Friendships seemed so simple when we were little. Growing from friendships of proximity (if she plays with me at the park, she’s my friend) to clubhouses, to rule-governed friendships, to she who can braid my hair is my best friend or whoever has the X-box, and eventually the emotional closeness, support, conversation and dedicated time of adolescence. In a short span of time we see a wide range of friendships come and go.
Teens hunger for time with friends, even after full days at school with them. What was once hours on the phone is now hours texting or using social media with friends. Friendship requires more than proximity to make it work. There is a bit of the utilitarian aspect, perhaps this person invited me to sit so I won’t be alone.
Those friendships of utility are common, but one’s usefulness changes. The friends are pleased to work with each other, but may not choose to see each other outside of the useful environment. The friendships dissolve quickly when the usefulness of the relationship goes away. It may seem shallow and not a friendship, but when they last a long time, a bond develops. That bond is one of comrades, having been associated for so long, having been through so much together, the relationship evolves.
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To see other articles by Kathryn Casey (domesticphilosophy/owner of The Good Life – Life Coaching) from the weekly column, “Here’s to the Good Life!” published in the Hughson Chronicle, republished online at Coachingthegoodlife.org/resources