A Different Kind of Boat

Friends. We (almost) all have them. They share in many aspects of our lives, as we share in theirs. But a question crept up on me the other day: what really makes a friendship? What forges these connections? What is it that bonds us together as friends?

Is it the time that you shared in the past? Like getting to know each other through school? I have friends that share nothing in my life today, but with whom I had close experiences with in the past -- school, work, whatever. And today, I have very limited correspondence with them -- maybe once a month or so, and short spurts at that. What is it that keeps me feeling like their are still close to my heart? Is it just the history of our crossing paths? Because there are many people who have come into my life and left just as abruptly, and I wouldn't think of them anywhere near the "friend" status.

Or how about friendships borne from some common experiences you are going through? Like a support group, or moving from Canada to the Bay Area, for instance. I certainly have some of those (though a lot more are simply acquaintances, really). I rarely see most of them, and some of them I barely even talk to. But when I do, it's like there isn't much distance between us, even if I don't necessarily know what's going on in their lives. (Imagine a continual game of catch-up.)

Or can friendships come from just the convenience of repeatedly being in the same place at the same time? What is it that welds our paths together in spot points?


Kevin Cheng said...

I have people I consider to be the best of friends whom I knew for a very short period of time. It's quite intangible really. Sometimes you have the strongest bonds that you feel could never break and they end quite abruptly, others you never expected happen. Really ... not very different from significant other relationships is it?

Anonymous said...

I guess it depends on what you are looking for in these friendships. I don't necessarily need my "best friend" to know hte play by play of my mundane life. My friends know my heart and I can tell them anything out of the blue and know they will listen and be honest and non judgemental. KT

Anonymous said...

Friends play different roles in your life. some you party with, some you connect with, some you confine in and some you play sports or share hobbies with. I find my highschool friends are usually the only ones that fulfill all those roles.

Thoughts said...

I think the friends that you feel close to your heart are the ones that you experienced similar things with and bonded through the experience. With your Bay Area friends, you may have the same experiences but if you never really sat down and got to know each other and bonded and was each others support I don't think you would feel that they are close to your heart. A close friend doesn't necessarily mean that you have to talk to them often, a friend is someone you can count on no matter what and vice versa.