Reframing How You See Ephemeral Relationships

People dance in and out of your life, but there may be a deeper meaning behind brief encounters.


Photo Courtesy of fifeflyingfife on Adobe Stock

I‘m staring down the bridge crossing into my 29th year. I’ve moved around a lot, struggled to maintain friendships, and I’ve felt the slow sting of gradually losing people more times than I care to count. I’m a person who decided to prioritize my career, despite some of the friendships it’s cost me along the way. There are a lot of reasons I had to prioritize my career (since there were a few times in my life when I nearly faced homelessness as I didn’t have a family to fall back on), but it still came at a great cost sometimes.

There were a lot of years in my life where I’d be working twelve-hour shifts for days on end and cramming homework into every other free hour. Because of that, as much as I tried to keep up with friends who I cared for and be there for them, my availability was so tight that there were a lot of times I just couldn’t.

I’m by no means a psychologist or relationship specialist, but I’ve learned a few things from losing people when it was undoubtedly my fault. I read a book recently that nudged me to start thinking about relationships a little bit differently. Changing my thought process around how I approach these connections is helping me navigate the gradual loss of a very close friendship. That’s why I’m sharing this story; while I may not be an expert, a few little nuggets of experience can still teach a lot.

Not every person in your life needs to be a constant.

I used to go kicking and screaming about the loss of close relationships. Taking a cue from Dylan Thomas, I very much did not go gentle into that good night. When I would see myself drifting away from a romantic interest or close friend, I would bend over backward to make myself more available, try and give that person more time, and more attention.

People will come and go in our lives. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, or even something unnatural. Even though there are a lot of strategies suggested by psychologists about how to let go of people, circumstances, and things, it’s tricky to put them into practice. Learning the strategies of being…



Leigh Victoria Fisher, MS

Brooklyn-based writer and poet. Designer in NYC. Drinks books and loves coffee. Has an MS from NYU in Integrated Design & Media. Working on an MFA in Fiction.