Friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being, but it’s not always easy to build or maintain friendships. Understand the importance of friendships in your life and what you can do to develop and nurture friendships. Developing and maintaining good friendships takes an effort. The enjoyment and comfort friendship can provide, however, makes the investment worthwhile.
Friendships, as beautiful and rare as they are, are taken for granted a lot. Some friends connect in 5 minutes, or 5 days, and for some 5 months…you get the point. The issue becomes the maintenance of the friendship over a period of time. I’ve experienced gazillion friendship relationships – some stood the test of time, some didn’t. I’ll take you in-dept.
At the age of 12, I went for my church’s camp in a different state, where I met this beautiful girl, Tope. I was only 17 days older than her, and at that age, you couldn’t tell us that we hadn’t seen it all! Tope and I connected in hours, and we talked about EVERYTHING lol! Our schools, beliefs, friends, crushes, future hopes, and A LOT more!
The thing with camps is that it gives you a lot of time to spend with someone, unlike in ‘real life’ when you’d have only had maybe 2 – 4 hours per day, 3 days a week for bonding. Camp ended in 5 days. Tope and I WEPT! When I think back to the day, I can only recall 2 other times I cried like that. We held hands, took a long stroll, cried some more – after that, we figured it out! We were going to make her cute older brother date, and eventually marry my beautiful older sis! Then we will be familia! I’m actually laughing reminiscing this day!
Over the years, whenever I’d go to Lagos, the city Tope lived in, I’d make an effort to see her, we did an ok job of keeping in touch. Many years down the line, we are still good friends! We don’t talk nearly as much, but when we do, we download all that has happened since the last time we spoke. I actually have this kind of friendship with a number of my girls, where we talk only 2 – 4 times a year, but those conversations are really good!
As I continued to mature, forming bonds, or relationships came to me like a second nature. I realized this gift of “connecting” that I had, from small talk, to big talk, to friends constantly coming over, and staying for a couple of days! Yes, I had MANY friends. Today, I’m not so free with the word, so I say I have many acquaintances and a handful of friends. You live and learn J
Trust is the most vital spice to the longevity and meaningfulness of friendships. It takes many years to be built, but could come a ‘tumbling over when something goes wrong. Trust comes in different forms to people…but for Sade and I, it came in us always being available for one another, and the frequency, depth and realness of our conversations. Our 7 years of close friendship happened in our formative stage of life, where we were evolving as young ladies, discovering what made us unique, and making sense of what role we wanted to play in life. About 4 years in, Sade’s first heartbreak – which we both went through together, created a bond of “a friend that is closer than a brother [sister].”
Guy came into Sade’s life. I was truly happy for my friend! He sounded like a lovely person from what I’d heard, and I rooted for them! When I met him, I knew he would love and care for her, I was content with that. The frequency of my calls with Sade went down a little, as expected, but the quality still had it’s A game! Yay! Then the reduced frequency reduced some more, and more, and we went from talking maybe 4-5 times a week, to 4-5 times a month, to 4-5 times bi-monthly, to scraps. 7 years of friendship. With the steady decrease in time, there was a steady decrease in quality.
On our last frank talk about where our friendship stood, Sade explained, “babe, you and Guy are so similar! You both have the same reasoning pattern.” The bottom line: The similarity between her boyfriend and her good friend eliminated the reason for accommodating both people. One person had to go… 7 years of building a friendship, flushed away.
Since then, Sade and I have worked on re-building, but it gets hard. I’m sure she and I will be fine in life, and maybe end up being great friends again, but for now, I miss my best friend…a term I use too often at all. The point of writing about my two different relationships is to show that each friendship is different. For some, not talking often works, for others it doesn’t. I hope I’m able to know these differences, and be a good friend to my friends.
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