Recently I had one of those deep, rare, life-giving conversations with a close friend–“close” of course being somewhat of a flexible word these days, as I’d barely seen this friend for months, as I barely go anywhere and I barely see anyone.
Nevertheless we saw each other and we had this conversation in which we talked about each other and our friend group and what has happened to us, and how as a result we have all grown apart. Some of this was COVID-related, some of it wasn’t, but regardless it happened, and now here we are sitting on my couch processing it. My friend said that she understands and accepts the fact that everything changes, and people grow apart and leave, and et cetera, but she just wished that this particular moment in our lives had lasted longer, had hoped it would.
I agreed, and then immediately realized that I didn’t quite agree–it was more of an “I agree, and also.”
The “and also” is this:
I’m glad that our culture is starting to move towards a place of recognizing that all relationships (platonic, romantic, sexual) do not need to last forever, and that it’s not a “failure” if they don’t; that we can be glad for the good times we had with someone while acknowledging that they have moved on, or we have moved on, or both; that we should never pressure others to stay in relationship with us or to have that relationship look the same way it did before; that people can drift apart without it being anyone’s fault or responsibility; that all of this is Normal and Good and Healthy.
This is a good baseline, I think, but I would like to take this understanding some steps further, particularly in light of These Unprecendented Times.