How COVID Kills Friendships

“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.” – ― Ally Condie, Matched

Some friendships are not meant to survive the pandemic.

Like my friendship with Diane. It’s been interesting to me to see the different interpretation of COVID-19. While some people, like me, have barely left their homes for months, others, like Diane, barely stay home at all.

That’s the thing about a pandemic: there are no rules. Except that there are.

Like wearing masks.

Diane refuses to wear a mask and I refuse to take mine off. We are at odds about this and it’s affected our friendship. Diane gets disgusted with me for taking this all so seriously and I am appalled at her lack of regard for anyone other than herself.

We are having a “Mask Off”.

What the pandemic is really doing is exposing the flaws in our overall relationship. Truth be told, Diane and I are incompatible – and have been since day 1 – in every possible way.

She is an extrovert who can’t spend one minute alone; I am exhausted after one hour with other people. Diane owns her own company and runs it with full control; I’ve dedicated myself to a highly structured company where we work together like cogs in a wheel. Diane speaks freely with anyone who will listen about her internal struggles; I share mine only with a trusted few.

Diane voted for Trump; I absolutely did not.

The friendship will not likely survive the pandemic. Our text exchanges are now few and far between. The last time we spoke, we argued – about COVID-19.

I feel both relieved and sad. I miss Diane’s sense of humor, her ability to comfort me when I’m upset, her easy conversation skills.

But I don’t miss getting snapped at for not parking in the right place, getting challenged when I told her how much it bothered me that she always changed the plans I’d arranged for our group dinners, and having every conversation turn into all about her.

Our friendship is morphing into probably what it should have been in the first place: a pleasant acquaintance of someone I only see at social gatherings. But the “besties” part of our relationship is long gone.

Another casualty of COVID-19.

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