If you had a magic bottle, and the genie granted you a wish, would you ask for a long and wonderful friendship that remained strong as the years went by?
Maybe you wouldn’t need a genie – – you already have that life-long friend that’s has been there for you through all of life’s ups and downs, as you’ve been there for them. But, what if you’ve yet to experience that special kind of friendship, or thought you did have one until one day you realize you had drifted apart?
There are some insights into the circumstances and characteristics that are ideal for developing a long-term friendship, as we learned from reading “What is a best friend? Here’s How To Keep a Long Term Friendship”. It can depend on when, where and how the friendship began, which we’ll take a look at in a moment. First, we found what we think are interesting results from a 2019 study which asked 2,000 Americans about their friendships:
- The average American hasn’t made a new friend in five years
- 3 in10 have made lasting connections with people they met in their childhood neighborhood
- The top 3 reasons it’s hard to make friends as an adult are:
- 42% – being introverted or shy
- 33% – bars are not my scene
- 33% – friendship groups are already formed
- The average American has:
- 3 best friends
- 5 good friends
- 8 people they like but don’t spend one-on-one time with
- 50 acquaintances
- 91 social media friends
(We have two questions about a few of the survey responses: 1) Are bars still the scene to meet friends? And 2) Are social media friends truly friends? Each of these could be future discussions or articles themselves!)
Long-term friendships often have their start with two individuals growing up together, going to the same schools, joining the same activities, being college classmates, or sharing the same workplace. These common experiences, and seeing one another through them, are what make their bonds even stronger.
The article introduces us to five BFF pairs, who share the stories of how they met, how they stayed connected over long distances and the life experiences they have had in common that strengthened their friendship. We learn about the marriages, divorces, family illnesses that were somewhat easier to face with their long-time friend in their corner. Several of the friends admitted that it’s not always easy, and keeping the friendship healthy and resilient takes effort and a commitment to be there for one another.
Many of the friends see the value in social media as one way to stay in touch, but realize it takes more than that to nurture the friendship. As one friend in the article describes it, “Today, it seems easier to stay connected at a basic, more superficial level. But it feels like the deeper connections are much harder to develop for young people now. I think part of the reason our friendship has lasted and grown deeper is that we’ve really had to work for it, in good times and bad.”
Having friends that are good to you and for you is the ideal. Having that one friend, who knows more about you than you know about yourself, is lifesaving.