of friendship. But that doesn't mean I am angry or no longer care about the person. That last sentence has taken me 31 years to figure out. So, as I am embarking on getting back in touch with old friends via Facebook, I am feeling more secure and less guilty.

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