Lifespan of friendships

Are Your Friends Here for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime?


Many of us are fortunate enough to have friends who are a consistent part of our lives throughout all our ups and downs. However, sometimes others we consider friends appear to enter, then depart from our lives for reasons we try to, but don’t always, understand. This piece nicely explains the flow of people in and out of our lives.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

Then people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons: things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

I have referred to this throughout the past decade or more, always a bit relieved to be able to recognize the reason or season a friend was a part of my life for. Some of them were so brief, I cannot even recall their names. I draw a vague picture in my mind, when I recall a piece of my life that they shared.

I have had the occasional friend drop-off who’d been with me for very lengthy seasons, those were difficult to let go of, but eventually I found it was time to simply move on.

What I don’t know how to cope with is when the life of those “lifetime” friendships seem to come to an end. They are supposed to last a lifetime, and yet my life is far from over (I hope) and here they have apparently moved on. I feel a sort of grief for lost friendships that I understood would always be a part of my life.

How do I know when to let go? How do I know my friend won’t need me, the way I feel I need them, long after moving on? What if they’ve pulled away because of their own challenges, and if I could just get through, I could help them? What if they really have decided they don’t care to be a part of my life anymore?

Is there anything I can do to stop this process?

About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two

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13 years ago

I don’t think there is much you can do other than express your feelings. Funny, I have been having this conversation with a bunch of friends lately, and I like that you’ve quoted the exact same reason, season, or lifetime that another friend quoted to me just last week!