I found myself wondering recently if maintaining a regular social engagement is really worthwhile when the original purpose of the gathering has lost it's appeal and the social experience alone remains. It's curious how big of a drive that can be, both out of a sense of obligation and due to simply enjoying the company of friends. I suspect the sense of obligation is stronger - it's not too difficult to round up those same friends in another setting with another, less particular lure, but stepping out of the engagement still feels a little like an abandonment or a shirking of my responsibility to the group. The other side of course is that as a disengaged member of the group I am disinterested and sometimes even frustrated in the gathering. This isn't really fair to anyone, least of all myself. It could, potentially, put unneccessary strain on relationships in the group as my attendance has in some sense become dishonest. I'm no longer there because I am eager to take part in the evenings activities but because on some sense I should be there.
There is also the chance that the engagement may not survive the loss of a member. If I fall out, maybe the whole groups cohesion will slip away. Of course this would mean that the links were tenuous anyway and I was likely not alone in my feelings. Being the first domino does carry it's own weight of social responsibility however.