what the market will bear: the long game of female friendships

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Hedge Fund (n): a limited partnership of investors that uses high-risk methods, such as investing with borrowed money, in hopes of realizing large capital gains.

How much risk are you willing to bear? Are you able to lay your hand on the table fully aware of the gamble you’re taking, cognizant of the fact that it is possible to leave with less than with what you started? Are you willing to engage in arbitrage — exploit your opponents when they’re at their weakest? Will your investors provide shelter through the most ferocious of storms, or will they find safe harbor, taking comfort in their abandonment while bearing witness to your public ruin? Are you comfortable in identifying that which is worthless and using that “junk” to yield financial gain? Can you build a life trading security? Can you weather what the market will bear? Are you comfortable calculating your worth based on what you’ve acquired and own? Will your partners stand beside you until the inevitable end?

When I was in college I became enamored with finance and its gameplay. The idea that a whole industry was devoted to partnership and risk appealed to me because the fundamental elements of finance reflected innate behaviors in human nature. We “short” friendships; we invest in that which is profitable and we fervently need to believe that we will come up solvent and prosperous in the end. We tether ourselves to the notion that if we make sound investments and take calculated risks, we’ll enjoy the inevitable returns. However, what happens when the market takes a fall that you hadn’t expected? What happens when your partner doesn’t hold up their end of the deal (think pyramid schemes, sociopathic traders and hedge fund charlatans), and you’re left in shambles, forced out of retirement or struggling to make ends meet? What happens when you play your boldest hand to then lose everything?

What happens when you arrive in the middle of your life with so much less than what you started with?

Lately, I find myself drawing correlations between playing the market and the ways in which we cleave to, and disconnect from, people. I find myself frustrated in friendship investments that consistently yield disappointing returns, friends who haven’t performed, risks that don’t fall in my favor.When it comes to relationships, I’ve placed equal, if not more, weight on my female friendships, echoing Rebecca Traister’s sentiment:

For many women, friends are our primary partners through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses. Even for women who do marry, this is true at the beginning of our adult lives, and at the end — after divorce or the death of a spouse. — “What Women Find in Friends They May Not Get From Love”

In my twenties, I was thick in the business of accumulation — I wanted to know all of the people, all of the time. I had no strategy; I just wanted the masses. Most of my college friends left New York so I found myself cozying up to coworkers, neighbors, and fellow graduate students. I operated a high-volume business, ushering in a revolving door of female friends and acquaintances while trying to figure out my identity as an independent adult woman. I figured that I’d winnow down over time; I thought I would slowly build my tribe. I didn’t count on feeling depleted and stretched too thin as a result of investing in too many people instead of creating a thoughtful portfolio. I ended up with a phonebook filled with people who were willing to uncork the champagne when times were flush but couldn’t be counted on during the moments when I wallowed my way down a bottle of red wine. I woke at 30 feeling as if I knew a lot of people but didn’t really know anyone.

At the same time, something else shifted — we grew up. Everyone was getting married and busied themselves in the business of procreation. Suddenly, we couldn’t roll into work hungover because we couldn’t hide in our cubicles. We had accountability and responsibility. Our devices multiplied while our attention dwindled. We were everywhere but not present. Friend dates turned into CIA logistical operations with multiple calendars being juggled and people prioritized. No longer was I a player in the open market — I had to go private. I was forced to be surgical and strategic in focusing on the quality of my friendships and how/to whom I would allocate my time, which seemed to be dwindling with the passing of each day.

There is no time, became everyone’s anthem, always.

In my 30s, I was myopic when it came to female friendships. I devoted myself wholly to a small group of women who were brilliant, funny, ambitious, and kind. Most were married, few were single, and I tacitly accepted the fact that casual connections gave way to scheduled friend time.People became comfortable announcing that they could see me because their significant other had other plans for the evening, i.e. you’re my backup plan since my husband isn’t available. I accepted that the word “I” would be replaced with the word “we”, and that affinities, hobbies, and passions became a collective, coupled sport. I accepted that the only people with whom I could talk about being single were other single friends because most of my married friends had developed amnesia about what it was like to be uncoupled. I accepted, with chagrin, the emergence of the “single girl dinner” as a cute trope when it’s my everyday reality. I accepted that I’d been deprioritized — that I was the hobby, “fun-time” for my coupled friends. Briallen Hopper eloquently writes:

“Because single women often put friendship at the center of our lives, it can be hard for us to be friends with people who see friendship as peripheral, as many partnered people do. A close friend once told me that her priorities were her kid, her partner, her work, her friends, in that order, like suits in a deck of cards. In her life, a kid thing would always trump a partner thing; a work thing would always trump a friend thing. This was the best way she knew of trying to impose some order on life’s complexity, but to me it seemed like a terribly reductive way to think about human relationships — plus, it was no fun to know that I would always be the lowest priority in her life. Our friendship didn’t last.” — “Relying on a Friendship in World Made for Couples”

I accepted that I’d see some of my close friends less and less because they opted to befriend other mothers — complements to the lives and the struggles they endured, others who “understood” where they were at a specific time in their lives. Still, I invested heavily. I nurtured a married friend through her bought with depression and her desire to divorce the man she’d just married. I took the late-night calls and the last-minute lunches from friends who needed me. I was the wall that would never crumble; I was the friend everyone could count on.

Until I could count on no one. This became the moment when it registered that my decade-long fund — replete with the strategy and risks I was willing to bear — was underperforming.

This year is the worst I’ve ever known. I’m enduring immeasurable loss and intense sadness. My financial security remains uncertain, at best. And the people I believed I could count on became demonstrably silent. They were “busy”. They didn’t know “how to handle it”. They swooped in for a series of caring texts to then disappear for months at a time. Even when I made it clear that I didn’t need a therapist, that my expectations were minimal, the years I spent being patient and devoted haven’t been reciprocated. Everyone is quick to “like” my minor triumphs and “heart” my Instagram photos — passive interaction has become the default setting, the status quo. When I announced to one of my closest friends I was moving to Los Angeles, she ceased all communication. We’d been friends for nearly a decade and suddenly I was speaking to a ghost. I sent pleas via email, text and post and silence. When I sent an email to another close friend pleading for work because I was frightened of losing my apartment and defaulting on my loans, two weeks later I received the equivalent of a form letter response. I never expected to be saved or delivered a kingdom. I never anticipated that my friends would swoop in and solve my life because I’m an adult and that responsibility rests solely on my shoulders, but it would’ve been nice to have my friends shoulder me through the dark places I once carried them through. It would’ve been comforting to feel that the risks I so assiduously born would have been shared by others — even for a little while. It would have been wonderful to feel less alone.

Here I was, spending a decade avoiding risk, leveraging my heart in my portfolio, and laying all of my cards on the table only to come out empty. Only to feel that my years of investing wasn’t worth it at all. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe those years spent being a good friend without expecting anything in return to find I never received anything in return was a hand folded, a return I should’ve accepted. Maybe laying my heart on the table wasn’t the wisest hand I could’ve played, but I can’t help but think that I spent my adult life constructing the safest portfolio to discover that not everyone lingers for the long game, that as you grow older your world becomes too small for anyone to fit. And who expected this when you believed that friendship was the one partnership that didn’t need regulating? That those moments spent in the dark with the friends you loved would be forgotten, discarded, left for a savored, sweet memory? I spent years studying derivatives, all of the ways in which one could mitigate risk, and here I was, at 40, and completely alone. Bankrupt. A slew of bad investments lay before me.

When does it happen? How does one regard the love between two friends as a garment worth shedding? How do you tell someone that you love them but that love has been deprioritized? How do you handle learning that you’re a junk bond? A short-term investment folded for the long family game? How do you gracefully accept that no one will follow you gallantly into the dark when you were happy to serve as everyone’s usher?

I thought I was wise. I spent a decade building a tribe to find that tribe never existed. What happens then? What happens when you’re 40 and alone and all of your friends are toasting their own lives, shouldering their own sorrows? What becomes of you then? How do you move on?

What happens when you wake one morning and find the market shifting below your feet? How do you rebuild after the market you spent your life investing in collapses?

Photo Credit: Helen Sotiriadis

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99 comments on “what the market will bear: the long game of female friendships

  1. Felicia you are not a junk bond, far from it. You are a giving and talented young lady who gives your all to friendships and everything you do. I honor your spirit and your generosity with friends that have suddenly left you dry. What can I say, it has happened to me with friends and moreover with my 40 year old daughter who lives in California. I have been suffering this loss since December and have my up days and down days. Be strong. Find new friends who will lead you to the path you need to find. I don’t know what that path is because I don’t know you that well, But things will improve if you find substantial people of good character. I have found two good friends here in Florida who have pulled me out of my horror to a place where I can be functional again. You will get through this. Eventually we all do.

  2. This is beautifully written and I think a lot of women can see or have been where you are at. I have always struggled with female friendships. In high school I always had two or three close friends and while I still talk with one semi-regularly the rest go in the pile of “life took different directions”. As an adult woman it is so hard to commit to female friendships because they often come at the expense of some other aspect of our daily lives and we are taught that we are supposed to do it all. This creates an extremely superficial existence. I moved 350 miles away from my home town and got busy with a career and a house and a marriage. Friendships are hard to come by especially when you are always wondering what the other person expects from you. Do they want a job? Is there some favor they need from me? Am I going to get conned into a Girl Scouts car pool? On the flip side we (as women) often feel like we need to appear invincible and its hard to build genuine connections when your guard is up. They say that knowing is half the battle and while somewhat contrite there is truth to that. You are a smart woman and experience leads to better investments. The good stuff will come and you will be able to truly appreciate what it means when you get it. You will be a better friend for it.

    1. Thank you for the incisive comment and adding to the conversation something I neglected to consider: our wants and intentions, whereas I wrote about expectations and outcomes. The former makes me more cautious of people simply because time is such a precious commodity and I want to invest it in the things/people that matter.

  3. I have no answers to your questions. I do know you are not a junk bond!

    I’ve been thinking about these issues a lot. Nobody in my family is single. I’m getting older.

    I don’t have children or a husband/boyfriend. I moved to another country. When I first moved here I noticed that among the American expats there was a quickness to become Besties. I get it. It’s similar to working on a movie set. There’s a cultural shorthand.

    After being burned several times, (I became the Oprah for the depressed, stressed, or aimless expat) meanwhile my world was a mess and none of these people cared, I said enough.

    I can no longer “invest” in superficial friendships or friendships that are only about getting more followers on Instagram (not joking, it’s a thing here).

    I have some friendship that are more casual and that’s okay. But my “besties”? They are family to me. These relationships didn’t happen overnight. There have been some ups and downs. I appreciate that they ask about me and when I was going through a very difficult time a few years ago they threaten to come to my house because I they were concerned about the radio silence on my end.

    I have seen a formerly close friend “ghost” friends left and right. Who does this in their 40s? It’s one thing to do it at a party, but to not return someone’s thoughtful emails or their phone calls? To just cut them off without a conversation? What the hell?

    1. Arlene — This is why I admire you so much. Here I am living in the U.S. and you break ranks by moving to a whole different culture/country. You’re wise, always.

      And yes, I had a friend ghost me too and it was devastating. 🙁

      xo

  4. As women, we have different stages in life and thus, sometimes, we wind up with different groups of friends as time goes on. It’s painful when a friendship ends… or simply fades away. There can be a sort of grieving to it. I’ve noticed it happens when one chapter of my life is coming to an end/has ended. A cross country move, say, or some other significant life change. And not all women view “friendship” equally. But it’s important not to close myself off too much to new possibilities. Even when that’s most comfortable. Or at least feels more safe. You just never know. The unlikeliest person might become a true, good friend in the next stage.

    One woman I know moved halfway across the country after her husband died, leaving her twice widowed. She wanted to be nearer her children and grandchildren. And she moved with few belongings, starting over completely. A neighbor in her new town stopped by, then kept popping in. The two women had very little in common. She just couldn’t see a friendship developing at all. But the neighbor kept inviting her to a Friday night group, and finally, she decided to go. Just once. Except an amazing thing happened. Slowly, the group, and especially the neighbor, became a solid bunch of friends. And when she found she had stage 4 breast cancer, they ALL rallied to make sure she’d have meals and visitors… her yard mowed… her house cleaned… her newspaper and mail brought in every day. It’s not something she would *ever* have expected when that neighbor stopped by the first time.

    I don’t share that to sound trite. Or Pollyanna. It’s a beautifully true story that gives me hope. Maybe it will for you, too.

  5. This is amazing. I find myself in a similar position, with similar sentiments at 24–something I’ve been thinking a lot about in the past couple of years since college has ended. Life is such an interesting thing. Thanks for sharing

  6. When you reach the point of realising that all the caring and nurturing you genuinely offered to any form of relationship was not reciprocated, you can forgive yourself for offering that part of you which felt natural.

    If you feel left empty and bare a time for change is gravitating towards you to ensue what will balance your compassionate, caring and genuineness back to where it was and heal yourself so those little pieces of your soul can be filled with happiness and desire to continue being that and more because you reserve some for yourself now moving forward.

    Friendships not lasting is a good thing because we all outgrow what we like at certain points to fulfill the voids. We move on to the next healthier faze meant for us.

    As disheartening as it is, and a sadness engulfs you, going through those emotions balances out and so you move on and learn something new for the next time.

    I hope you find the balance with all relationships you encounter and hold only fond memories from them to strengthen the woman inside you so you continue to offer further. Don’t stop caring or loving, it’s such an experience when you can feel them and smile along the way to nurture your soul.

  7. Great read. I find myself in a similar situation and am learning to grow from from friendships that didn’t quite last or ones where I didn’t fit. Thank you for posting this!

  8. Thank you for finding the words I have so long searched for. For the words put in the perfect order . I know this feeling. Let me tell you, you are worth more than one person’s opinion of you.

  9. Thank you for sharing, your essay was a beautiful read, in both the topic and the way it was written. Close female friendships is currently a topical discussion and reading an alternate viewpoint gave the issue more depth and substance. Your essay really resonated with me.

  10. Thanks for the wise words. What’s interesting, is that people tend to see friendship and market and something controllable. We know that both aren’t. Never. We engulf in the illusion of “having everything in our hands as long as we learn how to behave and follow the rules”. Destiny and luck are totally underestimated in market and friendship things. BUT, and I’m glad to say so: while you will prove sly loose everything in the market, when you lay all your cards on the table and hope for someone to be nice and like what you have, it is different in friendship. You might (and probably will) get disappointed, loose, cry, feel lonely, be alone- but there are people outside who are for what’s written on your cards. Going out there is one of the best ways to find them.

    I think you’re very brave. I remember a time when I wouldn’t have been able to say what you just said, to be able to admit to myself that, despite all I did and all I am, I ended up lonely. I’m glad I realized that this has nothing to do with me, just as I am very sure of that it has nothing to do with you. I strongly believe you are an amazing woman, and I have faith that there are people near you who can appreciate that- and who will appreciate it. Just never ever stop believing.

  11. I can’t seem to find the words to express how I feel about your post other than saying I feel you! Thanks for sharing! I know other women can relate to this is some way. Btw: found through discover ☺

  12. I am sorry, with me you have gained just one follower and not the friend you need. I only speak English as a second language. I am a married woman and I think I am older than you. I am so far from you in space and culture that maybe we can’t truly connect. But if you want it, I have a hug for you (today I smell of lemons and shampoo).

  13. I really enjoyed reading this, as I connected a lot with what you wrote. I am approaching 30, and three years ago I made a big move away from my home town, all my close friends, and I fell in love with my new home and a new somebody that I now call my fiancé. I suppose I stand on the other side of your story– knowing how focused I am on my emerging family, but I also feel a sense of sadness. Connections become frayed. I still talk and text my friends, but nothing beats a night out (or night in) with your close friends. And its tremendously difficult to cultivate new friendships as an adult, as my tally of 2-ish new friends stands for the three years I’ve lived here.

    I guess I just wanted to say I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through/going through, and that you’re not alone in this feeling. Knowing that a friendship is in decay, and there’s not much you can do about it, is an awful feeling no matter who it is, or where you are in life. All I can say is that you can go forward, knowing you gave your whole heart, and although those who should have done the same aren’t around anymore, it doesn’t mean there aren’t people waiting to do so for you. Just keep your eyes, and your heart, open for them.

  14. I have often thought of the same principles that you mention in this post. I have had friendships that lasted many years, that suddenly, vanish.
    One person that I considered a very close friend decided that less than 2 months before my wedding, she did not want to be my bridesmaid nor have her son be my ring bearer. It seems she has thought of this for a while, as she has been distant and non responsive to myself and my maid of honor. Why wait so long? Is it because we were single moms together and now we are not? When she found herself suddenly pregnant, I was there for her.. Planning her baby shower and making sure she had a shoulder to cry on. Now, I ask her if she still wants to come as a guest and get no response. Was our friendship and my feelings items that are/were disposable to her?
    Female friendships are confusing, at the very best.

  15. And once I had posted on a better known social network : There are no friends in this world, only enemies you haven’t seen yet. (Please don’t ask what happened next).
    This is not about a gender, it’s about a species…. The high n mighty n civilised species of the 21st century.

  16. You’ve articulated what many of us feel-and I believe the reason for all this is selfishness -not just every day selfishness -but the kind of selfishness that has been carefully perfected by the very markets of which you speak-in those markets I nvestment is a one way transaction-perform or I dump you -simple investment strategy for simple minds.

  17. Thank you for your honest expression! I am 55, recently retired, and living in a new town/state. I’m married, and he is my best friend, but I am also very lonely for female friends. I’ve met a few women here, but a couple of sociopaths have made me a little gun-shy. Why friendships die is very much on my mind, so your post is a timely one. I hope that you and I can both be brave and try again. Healthy boundaries are what I’m working on. I hope we will be more cautious with who we befriend, but not lose our ability to be the kind of friend we want to have. Our hearts are BIG, and there are others like us. We just have to find them.

  18. I thought the quote about single people putting friendships in the “center” of their lives was really relatable and the fact that peoples priorities change over time and as they move further into their lives, like having kids.

  19. Beautifully written, I am almost 50 and your post really described where I am now. It is sad, but I am believing that this means we are at a turning point in our lives. Something will happen for us to make us grateful for this place we are in now.

      1. Yes, I studied adulthood and aging in college and the research said that we go through a selective process as we age. I used to have many friends, but I have narrowed down to a select few for sure. My mother and 5 friends that I can say I actually interact with regularly.

  20. Ahhh…the test of true friendships; how can we define them? I hear you loud and clear on this one – been there, done that. But life goes on, right? Our behaviors are the only ones we can control. That’s what makes us all unique. Some are givers, most are takers. Is there ever balance between? Thank you for sharing. This is a rocky road most of us will travel at some point in our lives. You rock!

  21. As someone is their extreme early twenties, I can relate to this article so much. We have this fear that certain friendships in our lives have an expiration date. The ones who you truly expect to be there in the end vs the blah ones, life has a way of turning things into things you didn’t expect. All my friends in High school except one I lost. Life took us into diff directions or I saw they served their purpose in my life in high school, but not as a young adult. In the moment the friendship was lost, I wasn’t sad because I knew they wouldn’t last anyway. But, they were loyal and helped me through good/bad times so I’m okay. Being young is hard because I’m too afraid to place someone so high in my life because you fear you will loss them. I currently have one girlfriend and I’m okay with that because since high school, out of all my friendships, she lasted. Anyway, great article 😚

    1. I’m 25, and finding true genuine friendships since college has not been easy. Don’t even get me started on people from high school! We all have gone separate ways, but I’m finding the issue to be simply keeping up with each other. Hanging out is almost a “chore” if it’s with girls that don’t actually offer you anything fruitful…besides gossip and needy boy talk. I’m attending new things as of late though especially since having recently moved to Dallas. So here’s to making new friendships! Hopefully.

      1. It’s been so fascinating to see the spectrum of ages in the comments section, and I think it’s a reaction to major moments of loss and transition in our lives. High school to college, college to real life, one’s twenties to the succession of marriages, moving, children and then beyond. I think with these life changes we see shifts and those who can’t evolve with us tend to fall to the wayside, or, the people who served a purpose at one moment in our lives now no longer serve that purpose.

        I lost a dear friend, one whom I knew for 7 years, and I don’t regret the friendship and I treasure the time I had with her because it was when I needed her.

        So interesting…

        1. And more so, in trying times (like my recent breakup which is also my latest blog post) when I thought certain friends would be there….they weren’t. That can easily cause them fall to the wayside easily when they can’t even be there for you emotionally. I often think about the next 5 years of my life and I get curious about who will be in it, what current friends I’ll still have then…I haven’t had a long term girlfriend yet since college (lasted like 1 year). We’ll see. Life’s fun. And sad. But it’s life. We move on.

  22. Wow I feel like we share the same story. I am one of those women who do not deprioritize friendship even though I have young children and a husband; I am the one with the depleting account though. Investing in people is something I care about and I want those around me to feel loved. They just don’t love you back. Hours of advice for them but to busy for me. It is a tough road to walk. I don’t think you are a junk bond people are just careless. Careless in thought and selfish in heart. We are made that way. I hope you know you have a friend in me. <3 (Your illustration was extraordinary by the way.)

  23. The part about passive interaction and receiving nothing but the odd text message really hit home with me. For me those are dealbreakers. Strangely though, I don’t think men would end long friendships over things like this! Do they just have different expectations?

  24. What I find most interesting is that this post resonated with so many women out there. If we are all feeling the same sense of loss, what will it take to shake down the dependency that we offer to others (kids, partners, work) and turn that energy toward our dear friends. Those who will show love in a way that kids, partners and work cannot.

  25. Thank you for sharing your experience. I thought I was the only one struggling to maintain longtime friendships in my thirties. I’m not sure if I have changed, or if they have, but the more our lives start to differ, the less close we become. (My closest friend at the moment has the most similar life situation to mine). I’ve also noticed that some of my friends are simply not present anymore when we hang out, and it’s nearly impossible to connect with them because their mind is obviously elsewhere. I’ve been mourning the loss of a few friendships, some due to betrayal, some to indifference. I’m reading a book right now by Don Miguel Ruiz called “The Four Agreements,” which are be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best, and trying to bring that to all my friendships, not matter how my friends treat me…and knowing that it’s okay to let go sometimes and let something new take its place.

  26. I once felt alone when I was left by my friends at the most unexpected moment. I asked my self, Am I being vulnerable? Am I expecting too much? But I left all the questions behind and moved on. I told my self that from then on I will be ready to be alone at any given time. I still value friends in my life, they can still get the best of me. But if they wish to leave, they may do so. I have learned to invest with the anticipation to lose. Because a heart so strong and genuine must remain collected whoever comes and goes. Stay connected with your faith, you’ll surely get through this. It might take time, but you surely will.

  27. WOW! Being in my 20’s, this article really opened up and revealed the truth about friendships. Now yes I know this obviously may not be applicable to all, yet it’s the truth. I have as well been the one to look after my friends, and have tried to be there always. Yet what have I received in return…are they aware of my depression, do I have an expectation to be the go-to friend? As my other friends are getting married and having children, I’m still single in school, contemplating my career away. It’s tough knowing as you grow up, friends come and go, and all this hard work and time put into helping them, has been put to waste. Maybe it’s the rewarding factor of feeling accomplished when guiding a friend through a wrong decision or choice. Or maybe it’s hoping that they will be there for you at your worst times too..Yet what is one to expect, nothing in return. I wouldn’t mind if not one friend wanted to be noisy and actually know how I feel, how I’ve battled depressions for a long time, lack self-esteem, and so on. When you need help the most, that’s when their busy, either with their husbands or their jobs, so what is one to do? Realize that life is solo journey, where people come and go, and one still has to look out for one self, at the end of the day. I’ll continue to think to myself, “don’t expect anything in return”, yet be hoping inside that in the future, I won’t continue to be alone.
    Thanks for this informative, great written piece!

  28. This is one of the best analogy’s I have ever read. At twenty two, you have made me wonder what investments of my own will stand the test of time! Such a shame that an entire social circle can be whittled down to one’s spouse, children and limited amount of people who will be of benefit to them as opposed to real friends! Such is life I suppose..

  29. Wow this is one of the most authentic posts about other women I have read. I though I had friends too but now here I am at 38 completely without friends. My closest friend is moving away. I want to move with her. Life seems to have gone on without me. I have my family so I focus on that but life is a bitter pill without friends.

  30. Although I’m married with children, I understand your feelings that you invested your time and energy on friends who were junk bonds. You are not. But it is time to cut your loss and start fresh. Don’t give up on friendship; like true love, it also exists. Shake off the pain and embark on a new friend finding adventure. I’m sure you will be more careful this time. As for you, I shall compare it to a gold nugget in today’s market.

  31. My best friend for 16 years was single and childless, while I was married with two children. We lived two thousand miles apart but talked probably five days a week, usually for an hour each time. I sometimes begrudged the time (and my children complained) but on the other hand, she was so smart, so insightful, so funny.

    She spent years looking for a partner. She called me many, many times so that I could tell her that her worth was not measured by whether a man called her again after a date. It was surprising to me how often she needed that, but since it was true, I kept telling her. I cheered her on.

    I’m not saying she didn’t listen to me and support me during all this time. She did. I could tell her a lot of things I didn’t tell anyone else. But it wasn’t balanced.

    Then she finally found the right guy. He is great, I agree. He’s good for her, and being partnered soothes a lot of her anxieties. But she never calls me anymore. I have talked to her once in 2016. She married him, and he’s wealthy, and she stopped working, and they are always traveling. I am glad she found someone who makes her happy.

    Meanwhile, over the past year, I have gone through the worst depression in my life. I couldn’t keep going and took a three month leave of absence from my work. I told her a couple of times how hard it was. She sent an occasional text.

    The truth is, now that she has a husband, she doesn’t need me for daily companionship and moral support. And since she doesn’t need me, I don’t matter so much. So I absolutely know what you are talking about.

    I’m not even mad. I’m just empty, and lonely, and much less willing to invest in a new friendship.

  32. Instead of calling yourself a “woman” you should call yourself a ” human” .
    When you are a child you don’t clearly find any difference between males and females .This inferiority complex builds up once you start gathering some knowledge about your gender and you get confused about who should be your friends and whom should you give permission to peep into your personal life or whom should you help or whom can you expect to be there when you feel the need to fill in that void created in your life. You came alone in this world so you have to deal it all by yourself. Relationships and friendships are bull shit emotions that we humans have created out of fear and physical needs but we try to hide these two things and get trapped in sorrows, loneliness and depression

  33. You have written so beautifully, I went through an illness with memory issues and lost friends over days and years, some of which passed away and I didnt even know. But now that I am healing I have made friends who existed before but all new to me still, they have helped me overcome obstacles and improve myself! I also have two great friends who have made me become what I am today. Invest your time with people who care about you 🙂

  34. My darling as I sit sipping my afternoon tea, I am in tears for you! I too felt a part of the Junk Bonds in life. This is the most beautiful, connected writing I have laid eyes on today. It is refreshing to know someone else is living a parallel life to mine. I feel every ounce of your pain, know this “We are better than what which, we receive!” friends, lovers they come and go, but we can make our mark on humanity and keep giving, that my dear is what will remain when we are gone… “Legacy” Forever, departed this cruelty of life, planted in the ground where we will return from which we came.

    Never stop being “You” you have a beautiful soul. Again thank you for the beautiful connective writing !! May God Bless u and your continued talent in verse and sharing with others 🙂 Chin up!!!

  35. It is definitely difficult to build those deep friendships in this hectic, frantic world where everyone is running around doing something. For me, finding new goals that I am passionate about that bring new people and inspiration into my life helps..life is definitely not perfect, though! The main thing is to know that you are going to get through this and then proceed to do what it takes to do so..

      1. Yes, Over the years I was challenged with connecting and keeping true friendship. My husband says i’m gullible. I like to believe I have faith in a relationship until the other reveals a personality that isn’t conducive to a healthy relationship. I agree with the above post that I have found happiness in a small tribe of friends putting my focus on their friendships. My devotion and trust has lead to a deep relationship where I am comfortable sharing that I love them. I wish you time and healing as you move forth with wisdom.

  36. I have always nurtured a few special friendships rather than have many less meaningful ones. It has served me well…as those few have stuck by me through the years, through good and bad. Many friends come and go but the true core friendships are for life. I have never enjoyed big social events nor having too many friends. As you move forward, as you will of course, consider investing and nurturing a few select relationships. Thank you for an interesting well written piece.

  37. Sorry you’ve had such loss. That’s rough and made worse by feeling abandoned by friends. I urge you to hang in there. There ARE worthy friends & tribe’s out there.

    My totally unsolicited advice aside, this is one of the most insightful and spot-on blogs I’ve read in a long, long time. You nailed something that I’ve never put into words. Well written & smart.

  38. This is what I love to see that there are still people like you in the world that appreciate friendships and know how precious they are & one day you can wake up and they could be gone, that’s why you should always appreciate the true friends you have , people usually want to have more friends than true friends and it’s so sad but I guess you learn that way. It’s important to appreciate the ones truly there for you I’ve had the worst year of my life and if it wasn’t for my bestfriend/ other half I wouldn’t have gotten through it !

  39. Being in my 40’s and spending a lifetime of investing in everyone, family and friends…and wondering where they all have gone….I just choose to be grateful to have known..grateful for all the connections…even the ones that abruptly left….the heartbreaks…impermanence….
    Your post was beautifully written….life is beautiful when u choose to gratitude….here I am alone….still grateful…

  40. Wonderfully written. I am nearing sixty and am what “they” refer to as an “empty nester.” With that, comes a shift in friends as well. Conversations about dogs and grandkids (which I don’t have) bore me to tears. I am continuing to meet new people with more similar interests to my own and drop those friends that are no longer relevant in my life. The tribe continually changes……

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