During a conversation with a friend (I’ll call her Kylie) this weekend, she started talking about another friend (I do not know the other woman – Linda). It was obvious she was distraught – something had happened in the friendship. She skirted around the real issue for several minutes before I finally asked if she “broke up” with her friend.
In fact, she had. Nearly in tears, she explained the two of them had been friends for sixteen years – best friends. However, in the last few months, their relationship failed.
Kylie’s question to me was, “How do some women stay friends for 20 or 30 years?”
I do not have an answer. However, based upon my own experiences, I have a theory about friendships.
I believe that people come into our lives at different times, in different places, and for different purposes. Perhaps we attend school together, work together, or walk our dogs in the same park. That shared event forms a point of connection between us.
The more points of connection we establish, the longer our friendship can last.
For example, women, who become friends when they are young, build a cache of connections. Maybe they attend high school together, date the same people in college, and play in a band or on a sports team together. Their lives are so connected that, even when their lives change dramatically, their bond never completely breaks.
These women are likely to socialize more frequently because their circles and interests are so similar.
On the other hand, women who meet later in their lives or who do not have many joint interests may not establish such a steadfast association. Perhaps their link is their mutual love of snowboarding or scrapbooking. If one of them stops participating in the activity, there may be no other point of connection to bind them. Their friendship may dwindle because they have nothing else in common.
“Golden” friendships, as Kylie referred to them, are becoming rarer. Networks of people with whom you share different interests are more common now and can be just are nurturing as golden friendships.