I have been living outside Sweden since 1997 and I have friends I had for 25, 35, and 40 years. This doesn't take care of it self. Friendships are like marriages, you give, take and compromise. It not equal all the time. During some periods lump sided and then it shifts, like teeter-totter. This is the way it should be and because that the way life is. The problem here is if it doesn't shift, it doesn't swing back and forth. You feel that you giving away half your loaf of bread and only get crumbs back, for years. Personally, I have begun to feel this lately with couple of old friends and I have to deal with it when I'm going back to Sweden next time. Because it's like a pebble in my shoe and it's annoying me.
The dilemma here could be that two people see their friendship differently. Your friend are happy with a more superficial way of socializing and you want to have a deeper relationship. This usually works for awhile, sometimes for your years before its start to "squeak", As we get older circumstances change, some study for years, others begin to work. We develop new interests and drop others. All this could be tough to keep a friendship going. 20-30 years down the road you could be two different people comparing with when you first met. How to deal it?
It's not easy. Do you only have the past in common? if you feel that you constantly get the short straw here. I suggest you sit down and discuss with your friend how you are feeling about your friendship without putting any ultimatum. Most likely your friend will understand you and promise he/she will change. This won't happen! Most likely, because your friend has just so much time and unfortunately you are not high up on the priority list even if good intentions are there and the he or she would sincerely like to spend more time with you.. For a person to change his or her priorities is rare, usually a life changing event has to occur for the person to sit down and really reevaluate life. Another way is about one and a half to two years of weekly therapy to change the personality, which requires a lot of willpower and motivation. Your old friend might be married to a very demanding and controlling spouse. You can't never compete with that. I have actually lost a very good friend this way.
You might have to lower your expectations and enjoy the time you get without demanding more. It's better than than nothing. I told you this is not easy and could become awkward if not handling the right way.
I have been living in three different countries besides Sweden where I was born, raised, and spent my first 32 years. During my years abroad I have noticed it's a great differences how people persive friendship and how much they are willing to put in. What is culturally accepted and not, the unwritten rules how to behave. In Sweden, according my experience it's not common to go to good friends' parents funeral. In Israel if your parent passes away even your motorcycle mechanic take time off and come to the funeral which usually take place the same day or the day after the death. The same scenario with weddings, in Sweden it's quite rare to invite coworkers and in Israel you invite many people from the village you live in and even your plumber. Canada, I would say is somewhere between these two extremes. I dislike the Swedish way. It feels cold and uncaring and some ways. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, it's a cultural thing which won't change easily.
So, what kind of friend are you and what do your friends mean to you?
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