Ask Ciiku: How do I get my friends back?

Dear Ciiku,

I’m a guy racing towards my 30s and though it took a while to get a stable job, I am now comfortably working and building a career. I have been in only one romantic relationship my whole life which is fine since I am devoted to a small group of friends.

Over the past years there have been cracks in our friendship as a result of growing up, people starting families, fucking capitalism and the whole gamut. My friends and I always thought of ourselves as immune to the traps of the couple form (hetero or otherwise) but the actions of one my closest friends surprised me when they put their relationship first at a point of crisis in my life. I know it sounds petty and selfish but it was a dire situation and even an acknowledgement would have been enough. She got mad when I asked and only sends perfunctory greetings every beginning of the month (landlord wa salamu) lol.

As all this unravels I have found myself slowly retreating into my head and away from people. I have always said that I love love but now I am scared that I’ll be hurt, rejected, or flat out ignored. Your posts on friendship are a huge fave and I wonder how do I get my friends back, or better, how do I stop dwelling on what we had as you have written before? I’m lonely but I don’t want to be cynical. Saidia

Mpweke

Hi Mpweke,

Have I mentioned that I find word usage fascinating. What does “racing towards my 30s” mean? It’s not like you are moving any faster than anyone else. We are all aging. Also “put their relationship first at a point of crisis in my life” is selfish and I’m glad you recognise that. That wording is quite something. But that’s neither here nor there.

Let’s talk expectations here have you been on the same page with your friends regarding the same? Or are these some assumptions?

Also, as I am solely relying on information provided here, do you know why she got mad after you told her what you told her? I’m only asking because if she responded in a way that wasn’t the way she usually does, is there a probability that something was going on in her life that because of your crisis you didn’t see?

Further from that and FYI, everyone gets hurt, rejected and ignored. To act like this will never happen or there is some way to avoid it, is to live a lie. At this point, being cynical is the expected reaction. However, my opinion is that you shouldn’t let it fester in your being.

What I think you need to do is feel the feelings, try to understand why you retreat into your head and maybe find other coping mechanisms. Also, continue working on being self aware and more so, make better decisions (including decisions on who you allow in your life). Maybe also try to widen your circle of friends and determine what it is love looks like to you.

Also, maybe entertained the fact that perhaps your friends have outgrown the friendship and the one particular one is holding onto the history of it all and hence the monthly greeting.

While yes I do believe that people should treat friendships as important and not the people as some spare tire, there is also some sense of something deeper here and sometimes people outgrow people. I don’t know for sure what the case is here 100%. I’m trying to look at it from a neutral angle.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, and maybe to keep thinking about, what does love look like? What does community of friendship look like? This is important in trying to figure out who you can have in your life.

All the best,

Ciiku.

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