I wish some friendships would last forever but they do dissolve. In chemistry, Dissolving is the process in which molecules interact and attract each other to form a Solution. Dissolving depends on the molecules of the substance doing the dissolving, called the solvent, and the molecules of the substance being dissolved, called the solute. I propose that Friendship is the Solute and Distance, Conflict and Poison are the Solvent.
I don't agree with most of the quotes about distance never affecting friendships. If I relied on all the friendships I left I Brazil for my total well-being, I'd dry out like a thirsty plant in the summer heat. Distance is a friendship solvent because without the face-to-face, deep connection, friendships may become shallow. I find it is difficult to share my heart through a screen. I need face-to-face interaction for the bonding of friendship to entail.
This my friends is the most common solvent of friendships. The source might be an offense, rivalry or even a conflict of interest. When it comes to dissolving friendships, the source of conflict can be overt or covert. I know some people won't clash with their friend so having a hidden conflict feels safer. The reality is the friendship is well in the dissolving process.
You'd think that a toxic friendship would be an obvious friendship solvent but we all know people who have agreed not to end bad relationships and just be exposed to poison a little while longer. Toxic friendships are a great solvent. The question is, how do you get to the best Solution?
You guessed it, Forgiveness is the best solution. It does not mean that by choosing to forgive you are stuck in a dying friendship that feels like trying to hold oil with your bare hands. My suggestion for positively dissolving the solvents we discussed are:
- Distance - Seek new friendships in your new home. One of the best blessings I've received from God were the friends I've made in the US. While I dearly love my friends from Brazil, we no longer live in the same place, which makes our deep connection more challenging. I have learned that in order for friendships to grow and thrive, I need to invest in people I can see and touch. Finding new friends is not easy but when you succeed, it is rewarding.
- Conflict - The best advice I can give you is to find great wisdom as you move out of conflict. I've had an overt conflict with a person in my past and I did the hard work of getting Christian counseling, choosing to forgive and although that person never changed, the nature of our relationship did. I have learned that sometimes, normalcy is the best destination to a rocky friendship road.
- Poison - All toxic friendships are unique but here's the thing about poison: at some point, you will have to deal with the consequences. Even a little bit of poison is lethal. The question I ask myself is, how long will I put up with this? The great thing about the nature of God is that even in these tough situations, there are healthy ways to find great solutions. Wisdom for your particular situation will guide you in the way of peace. I highly recommend you to find wise counselors who have been where you are. They have the wisdom of years, compassion and understanding to offer. I know it's tough but toxic friendships can end well.
I wish some friendships would last forever but they do dissolve. Forgiveness is the best solution because it immediately places you at your place of peace. Where your peace is there you will find your power to continue to live with hope for stronger, meaningful friendships.