In every new friendship, penetration happens so fast but depenetration is gradual. That’s according to studies but I’ve proven it true over time.
And I was like, what does that mean? (I don’t even know what depenetration means and its correlation with friendship.)
Think of an onion. It has multiple layers and a core. If you have a new friend, you get excited to know about her. You ask questions and probably lay down some problems too. If both of you are open and willing to peel layer upon layer of yourself, you’ll soon get to the core. When you hit the core and you are not aware that depenetration could happen, then it would gradually kick in. When you usually text each other all day and often spend time together, depenetration happens when you slowly withdraw from the relationship–unconsciously. That’s where it gets painful and messy at times. But there lies the challenge of growing in relationship.
Whoah! Depenetration, huh?!
Reflecting upon the theory of my new-found-friend.. isn’t it true? Among the friendship I have, how many are in depenetrating stage? If I value the person, what could I do to keep it going? What initiative could I take to communicate presence and appeal for continuity and growth?
There are some who responds mutually:
“Hey! I missed you so much! When can we meet?”
“You free tonight? Let’s eat out!”
“Oh come on, that was awesome! So how did you feel about it?”
But there are some who’s not interested anymore:
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
There are many faces of friendship. Since we are all unique and have a wide range of differences, conflicts would arise. Yet the beauty of it, you still stay in the relationship no matter how messy it gets because at the end of the day, you still regard that person as your friend.
But you can’t keep them forever. You can’t say that the people you tag along 5 years ago would still be with you now. Not morbid as they already passed away but we all go through seasons of life: either people go abroad; get married; study to another school; or transfer to another company. Seasons change. People change. Depenetration really happens. Before you know it, your friend was gone.
Yes and no.
Tragic because you can’t control change. They might change. Seasons may change. You might change. Then go and isolate yourself. Why would you start a relationship if you are certain that this would happen anyway? Why would you invest time with someone whom you know would go through seasons of life and might not be with you for keeps? Why would you take risk and share a part of yourself if that person could be your worst enemy? Then go succumb in loneliness and pain. At the end of the day, you would still long for someone to talk to, someone who would understand your deepest longing.
It doesn’t have to be tragic. You could still take risk in friendship because your security should not lie with them but God. You could still invest time with people because you long to be known and understood and that person longs to be known and understood as well. You could still share your deepest pain and longing because that would give way to your healing and peace. You could still open up to people and savor the moment. Enjoy your time together because you know it could not be forever. At least you’ve given your best and made that person know how much you cherish her. Yes, seasons may change. She may be gone but she may also come back. And when she’s back and you’ve invested love, the relationship will give a significant return. You’ll be amazed how much your friendship have grown over the years you were apart.
However, choose your friends well. Pray for them. Pray for yourself also.
1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”