Continuing the theme of love, we turn from self-love to friendships or plutonic love.
What kind of friend are you? How many levels and types of friendship do you have? You know what I mean… acquaintances, casual friends, close friends, and best friends.
Acquaintances – you love seeing them, yet you don’t call them, even if you have their number. It’s business and sometimes intimacy in the moment if they are in distress. There was a woman whom I really like and once at an event I made a comment and she disclosed that she was going through a difficult divorce. We had a very authentically intimate moment between two women. Our relationship deepened but our status as colleagues did not change.
Casual friends – They are good people. You like each other. You check on them periodically, you invite them to the party. You are happy to see them at social events. You have periodic moments of intimacy and sharing. You belong to some of the same clubs or social circles, or your kids go to the same school, etc.
Close friends – These friends are at the top of the list for social events and sometimes business. You know them, their kids, and their relationship issues. They are always welcome at your house and vice versa. You have been there for each other in times of need. You cheer each other on when one of you meets your goals or attains that hard won accomplishment. They reciprocate. You’ve had your disagreements and yet you always work it out. You have similar values and lifestyles. You have developed a deep love and respect for each other.
Best friends – Within that close friends’ circle, there are you best friends. They are people you can depend on no matter what. You have history. You share your intimate thoughts. You have been there for each other through the ups and downs of life. You can depend on them. And they can depend on you. You are as close, maybe even closer to them than to your family.
For A Season or A Lifetime
The challenge is as you grow and develop, are your friends growing and developing with you. Is there love for you conditional? Or unconditional? Can they accept and love you as you evolve?
For me, as I worked for my dreams, many of the people I thought to be my friends, could not tolerate my success. They lovingly drifted off. They stopped calling. We’d see each other out in the world and we’d make promises to get together. We had good intentions, yet our lives were going in different directions. We wanted different things. It happened with my first husband too.
I had to lovingly let go and remember that they were making choices that fit their vision of their lives. I decided to be happy for them. To love them and their choices as I made different choices about my life and career. So, my close friends circle changed a bit. My best friends, my inner circle totally changed at different phases of my life. My current circle has been intact for the last 20 years, with a few ins and outs.
I was reminded of that old saying, “Some people are in your life for a season, some for a lifetime. Your job is to know the difference between the two.”