I grew up with my mother telling me I was lucky if I could count all my real friends on one hand! Of course, I didn’t listen then but it occurred to me after a string of disappointing intimate relationships (friendships) that maybe she was right—again. That it might be wise to invest more time in creating some deep and lasting friendships, as they theoretically seemed to have greater staying power and could be in many ways equally fulfilling.
How To Create A Deep, Meaningful Friendship
My history with friendships was rather sketchy and my role models even more so – in terms of friendships and romantic relationships. My mother barely trusted women (her best friend slept with my dad) and my father, well, made a lot of offers people couldn’t refuse. Childhood aside, the relationship skills I had gathered afforded me as many pleasant and happy memories as traumatic or forgettable ones. Over the years, many of the good friendships had been more fragile than I liked, and oftentimes out of balance one way or the other. Yet, the ones I did maintain (for whatever length of time) offered a mutual comfort that, when absent, left me yearning for that very specific kind of connection that only a platonic camaraderie offers—one that, no matter how compatible, a sexual relationship does not.
How To Tell If A Friend Is A Good One
So, how do you tell if someone is got the right stuff to be your new BFF or just a GF? I figure that most of our same propensities arise when it comes to friendship as they do in an intimate relationship—except, of course, Le sexe. It’s safe to say that we are looking for many of the same things in a friendship that we are looking for in a relationship. You know – someone to hang out with, someone you have something in common with, someone to listen to you, who will be interested in your life, someone you can count on no matter what life throws at you.
Finding these select few, these magical, unconditionally (most of the time) loving fantastic friendships can take some sussing out. Once you have decided that you want some great ones—who, if you’re lucky, just may be around throughout your lifetime—here are a few things to keep in mind. They just might make your journey a little easier done than said!
Set your intention—it works with friends too. Maybe you want to make two or three new good friends in the next year. Set achievable goals.
Set forth your criteria. What do you want? I wanted girlfriends who were self-sustaining, had a daily practice of self-care, who were on a similar spiritual track, and who had impeccable communication skills, etc.
List your non-negotiables, the things that just won’t work for you. One of mine was, “If you are upset you need to tell me directly and not make unilateral decisions that affect me as well.”
- Interview well, ask good questions and wait and see if their actions match their words.
- Don’t settle (even if you’re bored or desperate, you’ll be sorry you did!).
- Tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, better now than later, I always say.
- Set your boundaries regarding money, men, and all things sacred!
- Give as much as you get and make sure it flows the other way too!
- Take your time, no need to rush, getting to know a new friend is fun and should be savored, and trust is built over time.
- Most of all, be silly, be yourself, and have some fun!
And remember, great relationships, including friendships, begin within!