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Friendship Across The Years: Some Freewheeling Thoughts On Friendships That Last A Lifetime

Posted: May 18, 2021

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The nature and shape of friendship changes over time. While no two relationships are the same, even the same friendship changes nature across the years. 

When I try to chronicle my two cents on friendship, I wonder what I can say (or write) which hasn’t been said before.

The trailing thought to that is, there can just not be enough written about friendship as each one of us thrives in that relationship, and hence are bound to have a different taste to be able to log a different flavour of gyaan / musings.

Friendship, to me, is an underlying bond to all relationships – parent – child, siblings, lovers and of course, friends.

In any relationship which has fruitful, healthy conversations, a friendship develops, and over a period of time, evolves. Ties which have just monologues where the second person is not allowed to talk or express, are toxic. Friendships can never be toxic.

However just like clichés which get associated with any other named relationships, friendship comes with a set of its own too. And the few strands of grey give me an implicit right to challenge some.

What doesn’t bend, breaks

I read somewhere, that ‘the best of friendships are bound together by ‘hoops of steel’.’ When one reads steel, one sees strong but also sees inflexible, un-malleable. Sprinkling a pinch of chemistry here, yes, steel is malleable but only at super high temperatures. We need friendships to be malleable, elastic. We need the relationship to adjust its form with time, as with time people change and the situations they are in, change too. It has to have the ability to change form and still come back together – not only under extreme situations just under normal, day to day ones.

To me, friendship needs to be like a super strong elastic band.

We hear ‘Best Friends are Forever’ or ‘If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky. If you have one good friend, you’re more than lucky.’ Yes, for as short as forever is from a ‘human life’ perspective it is amazing to have a childhood friend for friends till our supple senior years. But to associate the pressure of  ‘best’ with any relationship, and that too forever, is a good recipe of conflict and heartache.

With time, the way we bond to anyone changes. What worked for us at 16 does not work for us at 32. There are times when we have wanted to have that one best friend with us always, especially during the teen and early adulthood years.

It takes a village

And then there comes a time when we need a village. Our village might have relationships at all levels, some more close than the others; nonetheless our definition of friendship does change over time. Where we had one, now we might have five so called ‘besties’ or maybe even none! It is just natural progression and is okay. By the time we hit our senior years, maybe just the people in our ‘village’ who are ‘living’, literally living, are the ones we share our lives with.

To me, relationships have always fallen into perspective, when given ‘finity’ – to life, to our expectations and to our commitments.

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