Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

On Friendship: Saying Good-Bye and Starting Over


As a kid, I moved around a lot. And when I wasn’t moving, everyone else around me was. Such was the life of a quasi-military brat. I didn’t like it — losing friends all the time, always saying good-bye, starting over. Over and over. This was all before social media and Skype and FaceTime. This was back when long-distance phone calls cost a fortune and there was no way I was going to be calling my friends in Colorado or Virginia or England from our home in Germany on a regular or even semi-regular basis after they moved away.

It was a relief to get to college and make a core group of friends who stayed put, for the most part, for four whole years. I’d never had that before. A comfort and familiarity grew, and I hoped this was how friendships would be forever now that everyone was putting down roots.

Of course, people don’t put down roots in college. They high-tail out of there after graduation with their degrees fresh in hand (or not), back to their parents’ homes, or to Europe for a summer of back-packing, or to grad school, or to the nearest next city to write the Next Great American Novel and serve coffee at Starbucks.

I was unmoored again, untethered in a way that especially scared me because not only was I lonely, I was totally pissed off. Not at the people who left but at my own idealism, I guess. I thought that once I left home and became an adult, or “an adult,” in control of my own life, finally — of where I lived and whether or not I moved away — that I could stop starting over saying good-bye all the time.

That didn’t happen right after college or even in the years that followed, though by my mid-to-late 20s or so, when I’d gotten settled in Chicago, there was a blessed period of people sort of staying put for a while. But then I up and moved to New York, following my heart, hoping that this next move would prove to be it, and that I could finally, finally put down roots and cultivate friendships that would last throughout the rest of my life, through various stages of adulthood, and everything would be like how I had always wished it would be.

But here I am, almost forty years old, I’ve lived in New York nearly nine years, and I can count on only a few fingers the number of close friends I’ve made here who haven’t left or aren’t leaving this summer. And it would take several hands to count the number of close friends I’ve made here who are no longer in the city — who have left either for the suburbs or for much farther away than that.

“Do you realize,” I said to Drew the other day, “that in a few weeks almost everyone who means something to us will live somewhere else?” That’s a slight exaggeration but not much. It’s mostly true, and it mostly breaks my heart.

At what point does the starting over stop? At what point do the new friends become old friends who still live nearby (instead of old friends who live in other places we hardly have time to visit)?

Is this simply a symptom of living in New York City, where gentrification constantly prices people out and the challenges of urban life, especially with kids in tow, inspires even the natives to seek refuge in more easy-going locales? I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t know ten years ago what I know now, or leaving Chicago, where most of my friends stayed put for New York, where everyone seems to move after four or five years, would have been that much harder.

I should be grateful for all the friends I’ve made, whether they’re part of my daily life or not, and I am. Rather than wishing I had fewer friends in general, I just wish there were more I didn’t have to miss so much. I wish the effort and time I’ve put into cultivating and fostering friendships paid off more in terms of long-lasting local connections — maintaining that village that’s so essential for modern life and especially for modern families raising kids without the support of nearby family.

I was at the playground the other morning with Joanie while Jackson was in school, and there were two other moms there with their similarly-aged baby girls. We exchanged some small talk about our kids and the weather. One of the moms commented that she’s seen me there before.

“Oh yeah, I’m here all the time,” I replied, and almost said more but stopped. I found myself wondering if she’d still be here or not three years from now when our daughters started pre-k. Would she be here when our daughters turned five? Would I? Is it worth the effort to move past small talk about the weather?

I’ll always have room in my heart for the people I love, regardless of where they live, but I’m just about tapped out on starting new friendships that quickly become long-distance ones. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some kind of five- or ten-year guarantee on the investment of ourselves? But then, imagine all we’d miss out on if we limited ourselves to guarantees (or convenience, for that matter). It’s true in love, and it’s true in friendship. It’s just hard, when your heart’s a little battered, to remember that.

32 comments… add one
  • wobster109 May 16, 2016, 12:36 pm

    Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for yourself and your friends is to let them become acquaintances. Give up on the monthly calls and Facetime, the plans to get lunch, the guilty feelings. Free up that part of your mind. It’s easier to give your energy to the people who are here, now, if you’re not maintaining a lifetime energy promise for long-distance friends. And it’s a smaller leap to befriend the other mom.

    One of my best friends now is the new guy who moved into the next office last year. We go to the gym and go running and cook every week. I never would’ve had time and energy for this present, current friendship if my evenings went into keeping up past ones. I hope my college friends are out running with new friends instead of scheduling an endless rotation of Skype calls.

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  • keyblade May 16, 2016, 12:37 pm

    My closest friend in the area is moving. I lost another really close friend this year and I know one of our closest couple friends is leaving in a couple more years. We don’t plan on moving, but we live in an area where I know my kids are going to have to say “hi” and “bye” to a lot of their friends. I’m an introvert and it already takes such an effort to foster friendships. I’ve gotten where I don’t think of friendship as something that will stay the same, anymore. I think it’s part of the reason I take family so seriously. As much as people don’t want to admit it, It’s a connection that seems harder to break.

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  • MaterialsGirl May 16, 2016, 12:40 pm

    Your essay hits close to home, Wendy, as another of the core group from college moves to the east coast this summer. What started out as a secondary friend group in college became my closest band of buddies ten years out. The husbands were all college friends as well, which made get togethers especially convenient. The first couple moved away to Henderson, NV about 3 years ago; they will actually be in town this weekend! T, my very good friend and former roommate, the one who owned a condo down the hall from my exhusband and I, who took me in and made sure I came out alive, moved to Detroit a year ago. One of the girls who had been part of the group faded out after a disagreement, although she and her husband still attend ‘large’ functions. Now, it’ll just be two of us after one of the ‘cores’ moves to Virginia. At some point, where do you meet? Who do you come back to? Before it was easy because the majority were in Chicago and it’s easy to travel to. but what happens if I move. Where is our home base? Do you add more people to the group and change it? I have other groups of friends, so I suppose the effort just switches since they’re still in the area, but eventually everyone moves and everything changes. It’s hard for someone who enjoys the safety and warmth of a nest that I can count on to be there while I stay busy with life and travel and work.

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    • Dear Wendy May 16, 2016, 12:55 pm

      It’s always been nice for me to have Chicago as a home base or “nest” to go back to a couple times a year since most of the good friends I had when I lived there are still there. But most of them always threaten to move and that makes me so sad because then what do I do? I can only really get away on my own twice a year, and maybe once or twice a year with drew and the kids (on top of the visits we make to see my family). If I have to spread out my visits over various locations, then there will be some people I just don’t see for a couple of years. Unless they come visit me, but they all have the same issue I do — too many people to visit with limited time and money.

      And then I have the problem of friends I make here in the city who move to the ‘burbs and want us to maintain a sort of pseudo-long distance friendship, with us coming out to see them a few times a year. That doesn’t sound like it should be a problem, but when you don’t own a car and hate driving into and out of the city and you have a baby who needs a daily afternoon nap and will only nap in a crib, it… it’s just not easy to do. I end up feeling guilty because I can’t maintain my end of the friendship. But I’m also not the one who chose to move. And my life is busy enough just raising these two little kids and living in a fast-paced city. I do need friendships for my well-being, but I also, at this point in my life, need them to be convenient. I’m simply tapped out on long distance friendships. I need friends who live within a few blocks who can meet for a drink or dinner after our/my kids go to bed and who might have similarly-ages kids we can get together for play dates on the weekends.

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      • MaterialsGirl May 16, 2016, 1:05 pm

        I’ve always been that friend without kids who makes the extra effort to see my friends with kids, even babysitting and having convenient “kid stuff” at my place like a pack n play and toys and booster seat. I do wonder what will happen when it’s my turn and if I will have generous friends like that or if I only then hang out with other mom friends? Maybe because I will be late to the party, those friends with kids will be past that stage because their kids are older? I just don’t know.
        The trips and friends that move away does make it hard. There are some people that I stay in brief contact with (text message now and again) that I would love to visit, but there really is only so much time and money for travel. I feel bad that one is already on her second kid and I haven’t met her first.
        And then there are the friends that I lost in the divorce. I mean, that was a lot of effort and love and nurturing and then bam. Which is understandable, but still hurts.
        Anyway, different stages of life, Wendy, but I feel it too.

      • Anonymousse May 16, 2016, 1:08 pm

        You sound like a really considerate friend.

      • Anonymousse May 16, 2016, 1:18 pm

        It’s really hard to try to maintain friendships after you have kids. I’m not great at it. Like, all the kid stuff and housework takes precedence for me, over pretty much anything else during the day, and nighttime is time for alone time or time with my husband. We have a few friends here that we see regularly, but everyone comes to our place, because all the things the kids need are here, and its child proofed. All my long distance friends are kind of used to getting sporadic calls from me, but its changed so much. And yeah, friends without kids don’t really understand why it’s so hard to visit them even if they are only thirty minutes away.
        Luckily, my closest friend here is literally next door.

  • Miss MJ May 16, 2016, 1:00 pm

    This has been the trend for the last few years in my life, too. It sucks because after the moves come kids and with them come new friends and interests and before long, I realize that the people that I used to consider my best friends are now people I see on Facebook and text randomly with, but they don’t know what’s going on in my day to day life, and I don’t know what’s going on in theirs. I think the moving away thing is just part of city life, though. Unless people have family or roots there, most of them will eventually move to more suburban areas to raise their kids or move home to be with their families.
    For all that I try to make new friends with people who have put down roots here, the older I get, the more I realize that I’d prefer to be alone than be friends with people just because they’re there. I mean, sure, I like having folks to go out to dinner with or do something fun, but real girl friends, I have one. And we live in the same town that we moved to after college and have been friends for 20 years. If she moved, I think I’d lose my mind. She is like my family. And, maybe I’m getting to that point with another friend, but I know she’s leaving in a few years, so…
    Oddly enough, though, since most of my college friend circle still doesn’t have kids (we’re in our mid-to-late 30s, so this seems weird to me), the past couple of years, we’ve started getting together for a long weekend once a year. It’s been really great to reconnect with these women and see what they’ve become. Realistically, I know that this will likely end in the next couple of years, as more of them have kids and their free time limits and focus changes. But, instead of being bummed about it, I’ve decided to appreciate this limited time for what it is.

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    • SpaceySteph May 16, 2016, 1:16 pm

      When you think about it, high school and college and summer camp friends also had limited times and looming end dates, but in those days we were more willing to throw ourselves into them anyways and be grateful for the time we had. I try to still do that, but it’s harder as an adult.. maybe just getting weary from how often that’s true.

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      • Miss MJ May 16, 2016, 4:00 pm

        That’s a really good point. I guess we all had much more energy back then and really couldn’t contemplate that things would really change. And, we had more shared experiences on a day-to-day basis. Same teachers, same dorm, same social network, same everything, really. Sort of like how you can develop good friends at work, but that’s also transitory these days. Speaking of, I was going to post this in response to your post below, but your point about all your work friends leaving and you realized they were the best thing about your job resonated with me, too. After my good work friends left, it was much easier for me to leave to do my own thing. I’m not sure I would have done it (or at least not when I did) if they were still there.

    • AndSoItGoes May 16, 2016, 4:35 pm

      “For all that I try to make new friends with people who have put down roots here, the older I get, the more I realize that I’d prefer to be alone than be friends with people just because they’re there.”

      Agreed. I have found this to be liberating.

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  • SpaceySteph May 16, 2016, 1:13 pm

    OMG, as this page loaded the first thing I saw was “Saying Goodbye” and I thought Wendy was closing the site and I was immediately seized with panic/sadness/desire to yell “Noooo!” Thankfully the page loaded and I saw it was not so. Whew!

    As for the topic at hand, I feel very similar. Last year, one of my best friends at work got a new job and moved to Colorado. Another friend has started looking to move back home to California. I realized that my main enjoyment from work was the people I got to work with and that they wouldn’t be there forever. And my husband’s best friend has been talking about leaving, too.
    People always leave. Like you, most of the people who mean something to us live elsewhere– we can’t possibly afford ($ or vacation days) to visit everyone. As it is we don’t really go on vacation except to visit family or friends.
    But you’ve got to surround yourself with people who are here NOW and not worry about where they’ll go. Otherwise, if you wait for the guaranteed people who will stay, you’ll spend most of your life alone. And besides, think of how far you could couch surf based on the friends you made!

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  • Moneypenny May 16, 2016, 1:22 pm

    I can totally relate to this topic! I feel like, as time goes on, more and more of my longtime (high school/college) friends have moved away from my area, which also happens to be where I grew up. I have a handful (I can count on one hand) of friends from high school plus one from elementary school who still live in my area, but even then, I hardly see them! Everyone is so busy with work and their own lives, it takes actually scheduling on my calendar a phone call or a meetup with them. (Which I do not mind, I just want to see them!) We can usually pick right up where we left off.
    After I graduated from college, my core group of friends all scattered to other states, or, again, just became busy with their growing families, and/or have moved at least an hour away and I don’t see them as often. I feel like it’s just how things go these days when life moves at such a rapid pace, that people are just working their butts off plus commuting, plus whatever else is going on.
    I count my dear, close friends on maybe 2 hands. This includes my long-distance friends. I have made friends over the years since college here and there, but those people have mostly scattered. Meetup has helped (I have made one newish friend who is fun and likes to get together for drinks and activities), and I’ve made friends through former coworkers, which has been fun. So it’s really a mixed bag for me.

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  • Anonymousse May 16, 2016, 1:22 pm

    It’s super lame, but I like social media just because I can sort of keep up with everyone’s lives that way. I’ve lived in five different areas and sadly, I don’t have time to call everyone and keep up. The sole reason I use Facebook is to see others and share our kid pictures.

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    • Dear Wendy May 16, 2016, 1:32 pm

      I feel the same way. Drew hates FB and got off of it like two years ago and he teases me for checking in so often . But it’s the one place where so many of my people are. And it doesn’t feel like a false connection to me. It feels like the best we/I can do with my various limitations. I still make calls and texts and send occasional emails, but FB really helps to fill the gaps in that and help maintain a deeper connection, as ironic as that might sound…

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      • Anonymousse May 16, 2016, 2:40 pm

        Yeah, I totally agree. For us, we are actually contemplating moving back to the place that feels most like home to us, and I’m actually glad to have kept up with even old coworkers and acquaintances from that area.

  • Taylor May 16, 2016, 1:28 pm

    Yep. When I moved to the city I live in now, it was weird that the longest I had known anyone in it was two years, and that was my bf I moved here with. Funnily enough, my favorite new friends I have made here have all moved to Chicago. Chicago seems like a cool place to live!

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    • MaterialsGirl May 16, 2016, 1:59 pm

      It’s the best!

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  • Ron May 16, 2016, 1:42 pm

    You highlight one of the great stressors of modern America. Humans evolved as tribal pack animals. Our existence, both in Europe and in America, was until very recently a far more settled village/small city existence. Even large cities were divided into stable, settled ethnic neighborhoods. One expected to live a whole life relatively close to family and the friends one went through school with. Modernity has brought the ability and necessity for far more mobility. People move across the country for their first post-college job, but don’t integrate or establish real roots there, because they don’t expect it to be permanent. That’s another change in the past generation: the gig economy — many employers, no fixed retirement plan, not employer/employee loyalty in either direction. An article in yesterday’s paper talked about my baby boomer generation spending 20-30 years with and employer and how that is not at all the expectation or reality of later generations. And those new jobs come with two weeks a year of vacation, so time off is precious and trips back home are few and short.

    My parents generation gave us a huge spike in the divorce rate, which has receded but to a level much above what previously existed, such that even family is not seen as a necessarily permanent thing.

    All of this has come faster than our primitive tribal brains can evolve. It causes a sense of emptiness and not being connected to as much outside ourselves. All sorts of fraternal, community, and church associations are less numerous and weaker than they were decades ago.

    I think that this nostalgia for a more settled existence among a band of almost-permanent friends/relatives/adversaries is the spark driving our current politics as well as the basis for the BBC franchise. Society has changed too fast for many of us. We are creatures of our evolutionary past and our rational brain can only comfortably carry us so far beyond that.

    This unsettledness seems more a problem of recent college grads and older Americans. I’ll leave it to Wendy to decide which group she identifies with more. I’m decidedly in the older group and trying my best to stay active, current, abounding with new interests, and not fearful of the pace of change around me. I believe that most of the changes in our nation and society are in the good direction, although the new selfish-financial-driven-capitalism makes me afraid for our society.

    I am one who, remarkably because of the intricate workings of the draft boards in 1969, am still in the small city of my birth. It lost its industry, was close to death, and is now trying to rebirth itself. Of course my H.S. and college buddies are scattered to the winds. One must constantly form new attachments, although it’s hard to feel they are as strong as the old ones.

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    • saneinca May 16, 2016, 2:30 pm

      Ron, that is a thoughtful essay. I appreciate it and will save it to my system.

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    • Skyblossom May 16, 2016, 3:25 pm

      I think America has always been mobile. When I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books with my daughter I discovered that there are sets of children’s books for five generations of women in her family with her being the fourth generation. Every generation in her family grew up in a different state. The families moved a lot. Laura’s childhood wasn’t an exception. There are always people who put down roots and stay and some of their descendants will stay in that location for generations and others will move, often every generation. Two of my great-grandparents immigrated from Germany. They met here, married and raised a family. Their children all moved some distance away. My grandfather and his brothers moved to the next county (a 40 minute car drive) but it was a long distance when people traveled by horse and there were no phones. Another great-grandfather was the first member of his family born in this country. His older siblings were born in Canada and his family had emigrated to Canada 40 years earlier from Ireland. My grandmother’s family arrived in the 1600s and moved around the east coast and then migrated westward with each generation further west then their parents. My other grandmother’s family arrived in the 1700s and moved around the east coast and then they also began migrating west. I think the settling down and staying in one location has been more recent in the American experience and now we are back to each generation moving to meet their own needs and to provide their best situation. I think we all do need to put down roots and find a settled home where we have good friends, where we know our neighbors and where we feel invested in our community. We need people to stay long enough to care about the roads, fire department, library, police/sheriff, and other things required to make a community a great place to live. We need people who are invested in the schools and local organizations enough to volunteer in them. We need people who look out for their neighbors and know when something is wrong. We need the people who have been in the location for generations to welcome the new people with kindness and grace. We need newcomers to accept that the people who have been in the location for generations may know the local situation better but to also feel accepted when sharing ideas that come with them from other locations. We need people to build community wherever they are with the people who are also there.

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  • Vathena May 16, 2016, 1:54 pm

    This is so true. We live in an area (and socioeconomic bubble) where everyone is transient, and even friends who live in the same city can be a 45-minute drive away. We have lots of really great neighbors with similarly-aged kids…who are gradually deciding that they need more living/outdoor space, and moving away. So now, in addition to being bummed about friends leaving, I have to be bummed about my daughter’s playmates moving away, too. These were supposed to be the kids that she grew up with! They were all going to be BFF! Ugh.

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    • Dear Wendy May 16, 2016, 3:35 pm

      I am definitely feeling this with jackson — really, really bummed when his friends move away.

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  • muchachaenlaventana May 16, 2016, 2:11 pm

    Even though the majority of my best friends live in the same area and the other 2 of us live in the same town not super duper far away we have an epic group chat going that we use all.the.time. I am sure once people start having kids it will slow down, but this keeps us up to date on each other’s lives and its like we are always having this big convo. All of our significant others hate it because sometimes we can get up to hundreds of messages a day and if you are hanging out trying to watch a movie or tv it can be a bit annoying, but I love it! Although my friends who live near each other see one another more, it still isn’t like a constant thing because people just get so busy. Summers especially, when we were younger and they could be devoted to weekend long-hangs are now taken up with a different wedding or wedding related event each and every second so it is not quite the same level of hanging-out. I think sometimes it comes down to paring down to the most important friendships and focusing on those. So in that way, I am different in that it seems some people on here are talking about immediate friendships close by and phasing out old ones. I basically keep my oldest and dearest friends, and really only acquire new friends I feel insanely close to and that I would want to have in my life for as long as can be. I’ve lived in my current location for going on four years, and when I move will probably have one insanely close girl friend I have made and a few closer acquaintances but not people I necessarily will keep in touch with the same way I will with her.

    On the other hand, my friends from college and I have lost touch because I guess we were never as close and after graduation we all moved off in our own directions and did our own things. We still talk occasionally but I mean, if I got engaged or when I got in to graduate school, I didn’t even tell any of them. I also don’t put anything on social media, so maybe in that aspect, I have made it a bit more difficult for people who may want to keep up with me, to do so.

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  • Anonymousse May 16, 2016, 2:35 pm

    I thank the lord, often, that I am able to move around. I’m so thankful not to live in the small, rural town I grew up in. Last summer when we visited my famoly, it was shocking to see it.

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  • Lianne May 16, 2016, 3:00 pm

    This hits close to home for me, too. In the area where we live Kate and two other close friends are the only ones close by. And seeing them is an effort because we don’t live in the same neighborhood – or even city – to make it easy. I try to see Kate at least once a month. I know that will become more difficult once baby comes (so I hope she will put on a fake smile and come see me – I promise I will drink champagne!). My 4 best friends from high school all live scattered around the world – one is in MA, but about an hour+ away; another is in the Bay Area in CA; the other two are in Europe (Amsterdam and outside of Frankfurt). Email and now Whatsapp have been our savior. We text in a group chat every single day so feel like we know exactly what’s happening in each others’ lives on a day to day basis without feeling like we need to set aside valuable time to schedule phone dates. Although, I do try to do that, too. It’s comforting to have this connection with them despite the miles between us. The last time all 5 of us were together was probably 4 years ago (though 4 of us were together at my wedding in December 2014) and we always talk about planning a trip to be together, but logistically it’s really hard. Fortunately, I live near where we all grew up, so whenever they come home to visit family, I get to see them. It’s just fun when we can all hang out like we did in high school, carefree and kid free!

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  • Mylaray May 16, 2016, 3:27 pm

    This is a really interesting discussion. I too have moved about as much as Wendy and constantly find myself making new friends, which gets exhausting. Now something I’ve noticed not only with my husband, but other men is that they tend to stick to old friendships more. He is 31 and still very close with most of his high school friends…we live nearly 2 hours away. Whereas I don’t talk to anyone from that time, plus I’ve moved so many times since. It’s also a socioeconomic thing I believe. I know it’s only going to get worse when we have kids. I was surprised that I lost many friends when my husband and I stopped drinking. We like hanging out in bars and I love getting virgin drinks, but it’s sad to be dropped for something like that.

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    • Lianne May 16, 2016, 3:35 pm

      The friends dropping you because you don’t drink is lame. If you’re comfortable hanging out at a bar with your friends who are imbibing, then why should they care if you’re sipping on a glass of champagne or a glass of ginger ale.

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    • SLS May 16, 2016, 4:33 pm

      That is so interesting you mentioned your husbands friends being high school friends.. because my husband is the exact same way! He went to college with his two besties from high school, their group expanded a bit, but he really has 6 best friends from high school/college. It’s interesting because while I am envious of the wonderful job they do staying in touch (phone calls, group texts, group skypes, trips) I do watch him struggle to make new friends. I think he feels very fulfilled with these friends and sets the threshold for new friends higher than if he didn’t have these great friends.

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  • AndSoItGoes May 16, 2016, 4:32 pm

    “Is this simply a symptom of living in New York City, where gentrification constantly prices people out and the challenges of urban life, especially with kids in tow, inspires even the natives to seek refuge in more easy-going locales?”

    I live on the opposite coast, am not married, and have no children. I smiled a little at this because I have heard people in my situation talk about just wanting their own family so that they’d have something stable. We are all looking for a home, it seems, no matter what we’ve already got.

    My grad school career is finally winding down (graduating in June) and while I found the MA program to be alright because it’s a short commitment, time-wise, the PhD, for me, has been a long-term exercise in short-term relationships.

    My research is actually on suffering (which also means, by extension, happiness and its limits) and one thing I’m convinced of after spending a lot of time thinking about the sources and experience of pain in human life is that “home” is sometimes and in some ways a reality, but is often temporary or wishful thinking instead. Even having a great partner and children doesn’t protect against sometimes feeling unmoored, as Wendy put it.

    In any case, I really appreciate this essay. I have also put a lot of effort into maintaining and cultivating relationships with friends that now live all over the country, and some of those relationships would completely die if I stopped. I also sometimes feel the sadness and frustration that Wendy described, but I try remember that this struggle against loneliness is part of life, not a problem of circumstance.

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  • Sara May 16, 2016, 6:03 pm

    Great timing. Two of my closest friends are moving away and I realized this afternoon that people are moving away from my “home” areas – the “let’s meet up” email goes to fewer and fewer people. I’ve been highly mobile in the past few years, and I always wonder if people will take the time to be my friend when they don’t know when I’ll (or they’ll) up and move.

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  • Ange May 16, 2016, 7:14 pm

    *sigh* apt timing on this one. I maintain friendships well, I’m still friends with people I went to primary school with – 25 years and counting – yet it’s always me doing the leaving. Since marrying 2.5 years ago I’ve lived in 3 different states and made great friends only to have to leave again thanks to the military. We got to this year with a deal we’d be moved back to the state where we met and I felt the most at home (I’d lived there 10 years) but they have reneged now. It’s super depressing, I’d been telling my friends I was coming home and now I have to tell them it’s not happening.

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