Friendship sometimes is a harder relationship to maintain than a romantic relationship.
Your friends are the people who are supposed to be there through the best of times and the worst of times; the people who will be in your wedding; the people who will be there when you have your first baby. When you’re 18 you think that the friends you make in high school will still be your friends after college and even when you start adulting in the real world, but the truth of the matter is, we don’t really know much of anything about ‘real friends’ at 18. If I could give the 18-year-old me advice about real friendship, here’s what I’d say.
1. Most of the friends you have now won’t be there in a few years.
Contrary to popular belief, most of the friends you make in high school won’t be your friends in a few years. After high school, many of you will go your separate ways and will begin writing a completely new chapter of your life. You’ll meet a ton of new people and you’ll lose contact with a lot of the people you knew in school. You won’t lose contact with everyone, but a good deal of them will become nothing more than an associate or someone you used to know. If it weren’t for social media, you would never hear from or see most of them again.
2. Real friends can talk to each other once in a blue moon and still be thick as thieves.
Although you will lose contact with some of the people you may have considered friends in high school, real friendship can stand the test of time. You don’t have to speak to a real friend every day or every week for the friendship to remain as strong as it was when the two of you saw each other every day. You two will still adore each other no matter the distance or time apart. That’s real friendship.
3. Your mom and/or dad is definitely a real friend.
As an adult, I realize my mom is literally the best friend I have. I can talk to her about anything. When I was 18 I wouldn’t dare talk to my mom about sex, but now I can. It might not be sex, but you’ll learn as you get older that the things you wouldn’t think to confide in your parents about when you’re 18, you will definitely be able to confide in them about when you’re older.
4. Quality not quantity.
Two great friends are better than 10 phony ones. Period, point blank. It’s never about how many friends you have, but more about the quality of those individuals and the friendship that you share.
5. Time doesn’t make you friends, loyalty does.
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll still be friends with a few of the people you met in high school when you get older, but you’ll also meet new friends along the way. Time is not what makes you real friends. You can be friends with someone for three months and it can be the most genuine friendship you’ve known, even compared to a friendship you’ve had for six years. It’s all about being loyal and genuine.
6. A real friend’s loyalty is not circumstantial.
A real friend is not loyal based on circumstances. They are loyal to you and the friendship you all share regardless of the situation. They don’t judge you when you make mistakes. They don’t sell you out. They don’t talk behind your back. They don’t tear you down when you’re having a rough moment. A real friend constantly builds you up and always has your back in your absence. I’m not saying that they won’t get mad at you occasionally, but it won’t be worth sacrificing the friendship for.
Real friends are hard to come by and when you can recognize that you’ve found one, cherish them. You need real friends to help you take on the many challenges you’ll face in your walk of life. Foster the relationship and make sure your real friends know just how much you appreciate them.