There was a discussion almost a year ago that ended a friendship of mine. It wasn’t the slow breakdown, sort of ending that you would expect. I quit talking to her and, because she never bothered to call or talk to me and we live several hundred miles apart, we never spoke again.

I think at some point I got included in a mass Christmas text or something.

The conversation was about the worth of people and her point was somewhere along the lines of the idea that a person is worth a dollar amount, worth their education or their job. I’m not trying to sound like Tyler Durden or say those things have no value. They obviously do mean a lot, but she was talking about from the standpoint of a relationship. You know, the dating kind.

In all of those tired stories you hear about couples in the seventies and before there is that sense of struggle. The small apartment at the start, learning and growing together and sticking through tough times. Most people are going to hit that rough patch, even if it’s only relative to how smooth everything is around it. When you’ve gone through that with someone or are willing to go through that with them it means something.

This especially matters when you live in a country where most of us are one accident away from ruin. We’re overburdened by medical bills if we’re hurt and even with the help of insurance you can only sustain yourself for so long.

What do you do when that happens? What happens to those couples that selected on good jobs and money when those things are gone or aren’t possible anymore? She got offended by my answer and I got tired of being the only one reaching out and communicating with a person who didn’t seem to want friends as much as she wanted networking–or just someone who was there when it became convenient again.

It’s not fair to ask that someone agree in all things, but you get a lot of points for agreeing in one–just be available. Make time for others. There’s a difference between someone who just talks to you in their free time and someone who makes time to talk to you.

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