October 19, 2005

One sided friendship

I suspect that during the course of all of our lives we encounter/interact/acquire friends whose definition of friendship is a bit one sided.

These are the people who make less effort to keep the friendship alive. They tend not to write or call because they rely upon your effort to maintain the relationship. They also have a proclivity for being quick to ask for your help and relatively to slow to offer their own.

The interesting thing about friendships is that they evolve and sometimes they go from being your closer pal to the one sided end of the fence and sometimes they go the other direction.

At the current moment in time I am evaluating my options on what to do about a very dear friend. I say very dear because for a long time I considered him to be among my closest friends, a member of the inner circle.

I am not sure if he realizes or feels that our friendship has gone south, but it is something that I noticed a while ago and it bothers me. It bothers me because I feel like I am the one carrying the load and that without my effort it would fall apart completely.

There is no doubt in my mind that if I called him today and told him that I really needed his help that he would do so to the best of his ability. He is reliable in that manner, but I wonder about the rest.

He is single, never been married and does not have any children. I know that he leads a busy and active life, but frankly he cannot be busier than me and certainly doesn't have half of the responsibilities that I do. So I cannot help but wonder where his head is at.

Mind you that I have come to this place after a number of years. It is not as if I just arbitrarily decided that there was a problem. All this begs the question of whether I should say something to him about this and try and learn if he is just oblivious to this or if he just doesn't care all that much.

Want to know the sad part. The sad confession is that I don't want to have the conversation about it because that is just another example of my keeping things going on my own. In the end I suspect that I'll send him an email outlining my thoughts and see how he responds. I think that the real fear for me here is that the friendship has lost its spark and I find that to be sad and disturbing. You can never have too many good friends, especially those who have been lost in Jerusalem with you and wandered for hours and miles on a quiet Shabbos evening.

8 comments:

Neil said...

This is one of the sadder aspects of life -- that friendships sometimes fall away as life takes us in different directions. Some people don't get that friendship, like marriage, sometimes requires work to keep it going strong.

Anonymous said...

it was a lot of fun, oh how i miss the chava and israel and everything....

just curious since hes a jr seminar speaker at hebrew high who said he went to bhs

Anonymous said...

hey man i have the same exact thing except my friend is a girl who has a bf and im in high school. Shes a great friend and shes really busy cuz shes graduating early...but she shows absolutly no effort no initiate anything with me. But when i do it great but it annoying that i have to do everything. And its one of those topics you dont feel comfortable talking with your friend especially if its with the opposite sex in the fear of sending the wrong messege. Theres a difference in our ages but not in our minds. Loosing and gaining friends is hard but it hurts even more when you think of them as a good friend.

Anonymous said...

hey im the guy who posted the comment above. It would be nice to have someone to talk to about these sorta random things. If you want to you can email me at

mjones50@yahoo.com

Chadillac said...

I am going through this exact thing right now. My best friend and I haven't spoken in over a month. We live in two different cities, but a cell phone is not hard to pick up and use. I am so tired of being the fuel to the friendship, and for once just want to let it be. I hope all works out with you!

Naeem said...

one sided love is possible but one sided fndship?? naaah , if its not mutual , its not relationship at all !!

Anonymous said...

What I've never understood is why the "friend" who has hardly put in any effort still wants you as a friend. After all,thy can't really call themselves a friend in the 1st place eh? I agree with Naeem-if it's not mutual,then it definitely isn't a relationship.

Anonymous said...

Hi there - I know you feel sad because if you were friends with this person for years- you have INVESTED time, effort, emotion into this person. But unfortunately, the saying "friends come and go" is true, and that's not necessarily a bad thing- it's just life. You can't expect a good book to be just one long chapter. There's always a new chapter with new people and places and things.

Everyone has their own separate life to live, and if they are not putting much effort into your friendship, then you have to accept it and see what else life has to offer. Let go of your expectations of this person and let them be exactly who they are. You can't really change anyone and it would be unloving to try. I think it's best to open yourself up to meeting new people - people that will fill your needs more than this person. That whole "one-sided" friendship thing - that's not good for you.