“Friend – a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.”
Friends are those people in your life that you can laugh with, you can cry with and the people that will be there to support you. They might have been there for as long as you can remember, or you may have come together by chance. But is a good friendship all about who’s been there the longest?
I’ve come to realise, especially over the past few years, that quality far outweighs quantity. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I could probably count my close friends on two hands, but I know (read: hope) we’ll be friends for life.
When I was 13, friendship was all about who you text the most. My teenage self could rack up phone bills that would make my eyes water nowadays. Being friends with someone meant speaking to them on BBM/MSN/insert social media more than you speak to your own family.
Fast forward 10 years and it means the complete opposite. Anyone who knows me well knows that it is nearly impossible to get me to reply to a message. Woops. My closest friends are people that I don’t speak to you every day, every week or even every month. Take my oldest group of friends – we’re all spread all over the country, all chasing our individual dreams. Over Christmas, we were (nearly) all together for the first time in years and not a single thing had changed. The conversation just flowed and we had so much to talk about.
For me, you know you’re onto a good thing when you can go months without speaking and fall back into old routines and patterns.
To me, honesty is one of the most important values in a friendship. The ability to speak your mind, open up and know that your friend has your best interests at heart. Whether that be taking the bin out or finding out what your friend really thinks of your new beau.
Maybe that’s not your thing, but to me, a friendship is about speaking openly and freely.
Call me out if you disagree, but I don’t think friendship is all about having the same interests and passions. I’ve got friends who can’t understand my fascination with reality tv (point slightly taken). What’s important is that you have similar values; you share an idea of what’s important in life. Whether that be your feelings on family, how to deal with conflict or forgiving people after a bust up. If you’ve got these in common, you can’t really go far wrong. It might come in useful when things get heated over the TV remote.
What if it all goes wrong?
Like with any relationship, things change and people change – that’s okay. If you’re going through a period where you feel like things just aren’t working and one/both parties aren’t happy, speak about it. It’s better to have those awkward conversations that find yourself a few months down the line unsure whether to text them.
Maybe, in the end, things don’t work out. People do drift apart; it happens. The important thing is to keep your head up and surround yourself with other people that care about you. You’ll either realise things weren’t exactly what they seemed or you can look back and cherish all those lovely memories you had.
Friendship during your 20’s – it’s a little bit of a minefield. You may have friends in different cities, boyfriends/girlfriends to contend with and very little spare time to keep in touch. You’ll get through it. Through the past few years, I’ve found some friends I really hope I’ll stay friends with forever and ever – granted we all have different interests, degrees and priorities, but you should definitely hang onto a good thing.
Been thinking about a certain friend while reading this? G’warn text ’em and ask them how their weekends been!
Poll xo (bringing friendships back together since ’94)