I've been reflecting on the nature of friendships and wanted to share some thoughts with you.
In the past few years, I've seen friendships evolve and change. Friends have moved away, drifted apart, or the people have changed, leaving our connections awkward and unfamiliar.
It's made me realize the investment that true friendship requires: a mutual effort to maintain the bond. There's a give and take inherent in all relationships, whether small gestures like sharing a cup of coffee or the more significant commitment of celebrating milestones together. These acts of kindness foster appreciation and deepen our connections with people.
Interestingly, research suggests that friendships can become lifelong after seven years. While I can't recall the source (I read it ages ago), this theory holds true in my observations. Consistently investing over a long period of time strengthens the bond of friendship.
As an adult, I've noticed that many friendships are transactional, born out of necessity rather than a deep personal connection. These relationships often don't extend beyond their initial context, like the workplace. Yet, sometimes, a shared challenge or common "enemy" (a.k.a boss or clients from hell) can unexpectedly bring us closer together.
Online friendships add another layer to this dynamic. They often start as mere profiles and texts, but sometimes, they can become more personal and authentic over time. I've experienced both sides: the awkwardness of meeting an online friend who doesn't know me as I know them and the joy of genuinely connecting with someone beyond the screen. For me, it is now easier to make friends online and transition them to real-life relationships post-pandemic.
Going forward, I'm choosing to focus on fewer, more meaningful friendships—relationships where both people choose to invest in each other. Relationships where I can be comfortable being the person I really am. I'll choose the people who choose me.
How about you?
I hope you find this inspiring. Remember:
It's not going to be easy, but it's not impossible.