Friendship is important, but… Throughout life, for a variety of reasons, friendships come and go. People move, interests change, and misunderstandings occur. Illness, accidents, and other causes can take lives. Losing a good friend can be devastating—especially if you are overly dependent upon the relationship—which is why it’s so important to cultivate and maintain friendships.
What’s more, friendships are important for your health.
Over the years, I’ve lost many friends. But at the same time, I’ve managed to hold on to and cultivate a few great ones. Sometimes, friendships develop without much effort. We discover common interests and become and remain besties for decades. Other times, we meet someone and it takes a while to grow the connection. However the initial bond occurs, true friendships endure the test of time, life’s inevitable ups and downs, and even the occasional disagreements. What is it that keeps a great friendship—especially those with girlfriends— alive?
What makes a friendship last?
As a woman of a certain age, I’ve looked back at some of my more significant friendships and in hindsight see the glue that has made these relationships last. Hopefully, some of the things that have worked for me will help you do the same.
1. When you’re with someone whose company you enjoy, appreciate the time you spend together. Acknowledge the importance of the friendship to yourself and to the other person. Let friends know they are a significant part of your life.
2. Make time to be with people who interest you and whose company you enjoy. Reach out and invite new, potentially interesting women into your social circle. Be open to developing new friendships.
3. Be happy for a friend’s successes and opportunity to move on. Accept that change is an inevitable part of life. If someone is important to you, figure out ways to keep in touch regardless of where they live.
4. If a friend hurts your feelings, talk about it as soon as you can. There’s a good chance she doesn’t know that her words or actions hurt you.
5. Be the kind of friend you want to have. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated, and more than anything, choose friends who share your values.
Friendships are an essential part of having a joyful, fulfilling life. And let’s face it: the energy generated when women are together is a powerful and enriching force.