In business, people spend a lot of time consciously relationship building. I made a point of staying in regular written contact, as well as face-to-face as often as possible. I am not as deliberate in my personal relationships. It has always felt like friendship should be more 'natural'. More fluid. The reality is that life can swallow us whole if we let it. Deliberate reminders help trigger contacts. It is no coincidence that more people remember birthdays now that Facebook has started helping us out. Whatsapp groups also do the trick if one person remembers. I am part of a support group that meets twice a month, and have started trying to get into the habit of setting a time to meet with a few of my other friends. Consciously putting aside an hour to Skype. Good relationships require work, time and effort. Otherwise our irregular meetings are just a celebration of a memory.
Personal relationships also need weeding