“Friendship is love minus sex and plus reason. Love is friendship plus sex and minus reason.” -Mason Cooley
We all have what we call ‘friends.’ They come in a wide variety and for a whole different set of reasons.
With some friends we share movies, with others, we share lots of experiences, with some we share a history, and with others we share our deepest feelings. It has been said that to test a friend for how close they are to you, ask to borrow money!
That may or may not be the true test.
We choose our close friends because we share much in common with them; they are like us.
Sometimes we choose friends who are like mentors and teach us stuff. They can be like a parent or grandparent, teacher, or just anyone who was close to us. These are not ‘equal’ friendships.
When I counseled parents who didn’t like their children’s friends my first comment was that they needed to take a good look at their child as we all choose people who make us feel comfortable about ourselves. We like those with similar background because we speak the same language and have similar experiences, and are usually of the same social class. We think alike.
It is only through time and experience that those of us who mature and are comfortable in the world have friends who are different from us. Then we can expand our horizons and accept the new vistas they open up for us. It is only narrow insecure people who only bother or hang around with carbon copies of themselves.
Some people are really not confident and today have ‘friends’ on-line and never meet. That is a world unto itself.
During teen years the peer group has more influence than any other. Kids want to ‘fit in.’
As adults we have to decide whom to trust. Who can know our faults as well as our virtues? Who can we trust with our secrets? Will they still think well of us?
Most people have had some bad experiences with so called, ‘friends.’ They have been betrayed or their confidence in them has been broken. That is always painful and makes for a lack of trusting again.
Friendship is tested during difficult, and unhappy times. Who sticks with you?
Competition and betrayal are not uncommon. Some competition can occur and friendships can continue; others cannot.
It is always kind of sad when you have shared a friendship and it ends. It is not unlike losing a sort of love. Reasons can vary and maybe you end it or they decide not to continue to be friends. Often one or another ‘outgrows’ the friend. Sometimes a love partner doesn’t like your friend and that makes it difficult. Sometimes the reason for the friendship changes. If it is true friendship, not unlike love, it will withstand any time or distance. You will forgive hurts and communicate your feelings.
Women use friends differently than men. Women talk and share feelings. Guys talk and do things together, but don’t usually share feelings. Actually friendship is a good testing ground for true love at some point. Many of the same elements that make for love are contained in friendship. It’s sort of like having a puppy helps prepare you for being a parent!!
The most famous betrayal of friendship is found in the words,” Et tu Brute’”
The phrase is from Shakespeare’s play. It is supposed to be the last words of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, (the 15th), in 44B.C. when he was assassinated.
Marcus Brutus was like a son to him and Caesar sponsored him politically. When members of the Senate decided to kill Caesar Brutus was among them and Caesar said,” You too, Brutus?”
We have many acquaintances; people we know from a wide variety of sources, but most people in a lifetime have only one or two real friends. There is a theory that men and women cannot be close friends. Maybe that’s true, but maybe it isn’t.
Like everything else in life we need time, and testing, and experience to find a FRIEND!
“Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.” – Oscar Wilde