Friendship – you can’t measure it but you sure as hell know when you’re missing it. I heard about a speed-friendship service in Dublin and thought it was a fantastic idea. It gets harder and harder to make new friends as we get older, finding someone with shared interests who you “click” with is no mean feat. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to move to a new city and find yourself friendless. So kudos to the organisers and participants at Meet-Up for their initiative and smarts.
(See seemeetup.com/Speedfriending-Ireland for information)
I read recently that middle-aged married men are more likely to have no friends than to have even one close friend. This saddened me (the photo associated with the article of a man sitting alone with what looked like a TV dinner had its desired effect); and I started running a mental check-list of my husband’s friends. He’s not middle-aged yet but being married and male, it sounds like the friendship odds aren’t in his favour. He didn’t do too badly and there are the same names steadfastly hanging in there, putting up with him as long as I have. And reassuringly some newer buddies have joined the ranks over the years.
My 5 year old daughter loves her friends, and even at her young age has two or three little pals that have maintained close bonds with since she was 1. I also heard that the friends you make before the age of 7 aren’t lasting friendships, while I agree that some friends will come and go at a young age I don’t think this is a hard and fast rule. I can see some of these little girls sticking around for the long haul. Newer friends have been added since she started school but she is quite diplomatic about listing “best friends” and basically including everyone.
So it was time to think about my friends. I don’t have one big gang of girls who are all close friends with each other too. I have a fantastic network of amazing women who I have met from different places over the years, some stretching back as far as primary school. Everyone brings something unique and special to the friendship table. And I love that I am still making new friends when the right friendship spark is ignited.
I would be lost without my friends. I have different friends for different situations and purposes (that sounds quite calculating but you know what I mean, there’s the friend who also loves the Gilmore Girls so gets the references, the one who also has a small baby up all night too for those late night texts, the one from work etc.). I might not see them all regularly, but regular contact is maintained whether that is on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. We touch base and feel happy that the lines of communication are left open and all is well in the world.
So to all my wonderful friends, thank you. Thank you for being there and for allowing me to be me. I only hope I give as much back to you as you give me. I know friendship is a two way street but at times the traffic in one direction is busier than the other, but it all evens out.
Life without good friends would be a very desolate place indeed so reach out and contact that friend you feel you’re losing touch with. We can never have too many good friends so don’t let one slip away!