Ever heard of the saying that if your friendship lasts for more than 7 years, then it will become a friendship for a lifetime? It’s not always true, which is quite unfortunate.

I don’t mean to sound bitter or negative about it, because there are friendships which can easily be nurtured to be the best and the longest friendships you would ever have. Then there are the friendships which you truly want to make them work, but the other party’s not having it? Then there are friendships which you really can’t make work because they’re too toxic.

The reality of it all is mostly disheartening.

Humans spend their life trying to find a connection. We aren’t born to be alone — the first thing that we do is make a bond. We connect with our parents. The first thing our parents would ask after we get home from our first day of school is usually, “Did you make any new friends?”

Our brain isn’t wired for loneliness. So we reach out to people who are willing to do the same.

So this myth — this famous myth that if you’ve passed the 7 year mark with your friends, your friendship would last forever. I clung to that myth, thinking that it was true. I was proud that I could keep four of my closest friends with me throughout the journey into adulthood.

However, just as it was claimed to be — it was a myth.

It was all so sudden that right after the five of us reached the 10th year of our friendship, all of it start to crumble. It wasn’t because we were reaching adulthood that it fell apart. It wasn’t because of distance, or work, or starting a new family that made us drift apart. It was just a simple concept of unforeseeable small changes.

During the bulk of that, where 5 years of that friendship was a transition into adulthood, two of my friends were studying overseas. We weren’t in contact regularly since we were too busy with our college life. One friend was in Australia, another one was in Germany. The rest of us went to a local college.

Despite the fact that even with the three of us going to the same college, we irregularly kept in contact, having lunches whenever we were all free, which was rarely ever. The friendship was fluctuating. We were all wary of it, but we knew that one day, at one point in time, the five of us would be together again at the same place, at the same time.

Sure enough, as fate would have it, the five of us met up for lunch one day at a local coffee shop and it was as if nothing could stop our dynamic as friends. We had an absolute ball catching up with each other.

At that moment, we were already celebrating 9 years of friendship. Looking back, we never had fights. It was a peaceful type of friendship. We had our ridiculously crazy spells, but we somehow managed to harmonise. And the only time we ever really bickered was because we knew we were joking. Never wanting to offend, never pushing the envelope and never disrespecting each other.

It was one breezy, cold evening that the friendship we built, abruptly, out of the blue, was knocked down.

Possibly, it was my fault. I apologised profusely. Trying to right the wrongs. Two weeks later, it happened again, but I wasn’t the one apologising. It was a huge quarrel between two of my other friends. Unraveling before my very eyes, I knew then that the friendship just blew an irreparable fuse.

Try as we might, we didn’t manage — or rather — couldn’t manage to mend the friendship. It was an excess of apologising, but that one friend wouldn’t have it. She couldn’t take it.

So she said her goodbyes.

Suddenly, we were left with four. Then, a month later, three.

It was only recently when I was having dinner with my other two friends that I showed them an article online that I was reading on my phone screen. The heading was “If a friendship lasts more than 7 years, it will last a lifetime.”

We sighed. Sardonically giving each other a lopsided smile that we all knew so well what it truly meant.

On some rare occasions, the three of us would see our other two friends, but separately. They wouldn’t be caught dead being in the same room together. It was the only thing that could make the friendship afloat.

There really isn’t a happy ending to this story. However, the closest thing to a happy ending for this narrative is that I, along with my friends, still have hope.

We have hope that one day, we could just look back at all this nonsense and be friends again.