One of the biggest disadvantage of living abroad is you are far away from people you love. You nurtured your relationships in your homeland till the point you left and now the ways of keeping it up is limited. Friendships maintained digitally has many barriers especially if physical meeting is not possible for a longer period of time.
What happens with friendship when one of the involved individual moves to an other location? Based on my experience it’s not a simple game. You can make all promises about that nothing will change… but not sure if you can keep it at all. That’s impossible. Just think about it… as I earlier discussed here: environment shapes who we are. We and the other person will also gather new experiences, collect memories with other people, form new friendships and start new habits. Even out of the ordinary situations will pass by without your assistance and physical presence. It has an effect on both of you and eventually on your relationship too.
Friendships -when people had been separated by distance- can easily get cold. Not necessarily will stop or completely gone frozen, though. Depend on the actions we do and the personalities involved. Plus life situations which are occurring also factors in shaping the quality of the remaining connection.
I feel lucky with my friends because even if I left 4 years ago I still can reconnect with them in an instant when I’m back. For sure we have less and less common topics or even the memories linking us together are fading. Obviously it gets more and more difficult to stay real with each other. I don’t want to complain about my life struggles constantly or brag to anyone. Or even been misread as someone who has the best life. There is fine line between being really there to listen and to share and just talking for the sake of filling the space.
I had a kind of argument with one of my really close friend -or at least considered someone really dear to me- back the time I was in Hungary. (Approximately 1 week ago) He felt like I’m not interested in the answers for the questions I’m asking about people and also criticized me that instead of dealing with knowing more about him who is right next to me why I asked about everyone else. I mean people we both knew before. I argued that I did it exactly because we hanged out all the time with these group of people. So it’s my reason why I am asking about their whereabouts form him because before we spent significant amount of our friendship in their companies.
Well, I am aware they don’t meet anymore like the way we used to before my “disappearance” but this is one of the remaining connection we had left to talk about. Obviously the same people I will meet and ask them about how they are too… so the point here is not to collect rumors. Or not even to know exactly how they are as mostly I will ask them personally about. It is just a topic from our past and maybe he will say how their relation with these common friends are right now. I mean no details or something… just like “ok we had a party two weeks ago with X” and “I haven’t seen Y since 2015”.
I mean this is hard… because you can not go into the deepest thoughts after ten seconds of returning to their lives. I wish I could just push a button and continue where we left without embarrassing topics or silences. Although this is something I had to put up with because of my decision to live abroad. As well as I decided that I don’t want to loose my friends even.
Online we chat occasionally and we share some informations about our lives but that kind of digital connection was only meant to add an extra level to the physical one. At least according to my observations… It won’t bridge the entire gap of you leaving and breaking out form their lives. It won’t be a solution for that pain or the empty space you left behind that you chat one hour a day… or even 8… your physical presence will be missing from all events your friends going through and vice versa.
I love my friends because they are really supportive and kind with me. They always try to squeeze me in to their new daily life whenever I arrive back home. We still can joke and even fight the same way as before because we feel cool about each other based on our pasts. We are not distanced that much (yet?). We are not tensed or uptight in each other’s company. Although our interests naturally had been shaped maybe in music, films or just in life in general. That even makes more difficult to reconnect the two ends over again and again as it was constantly cut between us.
Also the more I have the chance to meet them and visit my home, the better we can find ways to solve this issue and stay human about it. I mean after all these, friends are still amazing, entertaining conversationists and epic to hang out with them no matter when and what we do. Hopefully I can also be providing the same experiences to make my company also a blessing for them after all…
After my last visit and this argument with my friend I’m really grateful and full with hopes. This friend we used to fight a lot in a nice and funny way that founded our strong connection very well. So after 4 years of not having daily interactions, in a random meeting like a week ago, we can get back to the exact same rounds we usually had been doing before. That means something. Namely that we still have the “chemistry” to connect/reconnect.
Do you have similar situation? How do you deal with it? Do you have stories to share of your friendships? I’m here to listen and learn from every one of you, so please share in the comment or write to me on my contacts.