This article originally appeared in Well+Good.

On one of the first sunny Saturdays of the summer—amid the ebb of the COVID-19 virus in New York City—my roommate met her friends for a picnic, and when she got home, the two of us debriefed. While her friends are people I'd hang out with occasionally in groups pre-pandemic, I wouldn't necessarily call them my close friends. So while I hadn't seen them in over a year, they also hadn't made my list for coffee and drinks dates at this just-post-vaccine point in time. Which is why, when I asked my roommate how they were all doing, I was struck by the feeling that bubbled up: a pang of longing to see them.

“Why do I randomly miss your friends?” I joked to my roommate. But, to my surprise, she expressed the same sentiment about my close friends, whom she called her "fringe friends," a term describing people who make up the supporting cast of friend characters in your life, falling just outside your closest crew.