There are friends I don’t see for months, even years. Yet when we meet, we just pick up where we left off. Sometimes we understand each other so well, we can immediately detect what is wrong in the other’s life. And we can share our thoughts without hesitation or fearing permanent damage to our relationship.
I was updating one such friend during a catch-up visit. Was very pleased with myself about how I was maturing and getting on despite life’s difficulties. Said I wasn’t depressed, it was all good. Her response shook me up, “You’re over-thinking life. You should just live it. Don’t think so much! Get in the moment! Feel things! Just…. be!”
Just so amazing. Even if it took me several months to grasp exactly what she meant.
So there are a few people I see about once a year or so, and I know that they know that I remember them. Often it is distance that keeps us apart, sometimes it is circumstantial. But I know that despite the time apart, when we see each other, it is as though no time has passed.
Sometimes I wonder what the secret to these friendships is. Exactly what is it that makes them last? For most of them, it probably is the intimacy forged during tumultuous school years. Forced proximity made up for initial lack of chemistry in many cases.
As an adult, making long-lasting friendships is so much harder, I find. Instant rapport and chemistry count for much more. Not enough time is spent building up relationships. When there are difficulties, it is easier to simply move on.
Thinking over as I write this post, there are probably just a few essential ingredients to long-lasting friendships:
- enough time to learn about each other
- compatible communication styles
- a desire to remain friends
The question is, how much time should one invest if you only have parts of the list? Say there’s not been much time, but there is compatibility and just maybe there’s half a wish to be friends… Oops! Hang on, let’s not over-think this! Just… be.