Dear Ms. Belle,
I am the kind of person who values friends. To be honest, there are many times that I am the one going out of my way so most of my friendships will remain. I like having a lot of friends and I like going out with friends. The only problem is many times I felt that some friends don’t have time for me. I understand that we all have family concerns, husbands and children who need our attention. I also am married but my husband is very understanding and he lets me go with friends even for trips out of town or trips out of the country. I really enjoy sharing the experiences with him when I come home and also my two children are happy when I come home with many “pasalubongs.” I really feel close with my friends like they are my sisters and brothers. During special occasions, Christmas or New Year, our friends get together to celebrate so our children are also playing together and husbands also talk with each other. I am most happy when I am surrounded with friends and family. My problem is that as we grow older, it seems that my friends are having activities and sometimes not invite us. Or two or three of my friends go on a trip and I was not invited. You know, I really do everything for them. I prepare for them and if my help is needed, no hesitation I will be there. I feel hurt sometimes that I am sometimes not in the circle. They still invite me but not all the time. I am tempted to ask why they did not invite me but I am afraid they will just make excuses. What do I need to do to maintain all the friends I have and not be left out in some events?
Friendships are the most reliable and volatile relationships in one’s life. One has childhood best friends, grade school best friends, high school best friends, college best friends, close friends at work, professional colleagues, couple friends, family friends, friends of relatives, friends of friends of relatives, friends of friends of friends of…. It is endless.
Each phase in life presents many possibilities of human closeness, level of understanding and emotional reach. Each friendship is unique. Some friendships never change. Your high school friends may go away and build a life elsewhere, but when you see each other you relate in the same closeness as that of your younger days, screaming, giggling, dancing, talking animatedly as if time between both meetings did not exist. There are friendships that are close but not deep. A few deep friendships that will ask for respect for personal, professional or relational distance are the ones to keep. But then these few deep friendships with girlfriend are also shelved when family matters come in. You sound like you are stuck with a group friendship you consider family. How about considering family as your closest friends? You are lucky to have great friendships. Please stop looking at occasions you were not invited, or events you missed. True friendships are more than events, parties, soirees, or travel. It is the meeting of minds, hearts and souls not bound by time or distance.