Your monologues fill the available time

My responses shrink to a trickle of canned words

Your life a reality TV show starring yourself

I search for the pause button every once in a while

Yet I refuse to look away, I’m ready for the next season

And that makes me complicit

My attention boosts your ratings.

Growing apart happens a millimeter at a time

We talked every day and I didn’t notice the distance had grown

Until I looked down at where our roots are intertwined

And wondered how your flowers have bloomed so far away from mine?

We don’t share the same vocabulary

I don’t laugh at your stories the way I once did

Our reserve of inside jokes is drying up

The worst part: your blind spots are big as a circus tent

You hate on shallow attention-seekers

But what makes your Instagram grid any different?

And don’t get me started on you and men

The double standard you cling to should be satire

How can you manifest loyalty when you are so un-loyal?

He glanced at the notification on my phone

A text from you, written in stolen slang

He said seven simple words in the form of a question:

How can you be friends with her?

He was puzzled. Perplexed. Not trying to meddle with our friendship, just genuinely wondering:

How?

I know, I KNOW! But I don’t know…

is this merely a temporary misalignment of our values?

Words like “balance” and “boundaries” bounce around in my brain

They become theoretical concepts the moment your name appears on my screen

You annoy me, but I love you

I roll my eyes yet bend over backwards for you

That makes you less a friend, and more the sister I always wished for

Maybe you don’t see the distance between us

And that’s my fault because I always lean in

I try to shrink the space instead of letting it be

Because I don’t know the art of growing apart.

37 thoughts on “Is there an art to growing apart?

      1. Yes. I just feel like I’ve fought so hard to be happy and sometimes the one thing that holds me back is the negativity she often wants to dump on me. I guess it’s about distancing oneself from it.

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      2. That’s a frustrating situation. It’s tough when we want to give people the benefit of the doubt. Assuming they’re in a phase, they’ll change, our positivity will override their negativity. But what if, it’s just who they are? And what if accepting a person for who they are also requires us to redefine their role in our life? I don’t know any answers. Relationships can be so complicated.

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      3. That’s very true. I think good boundaries can help, and perhaps like you said, realizing they may just be this way, at least for the time being, and it’s okay to make more time for ourselves so we don’t get drained by it.

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      4. What I’m realizing is that boundaries are created as a day by day experience. A dramatic abrupt ultimatum (that remains in my head) feels less helpful than simply finding space to ask myself: hey, am I enjoying this particular interaction? what do I want in this moment right now? As a certified people-pleaser to even voice those questions is progress for me haha.
        Hope you are doing well. 🧡

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      5. That’s cool you go about it that way – and it’s true a dramatic ultimatum doesn’t need to happen. I was thinking of being very calm in my boundaries. I tried modeling behaviour where you model the behaviour you hope to get from the other person. I’ve been only checking her texts once per day (except on weekends … where I feel guilty if I don’t respond more). I realized I’ve forced myself to feel anxious than I need to be by not being up front with her about how often I want to text. It literally just takes me saying “Hey, I enjoy keeping in touch with you, but I’ve been checking my texts once daily to help me stay off my phone and have better time management.” If she pushes back, I’ll go into more detail about how I feel her texts can be a bit loaded some days and I don’t always have the capacity to read them. :S Like if you really want to enjoy life, you can’t always spend time with people who bring you down, right? I’m going to finally tell her this tomorrow. It might not go well, but at least she’ll finally know my wishes as she doesn’t seem to be getting the hint I want to text less :( I do hope she will understand. I’ll be relieved either way.

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  1. I don’t know the full context of what’s going on but just wanted to say this was so very well written. Sorry for the distance taking place in one of your friendships!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, your compliment means so much to me.

      Ironically I feel like I don’t even know what’s going on although I’m actually living it?! Maybe it’s simple as two people who were once close, now beginning to venture down different paths in life. I feel like I’m either over-thinking or under-thinking everything Lol

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  2. “How can you manifest loyalty when you are so un-loyal” Love this line. It is true. So true. I’ve seen people who are so un-loyal but they think they are loyal because they are very loyal to the double standard which allow them to be un-loyal to certain people without getting penalized.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder how people don’t see the hypocrisy. But like you said so perfectly: being loyal to a double standard FEELS like loyalty. The human brain is ridiculously good at justifying itself.
      (And now after writing this post, I’m starting to get nervous about my own blind spots!)

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  3. I have read this through a few times, and each time I come away with more depth and meaning. Very timely for me to read. Sometimes distance is the most loving act of surrender and acceptance, for ourselves and the other person.

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    1. Thank you for such kind words, and also I’m grateful you took the time to write this comment. 🧡 It adds more new layers of meaning to my post. I appreciate your realization that allowing distance can be the most loving option, for all parties. Life is too short not to be authentic with ourselves and others!!

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    1. That seems like a good balance. Things fall apart when one person is always putting in more effort. But over time I think it’s healthy to fluctuate and become a kind of a push – pull like you describe.

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