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Dr. Irene S. Levine Headshot

Friendship Advice: Nervous about My Friend Leaving Me Behind

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When situations change, friendships may change, too. If the bonds are strong, it doesn't necessarily mean the end of the friendship.

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

I became really close friends with this girl that works in my local community center. We were best friends, and always shared banter, gossip and helped each other through our ups and downs. She was working there during another worker's maternity leave. But as the maternity leave came to an end, she had to get a new job. When the time came and she got a new job, I couldn't have been happier for her.

Her last day was last week, so all this week she's been in her new job. When she left, I added her on Facebook and we talk there, but i can't help but feel that I'm doing her head in by messaging her all the time when she comes online after work.

Going from seeing and speaking to each other every day to talking to her for about an hour or so on Facebook is really hard. I've been missing her loads but I feel like I'm annoying.

I think I am only like this because I've lost all contact with my school friends. I'm only close to one of them now whom I only see every now and then. I'm scared that we'll lose our bond and drift away from each other like I have done with all my school friends. What do you think I should do?

Signed,

Elyse

ANSWER

Dear Elsye,

You are lucky to have made such a nice friend at the community center and I'm sure it was hard to see her go. Since you so enjoyed her company, my guess is that she also enjoyed yours.

It takes a lot of energy to move to a new job and to learn a new environment, new tasks and a new set of personalities. Your friend may be tired and somewhat drained when she gets home, even if she's on Facebook.

Please, resist the temptation to pounce on her each time she goes online. It is going to take some time for you to feel out what shape your new relationship will take.

Why don't you ask your friend to get together a week or so from now, perhaps over the weekend, to catch up? You can find out about her new job and tell her what she's been missing at the center. You'll get a better sense of the way things are headed in the future.

In the meantime, catch up with your reading and others friends, too.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Irene