I am reflecting on adult friendships today and their fragility. I put sincere effort into sustaining friendships and keeping them afloat because I value them tremendously. As much as I love to check in with my friends, especially with those I am close to, I sometimes wonder why I am the one doing that most of the time. Yes, perhaps my ego gets in the way. I wonder, Why should I always text or call? Why am I the one asking to meet every time? Time and again, I arrive at the answer that—I have needs for connection, companionship, belonging and camaraderie. So, I do what I can to honour those needs. I make that call. I text that friend. I drop a voice note to let my close ones know I have them in my thoughts. I cherish doing these, but a part of me aches to see the mutuality and reciprocation suffer.
I long to receive a text from my friends too. I want them to call me and ask to meet instead of the vacant promises of, “I will meet you soon.” Soon takes a backseat among all things that seem pressing; work, family, relationships, adulting, life problems, you name it. Where does then friendship find its place? What you are reading here is not a rant but a note of my mourning at the death of mutuality, reciprocity, and agency. As Jamie Anderson said, it is an expression of grief, which is, “really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” I wonder if I shall continue to grieve or will my unspent love find places to go where I think they belong.