Friendship, Circumstances, Expectations


I was in the pub on Friday night with my best pal Stephen,   ostensibly we were watching the Celtic game and it was on the background,  but the real reasons was for a catch up as apart from popping in to his at Christmas with gifts for the kids we hadn’t really been keeping in touch over the past few months.

Any real reason for that?

Not at all,  there were no fallouts,   maybe we have just outgrown each other a little,  different circumstances,  we used to be out every weekend for a few beers until his kids came along a few years ago,  now we hardly get out with his kids being so young and mines all grown up.

Friendship takes effort  or does it?

I have some pals who will always be my pals even although for example Tom,  I haven’t seen in ten years and only get the odd message from him,  but if we met tomorrow,  he’d still be my mate and we’d laugh like nothing had changed.

Tommy and Jim,  my best pals from childhood,  we moved away, got married,  different interests,  got divorced,  back in touch and now I see them regularly,  nights out,  jamming sessions and wild camping trips in the Scottish Highlands.

So why is my friendships with these guys so relaxed,  yet with Stephen it can be stressed?

Hhhmmm .. why am I telling you this?

No reason,  I’m talking to myself,  sitting at work pretending I’m working this new job,  killing an hour waiting on a meeting to start in an hours time.

By vocalising it here,  it forces my thoughts out .. allows me to analyse the situation,  clearing my mind,  stepping back,  taking a wider view,  gives perspective.

Part of the reason my friendship with Stephen has changed is because he is a crap at communicating except face to face,  when texting every word is a prisoner as if he pays for each character and there are long gaps in the conversation if it happens at all.

Me:  Fancy a beer Friday?

He: Sounds good

Me: Get you in The Rhoderick at 5:30

He: …..

Then you’re left hanging thinking .. are we meeting or not?

Frustrating yep .. if he was a girl he would be dumped .. a long time ago!

But thinking about it now,   the real reason our friendship is sometimes fraught is because  of the expectations that I have and because the relationship has changed due to his circumstances changing since the kids coming along and he can’t come out to play every Friday like we used to.

What I realise now,  is that my disappointment that we don’t get out to play like we used to is my problem,  not his,  he’s doing the right thing by his wife and kids.

There you go .. its not really fault,  its circumstances and different expectations.

When we parted at Central station on Friday night,  we did the man-hug thing as usual .. then went our separate ways with no plans for another meeting,  but that’s okay,  there doesn’t need to be plans for another meeting,   there will be one,  its implicit.

Friends are always friends,  good times,  bad times,  when together or when apart.

But there is a flip-side,   the realisation that when their circumstances change,   instead of moaning about it,  you need to change yours too.

Thanks for listening!!  🙂


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