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by Abigail Van Buren

Friendship Suffers When Couple Moves Out Of Town

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were close friends with another couple, seeing them once or twice a week. Then we had to move away from our hometown because of a job opportunity. We tried to stay in touch, but predictably were not as close as when we were neighbors.

A few months ago, we were able to move back home, and we have been trying to revive the friendship. We have invited them to dinner three times only to be told: "We have commitments this week, and next week is crazy at work. Let's try to get together next month when things calm down." But there was no follow-up.

They do travel a lot, have small children and demanding jobs, so it's hard to know if the delays are real or if they aren't interested in being friends any longer. How much do we try before feeling we're annoying them and giving up? -- BACK HOME IN OHIO

DEAR BACK HOME: Do as your friends suggested and give them a call in a month or six weeks. If they are still unavailable, say, "OK. Then the ball is in your court," and see if they follow up. And if they don't, then realize it's time to give up. When you moved away, they moved on.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors