Thoughtful Thursday: Relationships

April 1, 2010

Thoughtful ThursdayThis is the last Thoughtful Thursday ever.

Naaaah, April Fools!

Welcome to April’s Intelligentsia, the people who commented on every Thoughtful Thursday post for the month of March.

Perfect record of #15: Wiseguy from Woman Anyone?
#11: Ernessa from Fierce and Nerdy and 32 Candles
#11: Photogrl from Not the Path I Chose
#10: Jill from All Aboard the Pity Boat
#9: Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV
#6: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#6: Mel, a.k.a. Lollipop Goldstein, from Stirrup Queens
#5: A from Are You Kidding Me?
#4: Ana
#4: Stacie from Heeeeere Storkey, Storkey!
#2: Michele from My Life After Loss
#2: Rebecca from Northern Grin

Thoughtful ThursdayWe’ve talked about how many children, domains of life, and blogs you can handle. One more.

How many offline relationships can you maintain? How do you feel about the number of relationships you have?

There are several friendships that I consider real, true friendships, even though we aren’t in frequent contact. When we see each other in person, it’s like no time has passed, but we email or call every few weeks, every few months, or even less. If I needed something, there are about half a dozen people on whom I could call. The infrequency of our contact is usually based on their time constraints or correspondence patterns than mine. If they wanted more frequent contact, I could probably manage.

There’s only one friend that I communicate with several times a week.

There are several relatives with whom I communicate several times a week, but generally our conversations are quite superficial. Nowadays, they’re almost entirely about the babies.

Since I mostly work from home now, I don’t have work acquaintances that I see on a regular basis.

My husband is the only person I talk to every day. Well, I suppose I talk to the babies every day, but they don’t talk back yet.

I wouldn’t mind another friend or two who lives nearby, since everyone that I care about who doesn’t live in my house instead lives hundreds or thousands of miles away. I have plenty of relatives and enough true friends, but it would be nice to see them a little more often. Ultimately, though, if I have my husband and now my children, my social circle is complete.

How many offline relationships can you maintain? How do you feel about the number of relationships you have?

13 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Relationships”

  1. Elana Kahn Says:

    I have a ton of acquaintance friends, but I really don’t have very many true best friends that I talk with often. There is one person in particular (aside from my hubby and other family) who I talk with on a very frequent basis, but that’s basically it. There is a second person who I talk with less frequently than with the previous person mentioned, but I consider her my best friend as well. I feel that I can have an unlimited number of acquaintances but only one or two best friends.

  2. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    Oooh….maintaining offline relationships are way more involving than online ones…

    One relationship I share is with my colleagues. Another set of relationship that comes right through my workplace is what I share with my students.

    The other relationship I maintain is with my and his parents.

    Another relationship that I maintain is with the friends that I have. I am still in touch with some of the friends I had in school.

    And there is a set of relationship/bond that exists between me and my domestic help.

    I share a marital bond with DH.

    And then there is a tiny galaxy of extended family who are always there relatively speaking, but keep on flitting in and out of touch and relevance.

    It is not really about which of these I would like to maintain….it is more a question of ‘it’s already needed to be done’.

    I have this one friend who is constantly in touch with me: phone, mail or chat.

    I cannot escape the professional relationships, and they are a source of much of my daily grind.

    The rest of the relationships demand a certain amount of commitment.

    All of the relationships may not need my attention at immediately the same time….

  3. Rebecca Says:

    Oooh get me, I didn’t know I had commented on each one! New website, though 🙂

    I have a lot of friends, but not many that I can truly call on when I need to. I have a solid group of four girls that I went to 6th form with, and even though we don’t see each other often, it’s always just amazing when we do.

    Close-friends wise, I probably have 10. Himself is my best friend.

  4. a Says:

    I have a few true friends, but they live far away, and I rarely see them.

    My husband, my daughter, and I are my main social circle. He has a large family, so we see them frequently. Our neighbors are pleasant, and we see them whenever we’re outside. I have coworkers, but most of them annoy me. I have a few mom acquaintances – the only problem is that they’re much (10 years or so) younger than me.

    I’m fairly comfortable with my social circle. But then, I’m not that social…

  5. heather Says:

    i have a hard time with this, i try to work on it, but i get wrapped up in just finding time for everyone in my family and work that my friendships are usually on the back burner. i have two besties that i see regularly and then a couple of people i rotate in for playdates. I have other acquaintances that i would like to nurture relationships with, but never find the time.

  6. ana Says:

    You always bring up questions that I have myself been pondering recently! That’s probably why I reply to all of them, I really do have something to say, interesting or not 🙂

    I have realized that I would like more friends that actually LIVE here and that I can actually HANG OUT with. Someone to go run/walk with, or grab a glass of wine. A girlfriend to go get a pedicure with or go shopping (no I do NOT have time for these activities often, but in the rare event that I do, I miss having someone to share them with!)

    Right now my main social circle is my husband (can I count my 3-month-old son? If so, then I can probably also count my dog!) and my co-workers, several of whom I would consider friends (I actually enjoy talking to them, can talk to them about problems, and love to see them outside of work though its difficult with family obligations to do so very often).

    We have a few “couple” friends in the city that we hang out with, but these require advance planning & scheduling.

    My bestest friends don’t live nearby, nor do my close relatives. We do maintain relationships, but via phone/email/social networking rather than face-to-face. I can count on them for support, but not for shopping, coffee dates, or a movie.

    I agree with WiseGuy above, that not all relationships require attention at the same time. And depending on what’s going on at the moment, I would nurture some more than others. I.e. as a new mom having some real anxieties/issues/questions, I definitely say I am trying harder than ever to foster friendships with other moms right now. At the same time, as the weather improves, and I want to go out and do things more (baby in tow!), I am gravitating towards some of my more socially active friends, as a lot of the moms I know tend to be more housebound than I’d like to be.

  7. Photogrl Says:

    I have a few close friends that I can pick up a phone and call at anytime…we don’t talk very often, maybe 3, 4 times a year, but seem to always pick up where we left off.

    At work, I have 2 close friends that I wouldn’t survive without. We make time for dinner once a month. I wonder what will happen to those relationships if I don’t return after the twin’s birth.

    M. and I are very fortunate to have one couple in town that we really get along well with…they have kids and we can just enjoy grown up time along with watching each others kids. Without them, I don’t know what I would do.

  8. staciet Says:

    Within my family, I really only talk to my husband, boys, and my mom every day. I talk to a few other family members a few times a week, usually through FB or something.

    I have lots of acquaintances, but I have two really good girl friends that I talk to every single day as well, even if it is through a text we connect in some way.

  9. jill Says:

    Whoa baby I’m late with this response. I just barely got my reader under 100 posts – apparently I have more blogs than I can maintain! 🙂

    I really have no idea how many relationships I can maintain because I have barely any. For some reason I’m very bad at making friends. I have R, I have my sister, I have an old friend who I barely talk to but do keep in touch with through email/blog, and that’s really it. I think I could handle at least a handful more easily. I miss having a girlfriend who I can chat with and hang out with on a regular basis.

  10. Mel Says:

    I have a lot of offline relationships, and it helps that they’re chunked. Meaning, I have friends who all know each other so I can socialize with all of them at the same time. I think I do a good job of maintaining a lot of relationships when all is well in my world or their world. But when thing are stressed, it feels like it needs to close down to a small group (the inner circle) and then expand again to take in the outer circle when life calms.

  11. Kristin Says:

    Hmmm, I know I have a lot more people I communicate with online. However, in real life, I have a small handful of friends I have a constant, deep relationship with. Like WiseGuy said, some friendships have existed for so long, they don’t require constant maintenance.

  12. After having changed country twice it’s hard to keep a close circle of friends, however it also brings a sort of natural shift of ‘real’ friends – the ones that don’t mind that we don’t call or email very often, but when we do, or when we see each other, it’s always wonderful – and the more superficial acquaintances that you lose touch with once you move. I do miss my family, especially since the birth of our son, and I wish we would all live a bit closer together.

  13. I am constantly guilt-ridden about my IRL relationships, and lately I’ve been making a major effort to see my friends more often. It’s done a lot for my sanity to go out 1-2 times a week with girlfriends, and I think it’s really important. However, my long distance relationships have definitely suffered. As you’ve probably discovered, it’s really hard to call people with a baby. So I feel that I never have the ability or time to talk to the people I can’t see face-to-face. So I often find myself missing my BFF and my sister. Still trying to figure it out…

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