What is the turning point of a strong friendship? How can it be achieved?

Discussion in 'Articles' started by cherrya, Jun 11, 2018.

By cherrya on Jun 11, 2018 at 1:14 AM
  1. cherrya

    cherrya Member

    Jun 6, 2013
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    What is the turning point of a strong friendship? How can it be achieved?

    Discussion in 'Articles' started by cherrya, Jun 11, 2018.

    To strengthen the bond between two characters whose friendship is one of the most important part of the book, I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

    You don't think about this when you meet a new person. You become friends because you have things in common (interests, personality...) before you actually truly know them. When you really get to know them, there will be some things that you'll like and some you won't. If you decide to stay, it'll mean that you've decided that they are worth remaining into your life after all. Why? Because they'll make you laugh, because they understand you, ultimately; they give you something in return.

    What does it take to become close friends with someone, apart from time? Some people, I've known for years, most of whom I barely talk to by now. We are just too different, and I believe we always have been. What they offered to me was temporary. We don't share the same values, and I probably wouldn't enjoy seeing them all the time.

    Those I kept: I like the way they think, or I love the energy they bring which seems to collide perfectly well with mine. With some of them it's all about our conversations and how they bring something different to the things I observe, be it in my day to day life or my deeper thoughts. They do so each in their own unique way; they are all different. Still, some friendships are a bit more physical. Simply put; I just love spending time with them. They make me laugh, and even though we don't agree on all important things and may very rarely have long and intellectual conversations about the world for that very reason, it may never matter to us at the end of the line. Chances are, we will be too busy enjoying ourselves to think about such things. I believe that in such relationships, despite the fact that we may not be similar in our way of thinking, all similarity and connection found may mainly if not fully reside in the mechanical functioning of our brain. It is a rare thing to find someone with whom it is possible to be understood and communicate without the need of words. Most likely, what you are trying to express, they will be feeling it, too. Perhaps not in the same exact way, but surely close enough.

    I've been thinking about two characters I've read about lately whose friendship has moved me beyond words. In the end I believe it was those both types of friendships - intellectual and physical - in one. It started as an intellectual friendship, and as the two grew into one-another, turned into a physical one as well without their noticing. The result was that they were rarely apart, reason being that they understood each other like they rarely, if ever, had with others, but also that together they brought an energy to every moment that passed that, surely, made everything better. It is a simple word but a large one: better in the sense that everything became more tolerable; easier and more enjoyable; filled with possibilities which, as time together must have proven, had ways of becoming stories that they might ultimately never forget, and share with others even after years will have passed.

    To add to it, I believe it has also to do with what they brought in each other in terms of character. The way that they influenced each other was commendable, and if one of the two may not have noticed, it was shown many times that the other had. This led him, I believe, to become even more dependant on his friend than he may have been in the past, even when their appreciation of each other was already high. It is an interesting thing to observe. This side of him that has matured, he owes it to his friend. It is something that he regards highly of him. This influence, which is in part owed to the great kindness of his friend, sometimes feels, in the book, as though he is aware of it the way we are aware of warm covers on cold nights, or like a coat in a snow storm. Every time it showed, he seemed to be reminded of his friend and the way that he looks up to him for it.

    I began writing this in hopes of discovering something new and different about strong friendships that I might have missed before, something almost mythical, like an old romance novel, but perhaps it can also be said that in every ordinary thing may reside something magical and rare. It could be that we are only too used to it to notice, or are not paying enough attention. In the end, it is true that strong friendships can only be built with time; to realize that we love the person in question and the things they bring to us, but also time to reflect what they mean to us and how far we are willing to go to keep them. I realize now that I may have been looking for a magical answer to bypass this element of time to create a bond between my two main characters, so powerful, that it would be strong right away like a platonic love at first sight. But there is nothing boring about time, if done correctly. We do not form such strong connections with every stranger we meet, it simply cannot be forced. Why do we find such delight in platonic romances such as Sherlock and Watson, Harry and Ron, Marty and Doc (each different in their own way, but relatable in their strength and sacrifices)? It could be for the very same reason that the romance genre has been dominating the movie industry for decades. It enviable because it is rare. We all have, or at least for the greater part of us, formed a romantic connection with someone, and there is not a person on earth that has never had a friend, but the connection that we find in movies, powerful as what made the Titanic such a historical sensation in its industry, same as Good Will Hunting, Forrest Gump or the Dead Poet society, are rare things indeed. We may never live to experience these ourselves, but it is quite nice to feel it through some other's eyes, for an hour and a half or more.

    This may look like complete gibberish. I don't truly expect anyone to read it, but it has helped putting a lot of things into perspective. Also english isn't my first language.....
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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Discussion in 'Articles' started by cherrya, Jun 11, 2018.

    1. jannert
      I have one 'best' friend and a couple others who would fill that slot if she didn't exist.

      With my best friend and myself, the bond was more or less instantaneous. I have no idea why that happened, because in many ways we are very different from one another, and certainly don't share all our interests or perspectives. But I guess we just kind of fell into step and stayed there, if that makes sense. I found her incredibly interesting, and she found me to be the same.

      I had just turned 18 at the time, and she followed suit 6 months later. We are both about to turn 69, and we are still best friends. Nothing has changed, really.

      We became college roommates, and we lived in the same town and/or area as much as we could after graduation. When life circumstances (jobs) put several hundred miles between us, we still spent as many weekends at each other's homes as we could. Of course she now lives on the other side of the Atlantic, but we still talk on the phone frequently, and when we did finally get together again after a long LONG time (my only visit 'home' since I moved to Scotland) it was as if nothing had changed.

      There has never been a single sticky or unpleasant moment between us. Even when we disagree on something (which is often enough) we always laugh about it. And mean it. I would wring the neck of anybody who treated her badly, and I know she would do the same for me. We provide a sounding board for each other's ideas, and a safe place to run when the outside world becomes knobbly. She has given me the confidence to stand up for myself, and oddly enough, I've done the same for her. We've talked about that many times. We can talk about absolutely ANYTHING. There are no taboos. And absolutely no danger either, if we reveal something intimate to each other. It will never be warped and used against us. Total trust.

      We have never considered having a more-than-platonic relationship though—although some outsiders did assume there might be one. We are both heterosexual, through and through, and both have made happy marriages (to guys with the same first name, but that was pure coincidence.) But I would describe our mutual attraction as 'chemistry' all the same. She made a strong impression on me before we ever spoke or got to know one another, and I was aware of her presence the very first time I saw her. She says the same happened to her. What was funny was how wrong our first impressions of each other were! I thought she was stuck up. She thought I was incredibly intellectual. :) Ha ha! Nope. Not at all. But the key was the 'noticing.' Once noticed like that, never forgotten.

      I do think there is a certain amount of chemistry that takes friendship to another level.

      I have many many many friends, from long ago and far away as well as close up and recent. However, with practically NO exceptions, my strongest friendships are the ones that produced that instant 'click.' That's chemistry, I reckon. You can't force it OR ignore it. It transcends the normal things people assume make a friendship. Mutual interests. Mutual outlooks. Mutual backgrounds or careers. These things can certainly make friends happen, but not that special kind of friendship.

      The trick to recognising special friendship, I believe, is the TEST of time. You can make the friend quickly, but do they last? Thirty years later, do you still feel the same about that person? Have they kept their place in your life? Perfectly good friendships wax and wane, or get disrupted by other life events. That doesn't mean you aren't still friends, but it does affect the relationship. It's the ones that remain as strong as ever, no matter what, that really are special.
      Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
    2. cherrya
      Thank you so much for your input! I'm still thinking about all of this, and it's a bit complicated since I'm my only reference.

      From what I gather, I might have been right about positive mutual influence playing a big role in close friendships, but I might have been forgetting something about the element of time. It think you're right in believing that it also serves as a test! It seems I also forgot about chemistry... Of course that has to play a role as well. You have to be driven to someone to want to get to know them, even in a platonic way. What makes you stay, though, I still believe it resides on what that friendship brings you.

      I'm glad to hear about you and your friend! I have one a bit like that, but we're still quite young. Who know what will happen to us? I hope we still get along the way you and your best friend do!
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    3. JLT
      I can't speak for everybody, but for me, friendships deepened for me when I needed to put my friend in a position of trust, or they needed to put me in that position. Then it became a friendship not of words but of deeds. The trust could be anything from loaning money or (being loaned money) to literally putting our lives in each other's hands.
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