An acquaintance of mine posted something on Facebook the other day that has me thinking. It was something like 'don't make someone a priority who considers you an option'. It stuck with me and I started evaluating the relationships I have with the people in my life. My friends and so-called friends. Friend is a word that is bandied about without much thought. But really what constitutes a good friend? Is it someone you can count on? Someone who always tells the truth? Someone you want to emulate? Someone you just party with on occasion?
I guess that every friendship I have fills a need. But there isn't one, aside from my husband, that fills all of them. I have found that very few friendships last after the honeymoon phase. That time where you are asking questions, conversing at length and generally taking the measure of the person to see whether or not you're compatible. Once the fireworks are over the relationship settles into certain categories: Occasional coffee, evening strolls, vent sessions, comic relief, shoulder to cry on, kindred spirit or sparring partner. Assigning a niche doesn't determine how close the friendship is. In fact I'm not sure what does. It comes down to connection I suppose. That and what you are willing to put up with to maintain the friendship.
My oldest friend and I have known each other since we were 15 years old. We've shared all of life's major moments and yet I would be hard pressed to say that I've ever told her the truth. We've never had an argument for the simple reason that it would likely be the end of the friendship or at the very least change it's status. Oddly enough I have another friend who I can tell the truth, can argue with and make up with if necessary. We have a very strong connection and yet this person will go for long periods of time without making any kind of contact whatsoever. I never know where I stand for sure and maybe that's part of the draw.
I think what it all comes down to is the basic need for acceptance and validation. We are all looking for our counterpart, a mirror image in psyche that allows us to be okay in our own minds. Because if we like them and they're alright we must be alright too.