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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I mean, the day-to-day friends who you practically see everyday without making an effort to do so.

I'm sure that many of us have one or two close special friends whom we can talk to or who'd be there for us in a phone call. Or some long lost nostalgic high school group or similar group from a bygone era. Or other people you try to keep in contact with...

But I'm talking about the people physically in our lives at the moment (see them around, be it at school, work, other place you frequent, etc. or they just simply live in the neighbourhood) - of those currently existing in your life and you consider friends, what is the longest that you have held a friendship* with them for?

*Facebook friends don't count :tongue: (if you have Facebook at all)- I'm talking about more than acquaintances ... 'real' friends, people whom you enjoy their company and can have meaningful conversations with.

For me, I would say 3 years - had a change of scenery since 2009, I'm just thawing a little, but I'm actually planning to move overseas in under a year!
 

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I have noticed a bit of a pattern in my life. Friends tend to cycle in and cycle right back out.

I have roughly 4 "depths" of friendship. On the outer edge (those that see more my caricature than me) are the acquaintances and coworkers you mention. We may tell jokes, or even share an interest (such as computrons) but these friendships were never designed for longevity. These come and go with the wind. Beyond that layer is the friends I get 1 on 1 with and may hang out with. They end up knowing more about me as a person, my likes and dislikes, and we may get a little "deep." Often the "closeness" of this depth isn't always personal, usually linked to a greater common interest or something like that. These usually cycle out in ~2 years time. The third depth is the truly close friend/best friend. I have only had one of these and those circumstances were so not normal, it is hard quantify. We did/are drifting despite all but they knew me more than anyone. I wasn't 100% open with them (some things reserved for an SO) but they were my rock while they were here. While our "friendship" spanned 9 years, we were only talking/close for maybe 3 or 4 of those throughout. The final layer I reserve as the SO layer, the completely open and vulnerable layer. I have never had this so this layer is entirely hypothetical for me.

I have noticed the cycle and watch it happen. Some I am OK with cycling out, others I try to keep in my life but fail. It honestly feels like some cosmic cycle in my life I have no control over because I have tried to stop it or certain people. I have tried to detect causes but I can't seem to figure it out.
 

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I've been painfully bad at maintaining the friendships I made in school, and I think that's probably because my friends were so different from me. Every time I switched school I switched friends (so 3-5 year intervals mostly), and when I tried to stay in touch with the old group it always seemed a bit forced... We just had nothing to talk about without the common experience of going to school together. My friends from elementary school grew up to be party girls. My friends from high school aren't very academic either, and even though we had tons of fun in school, we don't have many shared interests now. I also moved to a different city from all of my friends, which doesn't make things easier. I guess I could say I've been friends with some people from high school for 6 years now, though we rarely see each other anymore.
 

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I can relate to what @ohnoezitsjoez and @Coil have written. Currently, I don't have any actual friends besides my brother, whose my best friend. I have professors that I trust and consider mentors. I have classmates and acquaintances and coworkers. I suspect most of these relationships will end once this semesters over. I probably will keep in touch with my mentors every once in a while, but I know that once we're at different universities things won't be the same.

When I was in grade school, I had two close friends at different times, but our friendship never really existed outside school. The first one moved to a different school. The second friend came to my school after the first one left. Though after the first year of being friends I felt like I was always struggling to "protect" our friendship from other people. These people wanted to be friends with him, but they didn't want to be friends with me, and it really felt like it was inevitable that I would lose him as a friend to other people. It was a really strange feeling, like I was just acting out a pre-ordained plan and there was nothing I could do.

The more open I was about what I was experiencing I think the less he wanted to be my friend. Also I remember trying to explain to this kid why the people who wanted to hang out with him were bad people and would only get him into trouble. Thinking back now I guess the way I went about things probably did freak him out, especially since we were only in the 5th grade.
 

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But I'm talking about the people physically in our lives at the moment (see them around, be it at school, work, other place you frequent, etc. or they just simply live in the neighbourhood) - of those currently existing in your life and you consider friends, what is the longest that you have held a friendship* with them for?
Maybe I am just reading this wrong, because I used to move like crazy, but wouldn't that depend on how long you are at that physical place? Is this a "how often do you move" question? Or are you asking if we keep them around after we're no longer sharing the same physical location?
 

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Until they start to develop brown spots, liquify, and attract fruit flies...no, wait, that's bananas. As far as my non-online friends goes, I gradually drifted away from the friends I had in high school. Joining the military was the nail in the coffin. We just had less and less in common, and I was away for so long. I made some really close friends in the military with whom I still maintain contact. These are the type of friends that I can see once every few years and have be as if we never parted.
 

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I have three friends from high school with whom I keep relatively good contact; we occasionally hang out when our schedules allow, and I reckon I'll be seeing two of them within a month's time. I have a few handful of others I consider close to me as well, but I hardly ever really see these friends mainly due to geographical distance. All in all, however, I don't speak to even my closest friends on a consistent basis, and I've gotten used to this because I also realize that conversing often with people is not a strong suit of mine. Last year, three major friendships of mine withered away, and I believe that was for the best for each person involved, myself included, but I still think of these individuals and wish the best in life for them and hold open the possibility of us reconnecting in the future should our paths naturally cross again. Guess there's a season for friendships; some renew season-after-season, and others don't, but regardless, I consider myself fortunate for having met and befriended these individuals at some point in my life.
 

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Well, the friends you're talking about are co-workers of mine that I've known forever. So, I see them like 5 days out of the week, lol. Sometimes, I see them more, sometimes less. But it's not exactly difficult to keep in touch. I've known most of them since I started working there, so for almost 3 years now. And I'll continue to keep in touch until either I or they stop working there. *shrug*

I've never lost or left a friendship though. I'm sure friends on the other end of that feel they've either lost or left being friends with me, because I tend to go off the grid for long periods of time. But anytime I catch up with a friend, from my perspective, it's like we haven't lost any time or whatever. I need very little to fill my social quota (especially with my current job as cashier). I'm extremely introverted.
 

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I have had a total of 3 friends in my life, 2 of which are my best & none of which I talk to regularly. But the love is never lost and we can always reunite and have deep talk and connection. These were school friends. But since then, I've gained none, and not really looking. None are worthy, or at least they are worthy, but for someone else's life. :) #chosey
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe I am just reading this wrong, because I used to move like crazy, but wouldn't that depend on how long you are at that physical place? Is this a "how often do you move" question? Or are you asking if we keep them around after we're no longer sharing the same physical location?
It's related but not really.

I'm asking that, of people living in reasonably close physical proximity to you so that you would bump into each other every now and then, what is the longest that you have been friends with them for?

So if you move around a lot, that would obviously have a bearing on how long you have been friends with the people around you (I'm not counting friends that you stay in contact with despite the distances between you guys).

Re: keeping friends after no longer sharing the same physical location - feel free to elaborate on the topic of keeping friends after moving away regardless if you think it'll be interesting! :)
 

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I'm terrible at keeping friends mostly because I stop talking to them, and move on with my life and never see each other again. At the moment I have no friends, and it doesn't really bother me, but I believe that some day that feeling is going to come and kick me in the butt when I find myself not only alone but lonely as well.
 

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I have friends because they are convenient. Either they are related, they're coworkers, or they're classmates.
I don't do it purposely that way, but unfortunately I just really suck at keeping friends without needing to see them.
I didn't really see that in myself until I graduated highschool, lost all of my highschool best friends, and then became friends with whomever I was working with at the time...those of whom I would lose touch with as soon as I quit my job.
Right now I consider my best friend to be my husband, and my other friends to be my brother, mom, and cousins. (Sad, right?)
I'm also trying to reconnect with one highschool friend. Trying to nip this habit in the bud.

So, to answer the question, not long. Not long at all.
 
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If they're friends I have at school... They usually drift away once we don't have classes together or don't see each other.

The only friends I really have kept for a while that have meant a great deal to me are all on this site.
 

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I have friends because they are convenient. Either they are related, they're coworkers, or they're classmates.
I don't do it purposely that way, but unfortunately I just really suck at keeping friends without needing to see them.
I didn't really see that in myself until I graduated highschool, lost all of my highschool best friends, and then became friends with whomever I was working with at the time...those of whom I would lose touch with as soon as I quit my job.
Right now I consider my best friend to be my husband, and my other friends to be my brother, mom, and cousins. (Sad, right?)
I'm also trying to reconnect with one highschool friend. Trying to nip this habit in the bud.

So, to answer the question, not long. Not long at all.
I so totally understand where you are coming from.
 

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A piece of (circumstance-dependent) wisdom from my mom: you don't really make friends in school.

She's talking about high school there specifically. Older people generally tell me that their real life-long friends are from college days and beyond.

In my personal situation, friendship is something I'm understanding less and less of with each passing day. I've known my awesome high school friends since middle school (two of them were from elementary school actually). I call them awesome because they are smart, motivated, honorable, and it's kind of a pity that college flings us across the country. I guess being in a program made sticking with the same people in school easier. Not to mention we shared similar academic interests and future goals. But I also felt very isolated from these people I call friends. We didn't have time to hang out much, and our daily conversations almost always stayed clear of the heart. In short, many forces kept us from really connecting with each other.

But that doesn't mean I value them any less than what the best things in my life deserve. I just am aware that these friendships generally aren't meant to be planted deeply. Kind of like sharing a long drive on the interstate with some other cars going the same direction as you. At one point, all of your paths will diverge. In the same way I feel an odd distance in the sense that if someone tells me I will never see these friends again, I probably won't cry my eyes out about it. Perhaps I spent way too much time with them in school. I tend to get tired of the same scenery.
 

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I've only got a couple of close friends who I'll always do my best to keep in touch with and who I feel a bond with. I have friends I've known a long time and friends who are in my classes at the moment, but they aren't close. They're just kind of people I occasionally see.

In answer to the question: I tend to vaguely keep in contact with people around me at the moment (at university) but I don't put much effort in as there's no one I really, really want to see here. My close friends are at other universities and I make a point of trying to see them, because I care for them.
 

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Because I am a long time military wife, things haven't worked out as planned, but--I tend to hold on to my "old" friendships for a lifetime. I am slow at forming new friendships.
 

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I tend to keep friends for a long time, i have good friends that i have been friends with for more than ten years now! I tend to put a fair bit into maintaining friendships, making a point of planning something if i haven't seen a friend in a while or checking in just to say hello. I guess maybe because i have always been single?

Of course i have had friendships end dues to drifting apart from people, some friendships are based mostly on proximity but once you end up doing different things you don't maybe have much in common anymore...it can still be nice to hear from them about what's going on in their lives but you know that once the "catching up" is over you won't have much to talk about. Facebook is nice for that, just to see how people are doing.

There are also the people that you don't get to see very often (years might go by) but you are still as good friends as ever when you do get to see them. The only sad thing about this is that you don't get to see them more often! Sometimes i find it sad when people don't "keep in touch", i like writing emails and that kind of thing but lots of people don't...it's nice when you do see those people and are reminded that some people are just bad at keeping in touch and it doesn't mean that they don't love you :)
 
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