Monday, January 31, 2011

Relationships - work, church, clubs and the neighborhood

I'm still contemplating relationships in my life.  Today I'm thinking about relationships on a much more transient level.  These relationships include co-workers, neighbors, church friends, relationships formed by being in clubs together, and social networking.

This is such a surprising revelation for me, but, from experience, I know it's true.  These relationships are completely transient.  Now, I know that there is the occasional real friendship that can be formed in these relationships, but usually not.

I've had the experience of having a job for many years.  I've been close with co-workers.  I've shared personal situations.  I've spent a sizable portion of my life with these people.  However, when the time comes that I'm no longer working there or even when I go home in the evening, I'm done with them.  I've had the experience of being the only person at the hospital when one of my co-workers was having emergency surgery and bringing him or her meals and running errands for her, but I know when I am no longer working with him, we are done.  We most likely will not keep in touch.  Now this doesn't mean that I don't like these people.  It just means that our relationship is not a close, long lasting relationship.

I think the most surprising area that I have found this to be true is church.  I have had the experience of leaving a church and going to a different church without moving out of the area.  Even though I still lived in the same neighborhood with church "friends", they were done with me.  No calls, no lunches, nothing.  These were women and men that had shared VERY INTIMATE information.  These were women and men that were instrumental in supporting me during difficult times in my marriage .  These were men and women I have shared personal shortcomings I have only otherwise shared with God.  These are men and women, I thought, were brothers and sisters in Christ.  Brothers and sisters.  Family.

The folks I've met as neighbors, in clubs, and "friends" on facebook are certainly transient.  It's fun to have friendships with these people while we are living near each other or in the club, but, again, these are not necessarily long lasting relationships.

As I look back over what I've written about this level of relationship I see how I have contributed to the demise of these friendships.  I'm a more introverted person.  It is difficult for me to be outgoing or to initiate friendships.  I need to examine how this is working for me.  I don't see how I can bemoan my lack of close girlfriends and not be a person willing to put myself out there.


  1. will very interesting perspective , i always say if it's too easy then it's not the best that i can do , stepping out of your comfort zone is key for finding closeness in your relationships , but also be rational and don't get too carried away by emotions , relationships are like time and effort and care investments , and those investment also have a since of closeness and revealing your true inner , not as much edited self to the people you become close friends with , so choose wisely who you invest in , and then go for it even if it feels a bit out of your zone at first .

  2. Yes, interesting - I find your term of "transient friends" very fitting. It's hard sometimes to know whether or not to invest time into a relationship and it is very hurtful when we do and then those friendships dwindle away. But one thing I'm learning is to live for the moment, so that if I am friends with someone (transient or not) today, then I worry not about tomorrow. Like you said, be there when it counts and leave the rest up to God. Though I do find, as an introverted and somewhat homebody myself, that I DO have to put out the effort on my end to make it work - yes step out of that comfort zone and keep positive! ;)


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