"Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil." - Balthasar Gracián
I was talking to my friend Lauri about friendship a few weeks ago. We were discussing my wedding guest list and we ended up sort of reminiscing about friendship in general and friendships that have been lost and even a couple that have been found again after years of silence. Our conversation really made me think about what makes a lasting friend. There's nothing like a wedding guest list to force you to evaluate your relationships.
I feel like the most authentic friendships may fade sometimes due to distance or circumstance but they can be rekindled easily, in the same way throwing a dry log on hot embers will cause it to ignite. I often come away from dinner or coffee dates with close (but busy friends) with that feeling that if we had more time, we could have chatted well into the night. I love that feeling!
Do you make friends easily? I find that I genuinely like many people but, as life gets busier, I really need to work at my new friendships. I will often meet someone I really connect with and think... We would be instant bff's after a night of drinking and dancing if we were still in university, but it's going to take several dinners and coffee dates and maybe years to build a deep friendship at this point. Do you ever think that? Often it's just easier to stick with older friends, because although we've all changed and swapped house parties for early gatherings revolving around baby schedules, there's still a feeling of comfort and sameness. The other day, as I bounced an old friend's new baby on my knee, I remember thinking, so much has changed and yet nothing has really changed. I found the thought comforting.
I also find that my friends are spread out in terms of their own interests and even demographics. Very rarely in my life have I been blessed with a large group of friends who are all friends with one another, although I have something close with some girls (and the wives of some of the guys) from my high school circle. In person, I can be a little introverted at times and I consider myself lucky if I can leave each big experience or life chapter with a new friend. But it's the staying-in-touch that's hard, isn't it?
For me, most of my closest friends weren't exactly friends right away either... I find that I can be stubborn and it often takes me a little time to really open up to someone. Many of my close friends were acquaintances for years before we discovered how much we have in common. Some, I didn't even like very much (and often vice-versa) when we first met. I tend to like strong personalities, and sometimes it takes a few attempts to sync-up.
Do you notice trends and patterns in your friendships? Do your friends know how much you appreciate them? Do you make enough of an effort to keep in touch with old friends or connect with new friends? Do you tell them what you love about them?
I love that I can be silly and totally myself around my friends. I also love how smart and fiercely loyal they are! What do you love about your friends?
I loved this article about the five types of friends we should have..