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Black & White friendships

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I was talking to my closest friend about our differences: that I have few, but very few friends (one!), and he has many friends of all kinds. The context was me describing someone new I met to him and how I liked her but wouldn't want to spend that much time with her. He said that one doesn't need all friendships to be all-or-nothing and he gave me many examples of people who he felt the same way about but would still spend time with. He explained "you don't need to spend eight hours with them. You could just catch up for a quick walk in the park and connect over the few things you do share."

At various points in life what and who to call a friend will change, e.g, if you're fortunate enough to be in a loving relationship you would have less time and so need to increase your standard slightly; or maybe you're lucky enough to have three incredibly close friendships so you don't have room for or need anyone else at the time. But the point of his talk I think was that there's much value to be gained from friendship or connection with others, even if it's only brief as a 30min walk in the park. And the added benefit is you might meet others through these friends who you will connect with on a much deeper level.

He's convinced me that my strict view of friendships may be wrong, especially while I'm single, and that I need to give this more thought. My thinking till now has been I should just hold out for those I feel strongly about and that way I'll have much more time for being productive at work and other interests. But he's also a good example of how effective the approach of cultivating many friendships can work: he manages to run a successful business four days a week, pursue many eclectic interests and always has many options for social events and consequently frequently meets many interesting people. And maybe it's the general happiness and value that he derives from these friendships and interests that then allows him to pour a concentrated mental effort into his business.

In a way my interest and thought over this shows me that part of me does want more friendship in my life, even if it's not some extremely intense and close friendship (as it is with him). And maybe it's just a matter of changing my attitude and what to expect.

Keen to hear other's thoughts on this.







Edited by LoBagola
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