The truth is, people grow and change, and everyone is dealing with their own problems — “fights on the outside, fears within.” People are raised differently, or want different things out of a friendship. Some are good at in-person friendships but uncomfortable with texting or calls. Everyone expresses affection differently, and develops trust at their own pace. Having a good friend starts with being a good friend — listening, talking, being patient, being forgiving. It may take quite a while before you see the fruits of your labor.
And so now, in my 30th year, I have several friends who make an effort to stay in touch — whether by initiating conversation or consistently replying when they have time. By developing insight, adjusting my expectations of others, and by focusing on being a good friend through patience and persistence, I have what I was seeking: not just friends, but confidence that they appreciate my efforts, and that they are doing their best in return.