Losing it over losing touch
August 12, 2009 4:45 PM   Subscribe

What are some useful techniques to overcome separation anxiety? Sub-Question: How do you successfully "keep in touch"?

I'm involved in a civic organization that is disbanding. I am really going to miss seeing one particular member of the group on a regular basis who I have never hung out with outside of meetings, but who I have grown very close with over the past few months. I've invited said group member to get together with me two or three times outside of meetings but it's never worked out.
It's clear to me that unless we both make time in our lives to nurture our relationship, we'll just fall out of touch and I'll lose contact with someone I've grown very fond of. I know that this person has a tendency to be flaky, and I suspect that the party "keeping in touch" will predominately be me -- even though I'm a bit of a flake too and I definitely don't want to have to hunt someone down in an aggressive way to keep our friendship alive.
How shall I proceed? Do I sound psychotic? What can I do to mitigate my anxiety over the potential loss?
posted by RingerChopChop to Human Relations (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Make a Facebook group.

And no, you are not at all unusual. I used to work at an engineering firm that provided support to municipalities. One of our client cities was working with a neighborhood council group that met every Thursday to work out traffic issues in the neighborhood. The planner called us in desperation. This group had been meeting for two years with no resolution in sight.

I started attending the meetings, and in a few weeks we herded the thing to a conclusion, forcing some decisions to be made, culminating in the construction of traffic calming facilities.

When the group met for the very last time, there was palpable sense of imminent loss. It was very sad. People began to comment on the situation, and when someone piped up that they could keep meeting if they found another issue to deal with, the room brightened considerably. People immediately began gushing about new ideas, the room was suddenly bursting with renewed energy.

I looked at the planner, who had worked till midnight every Thursday for over two years with the group, and he looked like he was going to cry. As a consultant, I got to say my goodbyes and wished them luck.
posted by Xoebe at 5:05 PM on August 12, 2009

I know that Facebook gets a bad rap these days, but I have found it wonderfully useful for staying connected with people who are dear to me but whom I can't see on a regular basis. For face to face, you have to insist. Call, make a date, if it gets canceled make another. Seeing someone "out of context" as it were is a scary thing to do (will we still have anything in common?) and you have to commit to it. The first time is the hardest.
posted by nax at 5:25 PM on August 12, 2009

How about putting together a "reunion" dinner a few weeks after the org closes? Start planning now and work on getting RSVPs before your last meeting.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:47 PM on August 12, 2009

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