Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The friendship collective

Sometimes it takes losing a friendship to remind you of the value of fabulous friends.

We have so many different types of friends in our lives. There are those who have always been there and always will. You may not speak to them all the time, sometimes go months between conversations if you live far apart. But they would be there if you needed them and you for them. A bond that remains strong at all times and pulls close only sometimes.

There are those who are new, and passionate and strong. Not in the romantic sense, but in the sharing of an interest, child or simply newly found common ground. You can’t wait to see them and see them often.

There are those who have been with you through the test of time. It may be through adolescence, through a loss, through relationships gains or breakups (isn’t it is funny how sometimes a new relationship tests a friendship more than the ending of one?), through marriage and children, sometimes when they don’t or can’t have children of their own; standing beside you and you beside them, sharing your lives together through friendship.

And then there are those that are transitional. Really important to you or to them at a point in time. But one day the friendship seems to have passed. Sociologists suggest that this type of friendship starts at the end of our schooling, sometimes at university. We learn to manage our expectation of certain friends, in certain ways, knowing that we may not be “friends forever”. It continues into adult life and becomes a challenge when the expectation of one friend falls into a different category than the other. This type of friendship intrigues me as much as it upsets me. As an adult I have certainly had my share of unexpected “unfriending” (and not just on Facebook). For me, it causes introspection, a questioning of what that friendship meant to me, whether I did something wrong or if it was simply transitional.

It also gives me the chance to reflect on all my friends. Those mentioned above and in all the other shapes and forms that form friendships. It reminds me to say thanks and to be appreciative as well as appreciated by those who I love.

Have you experienced transitional friends? And who have I missed? What makes up your friendship collective?

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