The Friendship Decay Curve
“I haven’t talked to her for nine months,” one friend of mine said of another. “I need to call her.” I thought, “Nine months? Are you still even friends?” If someone hadn’t contacted me for nine months, I would think they no longer had any interest in the friendship. But that’s just me.
I’ve noticed that different people have different “friendship decay curves.” I imagine a graph comparing two such curves for two arbitrary people Orange and Green would look something like this:
When not contacted by a friend, Green quite quickly starts to think “They don’t like me,” or “We would have been in touch sooner if we valued the friendship,” while Orange draws no such inference. Orange substitutes other explanations, like “They’re busy” or “They’ve been traveling.”
Before concluding that an old friend is no longer interested in friendship, it is probably wise to think about our friendship decay curve.