Friendship is the union of spirits, a marriage of hearts, and the bond thereof virtue
Friendship is an interesting dynamic. It involves two people who gather around a common interest such as sports, school, or religion. What happens when the dynamics change through marriage, death, or other friends? Can a friendship survive change?
Acquaintance: knowledge of a person acquired by a relationship less intimate than friendship
Friendship: A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts
Bond: A uniting force or tie; a link
The terms people use to define relationships can be confusing to many. A person that you start talking to in the grocery line is a not a friend or acquaintance, but a stranger. Where the confusion comes in is when people start defining people they just met as friends. Maybe part of it is not knowing what to refer to them as in introductions to others, but mostly it is the misuse of the word.
Stages of Friendship
1. The introduction (Acquaintance): This is when the individuals meet. It could be through a mutual acquaintance, a team, work, or some other avenue. Most relationships never move beyond this stage. It is casual. They pretty much just know someone’s name or face.
2. Bonding: Some friendships form when people meet together, and they make the effort to get to know each other. Meetings, planning, sports are the major contributors to forming bonds. People can click around a cause or event. Clicking means they can go beyond the name to information about the person. It may just center on what they are involved in, at first, but real bonding takes place outside of the context that originally created the introduction.
” A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
– Arabian Proverb
This is where people get to know each other’s lives, thoughts, dreams, etc. It is where people get to know each other more intimately. Friendships have their own dynamics. They can be close, but they always start with the surface stuff to establish trust. Trust needs to be earned. Boundaries are set or considered obsolete. No, one walks around saying, “here are the boundaries in our relationship” except on TV. Boundaries just become a part of the dynamics, though sometimes the boundaries have to change. Every relationship needs some healthy boundaries. Also, based on the type of friendship people will get to know their limits. Is this a friend that just wants to party, or someone who wants to be a part of your life? There is a difference between those types of relationships.
4. Close Friends: This is hard to define except to say that it is mutual. The two involved know what they can expect from each other. It could be help in times of trouble to emotional support while going through a divorce. The important thing to note is that each friendship is different, and should not be compared to another relationship. Nothing will kill a relationship faster than constantly being compared to another person.
How do you know you know you are close friends?
A. You know each other well.
B. You can count on them to help when needed.
C. You communicate easily.
D. There is a bond, almost familial in nature.
E. They enjoy each other’s company
1. Lack of time
3. Change in relationship due to marriage, distance, or fallout.
4. Controlling behaviors
Growing a friendship
Friendships take work. No relationship can just coast its way into intimacy. Some say that they take almost as much work as a marriage. Friendship is a choice that two people make, but both people have to agree to keep it going. One of the main complaints that people have is feeling left aside when the other person starts a relationship with the opposite sex.
One of the best displays of friendship is the friends on the Sex and the City TV show. The relationships were balanced and honest. There was little jealousy toward each other, because they learned to include each other in events.
Ending a Friendship
There may come a time when a friendship must end. The reasons may be as simple as growing apart to the more complex fighting over a lover. Make no mistake about it, ending a friendship is as close to a divorce as one can get without being married. How does a person end a friendship and maintain their dignity? Do they talk it out or just stop taking calls from the person? Well, it depends on how close the relationship was. If it was a close friendship then there should be some closure for both people’s sake. There may need to be forgiveness even if the two do not agree on what to forgive. Forgiveness sets the parties free. Concerning forgiveness, if the problem that caused the split was so egregious that being in the same room would cause emotional or physical harm, then it can be done at home in the heart. The example that comes to mind is having your dog bite you; once you get away, you will forgive it, but will you put your hand its mouth to make sure it will not bite?
The smart thing is to walk away clean. Whatever caused the end should not become a factor in future relationships. One episode of Frasier really pointed this out. He was trying to figure out why he could not maintain his relationships with women. A great revelation came to him when he discovered that he was carrying around the hurt that other women had caused him. When he was able to release the hurt, he was able to pursue a healthy relationship.
Friendships are great when two individuals make the choice to love each other, prove their self to be trustworthy, and support each other through life’s up’s and down’s.
The bond that many women share can cause jealousy from other women and sometimes-male companions, but a true relationship always maintains a balance with others.
Sometimes people will part ways, but the best effort should be made to handle it with grace and dignity. Hurt should not be the only memory that a person walks away from a relationship with.
The only way to have a friend is to be one.