The Friendship Myth

When I was in school I had a best friend and our friendship embodied everything a true friendship is about. As I got older and got some ideas in my head about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I moved away to get an education. We don’t have nearly as much contact as before, but she is still my oldest and best friend that have survived the touch of time. To have such a friendship is invaluable.

As I have gotten older and may be wiser, I have contemplated the importance of friendship and what makes a friendship start, last and blossom. I still haven’t figured it out. What I do know is that it seems like I never can get enough friends and there is a longing for having a friend that I share (almost) every part of myself with and have some common grounds of understanding.

But how realistic is this, really?

I have been asking several friends and people sometimes about whether they think they have enough friends. I always get the answer that they wish they had more friends. I try to look at how their lives are, and they seem to have friends. Not necessarily many, but several they have regular contact with.

I think the real reason for wanting more friends, is the yearning we all have for at least one person to be a best friend, one that is very close to us and who really knows us in and out.

The second reason is an unrealistic view of what friendship is and works.

The third reason is how difficult it is to deal with disagreements, betrayals, jealousy etc.

People are different. People’s life are different, not many have the schedule or energy to maintain a best friend friendship with regular meetings and talks. We want that one person to embody everything – to be a perfect listener, enjoy the same activities as we do, have the same perception of life, same values and behave as we expect and want them to. We put a lot of expectations on how a friendship is supposed to work and when friends don’t behave as we expect we get disappointed, angry, sour, hurt, accusatory, confrontational.

The problem is that life and people don’t work that way. We are all too complex beings. One person can be perfect for going to a party with, another is best for long talks in a café, a third for hiking. The conversations between these people vary, because they are different people. One might be perfect for talking about work experiences, another about common interests, a third about boy/girl problems.

This is how my friendships work. There is none I talk about all aspects of my life, instead it’s a quilt of people that somehow covers many of the themes. These friends have their flaws, and recognizing this fact and figure out how to step around them can be difficult. Sometimes a friend will walk over a personal boundary, a limit to what I accept and how I deal with it can be different. It can be everything from smoothing it out, giving a warning, to just slowly step back and away without a word. Others have used those strategies on me as well.

Maintaining a friendship as the years go by can be difficult, especially so with girls. I find that friendship with the opposite sex is somehow easier. I think girls put higher and different expectations on girl friends than on friendship with boys.

Is it possible to get/have a best friend when you’re older (that wasn’t there from childhood/youth)?

I’m leaning towards no.

About Haridasi

integrity - the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.
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