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Friends Forever like Sex and the City?

May 26, 2010

So we’re getting revved up and ready to go for the highly anticipated Sex & The City II.  Personally, I’m stoked.  I loved the first one and look forward to watch part 2.  Sex and The City movie and series have been such a big hit.  It has drawn so many fans, primarily because of this fairytale friendship that the 4 friends have.  Just like romantic movies, many of us enjoy the show because we find solace in the dynamic foursome’s long-lasting and unbreakable friendship.  It’s almost affirmation that friendships like that do exist.  And therefore it’s something that many of us are after.  But why do many of us not have that type of bond?  Why don’t many of us have a circle of friends like that in our lives?   And if we seek that type of friendship, then what friendships do we actually have right now?

I’ve certainly had my share of friends in my life, many of who have come and gone.  And many of times, I have questioned my view of friendship as well as others’ views.  What does a friend mean to us afterall?  I mean, we’ve been using this word so loosely, that nobody seems to know anymore.  I searched my trusty online dictionary and it defines a friend as: a person attached to another by affection or regard.  So then just about everyone that I’ve met is my “friend”?  The antonym to friend is enemy or foe.  So in theory, is anyone who is not a foe/enemy a friend?

But how do many people define friendship?  I’m certainly curious to know.  Many people have also asked me how I define friendship.  I know the first thing that comes to mind, and certainly through my experience, is that a friend is someone who is there for you in times of need.  And I absolutely agree.  But does that constitute a friendship?  I agree it is a big part of friendship.  But is that all friendship is nowadays?  I understand that everyone has busy schedules: work, chores, family.  But is it sufficient enough being available only in times of need, or once in a while?  That’s how I use to think.

I can say that my view on friendship has evolved over the years.  In fact, I didn’t even really have a perspective on friendship before because I generally took it for granted.   But that has changed somewhat.  And during that evolution, there were some realizations.  One is that  there are different levels of friendships.  The strongest friendships in my life are the ones I’ve maintained since childhood or teenage years.  And I’m sure I can speak on behalf of most people.  I’ve recently pondered why this is so.  Ofcourse, there are many reasons.  We are more trusting when younger so we let more people in to our lives and have a bigger circle of friends.  We’re also less judgmental when we are younger.   But I think the primary reason why it was so much easier for us to build strong bonds with our friends when we were young is that we took the time.  So then what happened along the way, when we grew up?  We focus on our careers, on our pursuit of love, on building our homes, building our family, all in the while, distancing more and more from friends. 

And then we get to a later stage in life, and discover “what happened to my circle of friends?  It’s gotten so small!”  That was one of my realizations.  Somewhere along the way, I lost many of my relationships with my friends.  All the time I was focusing on building my independence, I forgot to build on my friendships to a higher level.  Ahh, but it’s never too late.  We can certainly strengthen and build on our existing or new friendships albeit being a bit more challenging then when we were younger.

Needless to say, the solution to this is taking the time.  It is ironic how most of us view time.  Many of us view time as a limitation, when in fact, it should be limitless.  We should see time as an opportunity.  The opportunity to create, one of which is to create a stronger connection with friends.  One of my pet peeves is the cliché “I don’t have time”.  And I understand that we are all busy, atleast busier than we were younger.  But the reality is we all “have” time.  The only instance when we don’t have “time” is when we’re non-existent.  We all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  It’s what we choose to do with that time that’s important.  When someone says to me, “I don’t have time”, it only means s to me that their priority is something else.

I’m not saying make friendship your only priority. Or even that someone with other priorities makes a bad friend.   And I understand sometimes, there are situations that take up the majority of your time.  But that is sometimes.  Life is about balance.  And friends are certainly an important part of everyone’s life.  We are inherently social creatures.  So we need to take the time to create and maintain our friendships.  So what do you do now?

Define what a good friend is to you.  Who do you want to be, or who is, the Carrie Bradshaws/Mirandas/Charlottes/Samanthas in your life?  To me, generally speaking, a true friend is someone who shares the same core values as I do.  Someone who I don’t feel like there is a competition when I’m with them.  One who is just as interested in maintaining a friendship with me as I am with them.  And ofcourse someone who is dependable and loyal. 

I’m sure everyone has a different definition of a friend.  But however you define it, if you’re want to strengthen that bond, then take the time.  Call your friends.  Don’t email/sms/fb/im them.  We’ve been so caught up with technology that our conversations on the phone are near obsolete.  Pick up the phone, and call them.  Not because you have a question, or you need help, or you even have anything to say.  Just call to say hi.  And if they happen to need a sympathetic ear, then take the time to listen.

Arrange a get-together.  It could be the 2 of you or a group of you.  Poker night, dinner, dim-sum, brunch, movie night.  Don’t wait for it to be a birthday or anniversary or holiday.  Any day is the right day to enjoy the company of your friends.  In fact, the most memorable days are generally the non-“special” occasions – the hours spent at a café talking that only felt like minutes, going for a drink and it becomes many drinks and you end up holding up each others hair while doing the nasty, learning roller-blading together, going on a trip.

So take the time.  Your good friends are certainly worth your time.  More importantly, don’t wait 5 or 6 months before you do this again.  You don’t water a plant only when it’s on the verge of withering away.  Otherwise, you will never see the plant bloom or grow strong roots.  It’s the exact same with friendship if you don’t continue keeping in touch.

So call a friend up, or go socialize and make new friends.  Go watch S&TC 2.  And don’t wait until S&TC part 3 before you see your friends again!  Always, be a good friend.  Only then you will have a great circle of friends.

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light” –  Helen Keller

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One Comment
  1. caylamnewsom permalink

    Reblogged this on caylamnewsom and commented:
    I found this to be very truthful and enlightening! I, myself, can get caught up in the daily functions and use the “I don’t have time” phrase a lot. I find it to be refreshing to actually gain insight to why that is. And frankly, I guess I tend to be focused on my job, family, school, and boyfriend. Even at the age of 20, my friends are still important to me, and I vow that from this day forward, to pick up the phone and call a friend in my contact list each day. If they answer, then great! And if they don’t, I will keep trying, because maintaining friendships are important. Like it says in the Bible under Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
    “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

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