“Hey, I Know You!” The Ease and Comfort of Forever Friendships
What’s one of the best things about having an awesome friend? Someone you’ve known for a while, or forever? No explanations are needed, often. Recently I was talking to one of these friends, telling her a story, and felt the ease in our communication. No windy run-up to laying out the situation was needed. No need to pause and ask:”Do you know what I mean?”
Sure she knows what I mean! We’ve probably logged a million hours of chit-chat with each other during the course of our lives.
In other words, connecting with a dear friend is easy relief because we know each other so well.
This friend in particular and I even have a funny phrase we use when one of us is giving too much detail or information while telling a story: No preface needed! This signals to the other that you can pretty much launch dive into the main event without wasting tons of words on backstory beforehand. (Unless, of course, you feel like it.) Without laying out the cast of characters. Without translations. It’s nice. It’s familiar. It’s comforting in a world that can sometimes feel alien.
But these fit-like-a-glove camaraderies don’t happen overnight.
The reason that the pathway to creating solid new friendships can feel lonely or arduous is due to the required, inevitable investment of time that is needed to sew the bonds of a forever friendship. To get to know one another. To get to the No Preface Needed state.
When you were in school, you were forced to be there every day, for hours and hours. Same with jobs. That’s why so many of our strongest friendships were produced at school or at work, where we put in tons of face time with our new friend. Where we sewed those bonds that are hard to unravel with time or distance.
These are the friendships that stick around, these are the people who spring to mind when you’re feeling horrible or sad, or joyous or are falling in love. Without thinking you reach for your phone and call her, thinking “Please answer, please answer!”
Alternately, it becomes harder to sew fledgling bonds of friendship into full-blown, forever friends if you only see each other periodically. After all, you’ve got work, family, this and that and everything else to deal with. Spending time with new friends gets pushed to the bottom of the heap, and it’s easy for these light bonds to disintegrate.
So—What’s all this got to do with you?
Here are a few tidbits of friendship advice to maintain the bonds of forever friends, and help you solidify new friendships…
❧Think about those with whom you’ve recently established a strong basis of friendship. Check in with them. Spend time with them. Don’t let them go. They’re gold.
❧Exception to the guideline above: Not all friendships are meant to last forever. Bad things happen. Realizations happen. A breakup, though not easy, might be in order.
❧Let’s say you’ve met some great ladies recently. Congratulations! Pinpoint 2-3 of these gals who you think are great candidates for turning into friends of the No Preface Needed type. Prioritize connecting and spending time with them. Forging a full-blown forever friendship requires a certain amount of hours spent together. It’s inescapable. It’s great. You’ll have fun.
❧If you’re a girl reading this, you might be wondering why I keep referring to your friends as Shes. After all, can’t girls be friends with boys? Sure they can. Only boys can’t be friends with girls, unless the boy happens to like boys, or the boy is someone you’ve known since you wore knee socks, and therefore has earned a kind of grand-fathered friendship status. Some other exceptions exist, and I’ve been scribbling them about in a forthcoming book.
❧Finally: Be grateful right now for your No Preface Needed, forever friends. You might have one, you might have a dozen. Congratulations. Tell them what a lucky sob you are to have met them.