One of the things my new friends learn right off the bat is that I am not very good at maintaining friendships for long periods of time. It's not that I stop caring, it's that I get caught up in other things - or they do, or we both do - and the friendship sort of crumbles over time. Some people (I call them Low Maintenance Friends) allow you to dip in and out of the friendship when you can. No matter how long it's been, you can pick up about where you left off. A friend of mine named Brian is this way - we've been off-and-on friends since I was about 14. Other people (High Maintenance Friends) need a lot of fairly constant, consistent attention to feel like you're still really friends. If you slip on this, you have to start again at an earlier phase in the friendship. Sometimes square one.
Which, if you've put a lot of time into the friendship already....sucks.
Most friendships - hell, most relationships - require at least a little bit of work. Even a low maintenance friend needs to hear from you once in a while for it to be a viable friendship. A lot of interestingly-fonted quotes in front of nature pictures on Tumblr will tell you that "love" is a verb. (Nice little observation there, kiddo. It's also a noun. Now put down your dictionary and make a point already.) Though the execution could be polished up, the idea of love as something you do actively is one with merit.
Most of the relationship advice books I've seen are for couples. They're useful, of course, but it's hard to apply the questions and/or suggestions to friendships. Do you write cute little notes on your friend's mirror? Or text them just to say you're thinking about them? If so your friendships are very different from mine. Good luck with those. In my friendships, the usual method of maintenance is hanging out, talking about problems, and sometimes buying birthday/Christmas gifts.
Are there things you can do for friends beyond the standard definition of active friendship? Things that don't make it seem like you harbor a secret l'il crush on them? I have trouble thinking of any, but I could just be hyper-sensitive to potential crush suspicions.
A few days ago I got in contact with a friend of mine from elementary school, and while we've only talked a little bit, I have a deep feeling of satisfaction and, somehow, security. Rekindling this friendship feels a bit like replanting a root to the tree of me. In general, my friendships aren't incredibly deep or long-lasting - I don't know if this new old friendship will become so - but maybe I can make them so.
What do you guys do to keep your friendships going? Are you a high maintenance or low-maintenance friend? What do you think about the idea of rekindling past friendships?
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Hit the Road, Jack - Ray Charles
Song for the Dumped - Ben Folds Five
We Are Never GettingBack Together - Taylor Swift
Erase Me - Ben Folds Five
*I made my sister a breakup playlist and was listening to it. All is fine. Relax.