The Temporality of Human Connection

The Temporality of Human Connection

With every new transition, move to a new town, entry into a new job, you are saying goodbye to old friends, lovers and colleagues. I’ve increasingly become to realise that you cannot take everyone with you. You can’t have a relationship with every single person you meet. I am identifying temporary relationships all too well. Some people are only supposed to be in your life for a short while. We are only crossing paths – we are not on the same journey.

The emotional hardship that comes when it seems you have “lost” a friend or when the time once spent with a lover begins to dwindle can cause a lot of upset. I feel like this is to do with the perspective most people have when viewing the relationships in their lives. I personally like to create relationships for the long haul – I don’t intend to have half-hearted relations with other human beings.

I want to experience people fully, to connect with them authentically and grow together. However, this way of viewing things is conflicting when it comes to people who are temporary in my life. Of course you cannot identify temporary relationships until they are that and so you can never foresee this. Changing perspective has been very important in dealing with change and change in relationships in particular. I now evaluate relationships with people as having the potential to be great but I also and most importantly evaluate them as having the potential to not last forever. 

Some people you meet in life are not supposed to be permanent fixtures. They are only meant to be in your life for a short while. They may teach you all sorts of life lessons while they are there. Whether these relationships end amicably or terribly, these experiences are all apart of your experience of life and will have a role to play in your future. Some people are only supposed to be in your life temporarily.

Some people who have been temporary in my life, I have had the best time with, I learnt so much about myself, I saw the beauty in other humans, I was so happy to have these people with me. However, that was their purpose for me. Their purpose was to teach me these things, to have me experience these things. All I can do now is look back on those times with joy and sentiment. Some connections with people will result in temporary relationships – we were not supposed to last forever.

A huge part of my way of thinking is that being sad is a waste of time and energy. Why be sad when you can be joyous, you can enjoy the fruits of the earth. Sadness is uncontrollable, but if we can try to restrict what things we give sad energies to, we can lessen the sadness. We should not be sad to lose relationships or friendships. They weren’t meant to last. Don’t crave for a past relationship or lover – they were not meant to be. Realising that some things are not meant to be permanent can spur the need to enjoy things while they last. Live authentically and experience others while they are in your life. Don’t cling on to relationships out of a need to make them last. What is meant to be will be. What is meant to last will last. 

“Not everything is supposed to become something beautiful and long-lasting. Sometimes people come into your life to show you what is right and what is wrong, to show you who you can be, to teach you to love yourself, to make you feel better for a little while, or to just be someone to walk with at night and spill your life to. Not everyone is going to stay forever, and we still have to keep on going and thank them for what they’ve given us.”

—Emery Allen;

How do you deal with temporary relationships? Did you have a best friend who you no longer speak to? Let me know in the comments or tweet me! x


  1. September 14, 2017 / 12:45 pm

    I can so relate to this. I have just spent a wonderful week on retreat with a group of people who came from all over the country. Some have been in my life for years, some were vague acquaintances and some were strangers. We came together, shared an amazing experience and said goodbye. It’s the cycle of life and some things are not meant to be held on to.

  2. September 14, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    I totally agree with this. I think we just share the same perspective. This line though “Some people you meet in life are not supposed to be permanent fixtures. They are only meant to be in your life for a short while.”

  3. September 14, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    I can relate to this article. Ive moved house a lot, both when I was a child and since and Ive come to realise that people arent permanent. Everyone is on a different path and people move on. The people I thought were my best friends a few years ago I hardly ever see now. I am grateful for everyone Ive met or who have been a part of my life.

  4. September 14, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    Oh I love this. I think it’s very easy to feel sad when relationships or friendships end without realising that there is so much we can take from those times and not everything lasts forever.

  5. September 14, 2017 / 11:27 pm

    Very thought reflecting post. I have experience of relationships that only lasted for a short time yet were important life lessons for me along my life’s journey. I have had friendships that I thought would last a life time end abruptly and without warning. Its hard to sometimes deal with this but we must look at the positives and move forward.

  6. September 14, 2017 / 11:31 pm

    This is something I’ve learned a long time ago after dealing with some bad relationships. People have an innate ability to grow once they realize that pain doesn’t last forever. It opens up the door for us to reflect and distance ourselves from our own personal bias and learn lessons. Thank you for sharing such an important lesson.

  7. September 15, 2017 / 12:57 am

    Wonderful post. I never really thought about people only being in our lives to teach us something. This is great timing for me, thank you.

  8. September 15, 2017 / 3:25 am

    I’ve actually been thinking about this lately. Some of my friends now, I might never see them in the near future. Life takes us to different places and that means we’re going to take different paths. Even if we remain friends, the relationship will not be as strong as how it is today, especially when we all have a new life we have to take care of.

  9. September 15, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    I live in a college and military town so I’ve had to say goodbye to way more people than I care to admit. I miss them all and only really keep in contact with a few to this day. I try not to let it harden me into a person that doesn’t try to make friends in fear that they will leave, I think it does affect me though.

  10. September 15, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    I love this! My circle is pretty small but i have lost so many good people i thought would still be in my corner. Hard truth to let it go
    Kory Kisses recently posted…HIMMy Profile

  11. September 15, 2017 / 11:55 pm

    I try not to think about how my relationships will develop, I just try to go with the flow and take everything one connection at a time. If meet someone and never see them again, then so be it and if I do see them again, then that’s great but I appreciate all the many different kinds of relationships I have in my life.

  12. September 16, 2017 / 2:46 am

    Actually, these temporary relations never hurt us because I think we never expect something from these relations. We spend time with new one and try to get indulge and enjoy the companies. So these kinds of relations have not so many expectations and just go as is.
    People are so important in our life.

  13. September 16, 2017 / 5:26 am

    you have a lovely outlook on life and relationships. It can definitely be sad the notion of temporary anything, but they come for a reason. I too have been enriched by people whove come into my life but didnt stay permanently. didnt change the value and significance.
    Jennifer L recently posted…Healthy Eats: New 2017 Arctic Zero Fit Frozen Desserts ReviewMy Profile

  14. September 16, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    I think as you get older you keep hold of the one or two friends that REALLY matter, and you learn to let the other ones go. You may still see each other once in a while, or say hello when you pass them in the street, but a lot of friendships rarely go the distance once you start settling down and having kids etc.

    Louise x
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  15. September 16, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    I can relate to this. I had this 14-year-old super best friendship with this girl, but she changed. Or she thought I changed so she changed, I don’t know which came first. I realized she’d moved away, I tried to reach her, and when finally I did, she wasn’t the girl I used to share everything with. I wanted to wish her the best, but all I can do now is closing eyes and ears to what she’s doing and pretending that my bff has died. So I can release all my expectations to her. Letting go is difficult but doesn’t mean we can’t. x

  16. Via Bella
    September 16, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    This is such a great attitude towards human relationships. I think if you can (you being general you) try to make the relationships last that is great but we shouldn’t falsly hold on things either.

  17. September 16, 2017 / 10:55 pm

    This is such a great attitude towards human relationships. I think if you can (you being general you) try to make the relationships last that is great but we shouldn’t falsely hold on things either.

  18. September 17, 2017 / 4:03 pm

    I think back on all my temporary relationships I have had. I remember a lot of people from my high school days that I was super close to. But now we hardly ever talk to one another. Life has a funny way of making you lose track of time. I don’t make friends easily. So I have never been close to very many people. All my past relationships with my lovers did not go over well with me. I had to learn how to handle it. Some I handled better than others. I want to live in the moment as much as possible, but it can be hard when you don’t have the means to do it.

  19. September 17, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    I have experienced this when i was in highschool. She was my bestfriend but it was last when we got an argue just because she thinks she was that too high compared to us her friend. Until then we didnt talk anymore until she invited us in her wedding day. I thought it will be our chance to be reunited again but after her wedding, she just snob us. So we decided to let her go and continue our lives without her.

  20. September 17, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    I so agree with you. There is no point of being sad. I focus on building a meaningful connection. And to be meaningful it has to make both people grow. As soon as it stops, I would like people to remember something good about me.

  21. Tania
    September 30, 2017 / 2:21 pm

    This makes sooo much sense. I have been sad for too long about losing people that were not meant to be in my life forever. I am grateful for the life lessons I’ve learned from them though. It helps to now know that there are indeed temporary relationships, and that is quite ok.

  22. October 7, 2017 / 2:24 am

    Spot on, Whitney! I love this post. I believe there is a reason and a season for all relationships. Although I can let go easily if things aren’t working out or if a person flakes, I am a friend for life type. I value true friendship.

  23. October 18, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    I’m inclined to believe this element of temporary friendships and relationships affect those within my age range (20s) a great deal more than it did the generation prior. I strongly believe it’s an effect of the times and how people are required to live their lives now in terms of working and travelling and living. You’re right, it makes no sense to be sad about such things, but at the same time it can be truly painful to undergo.

  24. November 9, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    I definitely can relate to this post. My relationship with my best friend has slowly dwindled away and I’m actually okay with that. I realized that we needed each other growing up, but now we’ve have grown into different people going different places. There’s no love lost and no hard feelings, but it’s no longer the season for that relationship.

  25. November 11, 2017 / 3:27 am

    I definitely have been the type of person who use to cling on failed friendships and wonder ” why aren’t we close anymore” but then I remember that in order for new and brighter things to come into your life. You need to make room and sometimes that means friends/ ex-lovers have to exit to make that happen. It took me awhile to get used to that but I now have become so comfortable with being alone that even if that were to happen. I wouldn’t dwell on it too long because I know there is a purpose. I really enjoyed reading this post and I’m glad that this was the first post of yours I read. I will definitely be coming back for more.

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