How long do friendships last?

bathing-suitsHow long have you had certain friends? Do you have any from childhood? This was a Good Question the other night and I found it fascinating. I’ve got one friend, Kerry, that I’ve seemed to know all my life. Since 1st grade. I haven’t seen her in many years but we do talk quite often. What’s so funny about this friend is there is no “pretending” to be anything that I’m not. It’s almost like we get right back in our groove. She knows the “me” from then to the “me” now. She’s really the only non family member who came to see me when I had both my boys in the hospital. When I had other things wrong, important things, she’s always been there. I could call her right now and talk to her for an hour. Even though we don’t see each other “in person” very often. She lives in AZ and I live in MN and it just doesn’t happen often that we are both in the same place at the same time.

This news story talked to many people and listening to the high school kids was kind of funny the way they said they were going to be friends for-EVA!!! Sadly that just doesn’t happen very often. Every once in a while it does but not very often unless neither of you ever move from where you grew up. That was another thing they talked about: location.

Location seems to be key to early friendships but not so much in lifelong friendships. If you really know someone and are really good friends, it didn’t seem to mar the friendship. They said they traced people’s friendships for 7 years and 30% of the participants stayed friends.

One more thing that was really emphasized was a lot of people misuse the word “friendship” and the word they really should be using is “acquaintance.” A lot of people consider a lot of people they just know, as friends. One man first said when asked that he had “tons” of friends and the interviewer then asked things like do you go to dinner and get together at each other’s houses and the man just looked blank and said “no, nothing like that” and then he said maybe he had a few friends.

So, do you have many lifelong friends? How many friends would you say you have? I do have to say, I don’t have “that” many friends. I have a whole lot of acquaintances that I’d do anything for but when I need to vent about something really lame and dumb, there are only a few people that I’d feel comfortable to call.

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23 Responses to How long do friendships last?

  1. Sue says:

    I have quite a few people I would call friends, but many more I’d call acquaintance. My long time friends are those from elementary/high school. I’m still friends with a girl that I’ve known since I was 4! My group of friends gets together once a month to have dinner and catch up with everyone…aka hear all the gossip! I’m so glad we do it and it helps keep in touch with people.

  2. I have only a few close, best friends, that have been my friends for the better part of my adult life. They are like brothers to me. There not many but I like it like that.

  3. SKL says:

    I don’t have any friends who have been there since I was little – unless you count siblings. We moved when I was 12 and in those days, there just wasn’t any way to keep up with each other. Then my Jr High / HS / college friends pretty much came and went. There are some people I still consider friends who were adults when I was a kid, but they are not “close.”

    My closest long-term friend has been my best friend for 20 years now. A couple of guys whom I dated around 15 years ago are still good friends, as are some folks I met through work around 15 years ago. These are folks (total about 6 or 8) whom I could still talk to about anything and they would accept me as I am, tell me off roundly, and pull me out of whatever muck I might be in. Besides them, I have plenty of “fair weather friends” but most would not really “be there” for me if I got in a bind.

  4. javajunkee says:

    I have had the same bff since we were both about 7. So over 40 years we’ve been best friends. We’ve gone through good times and bad. And I wouldn’t change her for the world. I get her and she gets me. We’ve had our share of fights but we get over it and yeah…that’s how it is.

  5. javajunkee says:

    oh btw she lives maybe 2 miles from me and we text , email, farm, gossip, etc together all the time

  6. holeycheese says:

    I have one friend from the age of six. We’ve always been best friends since then.. and are still.
    And then there is one more from around age of ten..

  7. I had a very good friend once. We were really close. But when we entered high school, we drifted apart. Even though we see each other every day, we pretended not to know each other.

    Years ago, when we were still friends, I had thought that we will remain friends for the rest of our lives. We talked about doing things in the future together when we are adults. Wa talked about college, cars, big houses and marriage.

    I didn’t anticipate that our relationship would last so short. It happen so suddenly, no arguments, no fights, no nothing.

    Just a sudden broken friendship.

    • Joy says:

      That’s sad. I wonder what happened.

    • Laura says:

      Anonymously, I had the exact same thing happen to me! Linda and I became friends somewhere in late grade-school, early middle school. We did *everything* together, from fishing vacations in summer, to ice skating in the winter. We had the same passion for the same band, and shared pics of our favorite movie stars. Yeah, all that middle-school-girlie stuff. But we were tomboys, too, and we had great fun. We planned our futures together, looking toward college and being roommates. We wanted to get into law enforcement, and join the FBI!!

      But then, something happened one summer in high school. All of a sudden, she wouldn’t talk to me, or our other friend (we were like the Three Musketeers – always together). We went to different high schools, but I was at HER school every day for band practice (I went to a satellite school), and saw her all the time. She never said a word to me. Suddenly she was BFFs with some other girl, and there was no room for her old friends. We were tossed aside like an old shoe. It was very hurtful.

      To this day, that other friend and I are like sisters. And to this day, we have no idea whatever happened with Linda. It was like she went into a room and shut the door, locking it behind her. And we were cut completely from her life.

      • Yeah, our situations are totally alike! You and Laura were in band, my ‘ex-friend’ and I are in the same class! Our seats are arranged and we’re only 2 feet apart, but we won’t even talk nor look at each other.

        I can only regret these kinds of things. I had wished to reconcile but I didn’t know what went wrong, so it was useless.

  8. Laura says:

    I have two “best” friends. One, I’ve known since fifth grade, and the other, I met our freshman year in high school. We’ve been through it all…. two of us have married, and relocated multiple times, through Illinois, Indiana, Texas, and finally Iowa. She’s in Indiana now. One of us has lost both parents and moved to Alaska. One of us has a ‘picture perfect’ marriage, one of us has problems. One of us has had serious health problems. One of us has dealt with addiction and disability. And yet, I can call either one of these ‘girls’ at any time, day or night, and know they will be there. And they can do the same with me. The hardest thing for all of us, I think, is that we are so far apart. They don’t know each other too well, but for me, they are my rocks. The only thing that would be better is if they were friends, too, and we all lived near one another. But who knows? Perhaps then, we wouldn’t be such good friends. As much as I miss them, sometimes I think they’re where they are for a reason.

    My family is my other ‘circle’. My brothers, as much as they drive me crazy, are like best friends, as well. And my parents. I don’t tell them *quite* as much as I tell my two girlfriends, but I can unload most of my troubles on them and they are great sounding boards… doling out advice and abuse in equal terms. Gotta love family!

  9. starlaschat says:

    I had a few bbf’s Ive moved a fair amount in my Life. When I moved to Montana I met a good friend we were fast friends and stayed friends until recently she joined a wacky spiritual thing. I didn’t like feeling pressured and I didn’t think that it was really fair. I’d say she kind of ditched me, because her one focus was her new spiritual interests. It was sad, and than I started blogging and am grateful for that. I do have a couple of local female friends and Navars close friend Tim I would consider a really good friend.

  10. Most people move in and out of our lives for a reason. Most of the time we’re not aware of the reason until much later.

    The one common denominator I see in these comments is everyone says they had a specific friends since early youth. That’s telling, isn’t it?

    Joy, if I may, I’d like to take this tack on my blog. I hadn’t any idea what my next post would be about until I read this. My old friends from school are just like everyone elses . . . they’ve all since moved on.

    And yet the memories remain stong and vital.

  11. kweenmama says:

    I have three friends that have remained close with me since we were in elementary school. Those are the “oldest” friends I have. When I went through my divorce I developed close friendships with a few people and they remain my dear friends even though I have remarried and moved on.

    What a great topic!

  12. nikki says:

    I moved around way too much to keep any close relationships with my grade school friends. I have a few I went to high school with in Sacramento but only talk to once in awhile on Facebook. I have one friend, I met when I was 15, we still talk everyday. But there were a couple years we didn’t because of unfortunate circumstances.
    In my everyday life I’d say I have a good handful of great friends who I know are always there for me. 2 that I can be my complete self with, no pretending, just be our crazy selfs!! I wish I had LIFE time friends, I want that for my son. That’s why I refuse to move him out of the school he’s in. I never had that, one school, same friends my whole life. A lot of people that I know in this town have been friends since preschool. I love that and I envy it, I fit in just fine but I don’t have the history they have.
    I’ve lost a lot of friends, and I have gained great ones. I have many acquaintances, but my motto for friendship is….”Go deep not wide”

  13. pammywammy says:

    I have had many friends in my life.It was like they were only in my life for a season,and they did bring something wonderful to my life,then one of us moved and we tried to keeep in touch and never did.Since I moved to were I am now,I have made many friends.But finally I believe I have made 2 true blue buddies.I am and always have been the real me with them.And if I wear a mask in front of them,they no.They stand by me no matter what and vise versa.We get busy in life,dont see each other for weeks at a time.Yet when we do get back together,its like we just continue on.We are very comfortable in our relationships.I FINALLY found the never ending bond of friends.

  14. Just a Mom says:

    I have been friends with my best friend since 5th grade. She was from New York and moved to Texas the summer before 5th grade and we have been like family ever since. Her family moved back north when we were going into 10th grade but we managed to stay really close. I can call her at any time and pick up just like that.
    Other than that I have a bunch of acquaintances.

  15. Tosha says:

    I have about 6 good friends. 4 of them i’d do anything for. 1 is more l ike my sister than my friend. We’ve been friends for 15 years now. She jokes that we are really soul mates and are meant to be together for ever.. We’ve been through hard times and we don’t agree on much but we have this connection that is unlike any i’ve had before. She is more like family to me than my own family.

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