“Hey bro, how are you?”

I have a friend that I’ve known since 2nd grade. His name is Chris.

Chris and I were friends all throughout high school, and even when we went to different colleges, we still kept in touch here and there. He joined the military, moved across the country, and that was when we lost touch; he was deployed for 9 -12 months at a time with no contact to anyone.

I got married, got a job, started grad school, and I barely had time for anyone anymore.

About 12 months ago, Chris began texting me. It was always the same text at first: “Hey bro, how are you?”

At first, I was surprised and glad to hear from him. I gave him the basics — married life was great, school was a lot of work, job was boring, etc. Overview stuff. I hadn’t seen the guy in years, and even though we were friends for a long time, we were never “great friends” in the sense that I could really be my true self with him. He was very Christian, conservative, and somber, and sometimes it was difficult to relate with him.

A couple weeks went by, and Christ texted me again. “Hey bro, how are you?”

I was a little confused — we ad just texted 14 days before. Well, alright — things are pretty much the same Chris, nothing much has happened in the meantime. How are you? He was fine, nothing had really changed for him either.

12 months later.

Chris has texted me “Hey bro, how are you?” for about the 12th time. He texts me in intervals no longer than 3–4 weeks.

I don’t know what to say anymore.

I might stay in touch with my very best friends that often. Sometimes, I don’t even speak with my own mother that often. But Chris tries to keep in touch with me at least once a month.

I haven’t seen him personally in at least 5 years.

What are my options? Tell him I don’t want to talk to him that often? Completely ignore him? Give him canned answers every time he checks in?

Well, I’ve done all those things, and he still texts me. He just texted me a few minutes ago. “Hey bro, how are you?”

How do you tell a friend with whom you’re not that close with that hey, I don’t really feel like speaking with you that often?

I wonder what my authentic self would say.

Writer for CNBC, Business Insider, Fast Company, Thought Catalog, Yahoo! Finance, and you. Come say hey. anthonymoore.co

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