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21 April 2010

What Is Friendship?

"The friendship that can cease has never been real."
- Saint Jerome

I have been pondering this quote, which has given me more questions than answers.

What is friendship? I am not asking a rhetorical question, I am quite serious. Does friendship thrive only in good times or is a friend some who makes time, be it in person, a telephone call, or a letter? Can true friendships (I am referring to adult friendships) end?

It seems to me that friends should mutually support each other in good and bad times, not just when it is convenient for one or the other. I may be naive. I may be too optimistic (not something I am usually accused of). I do know we are all busy, life is busy. However friendships are formed even when people are busy, so how is it then that friendships could be so easily discarded due to lack of time?

Sadly, I believe Saint Jerome may be correct, yet I desperately hope to be proven wrong.

Does anyone have any thoughts, wisdom, or insight?

*EDITED: While being domestic I thought more about this post and realised reason 1, 023 why I am not a writer, I assume people know what I am thinking.

1) This post is about my personal life outside my blog. The only drama I blog about is in my book reviews. I do not participate in blog drama, I find it useless, so please know this post is about my life outside Rundpinne.

2) I am referring to very long-time friendships, deep friendships where the people involved know each other secrets, dreams, fears, hopes, and disappointments. The friend that can be called at 3am just because.

3) It is rather unusual of me to post personal posts, so again, I apologise if I wrote this in an awkward manner. This is just a momentary blip in my book reviews, I have review that shall be up in 10 hours. :)

4) I truly am seeking advise, so continue commenting, please.



Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom said...

I don't think most friendships only survive in good times...there are large gaps in communication between myself and many of my friends, but when we reconnect, it's like we never left. I also know that I could call any on of these friends, and they would drop anything for me, as I would do for them...

I don't think friendships are discarded, they are just kind of in a holding pattern.

Michelle said...

I think that there are two types of friends: The fair-weather friends and the true friends.

Fair-weather friends are just there for the good times. The minute something bad hits, they're gone in one way or another. These friendships can easily end (I've had several of these, mostly friends from college).

True friends, though, will stick by you and be there for you no matter what. I've found that, actually, the true friends aren't always the ones I talk to the most; they're just the ones who come out of the woodwork when I need some support.

Friendships can end for a variety of reasons: Misunderstanding, hurt, or even just a lack of effort on one or both parts. It's sad, but it's true.

But, the true, long-lasting friends are what make it all worth it!

Jennifer said...

Thanks Speedy Pants! I like the image of a holding pattern.

Jennifer said...


You are wise beyond your years. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.


Kay said...

Jennifer, I'm sorry for whatever has happened in your life to seek the answer to this question. Hugs to you.

In my opinion, there are different kinds of friendship. Each can be deep and true but I'm not sure every friendship is meant to last forever. The friends that are with you for a lifetime seem to be rare, maybe the number of which you could count on one hand. We are a mobile society now and life happens. People grow apart. I don't think that means that the friendship they shared was any less true or meaningful, but it was for a season.

Some friendships that have gone by the wayside seemingly can be revived like a plant that needs water. Some cannot. Perhaps the people have changed too much. I have a very few close, close friends. I have a slightly larger number good friends. I have even more "right now" friends and then there are acquaintences.

Remember that like a plant, friendship needs tending and caring for and sometimes pruning.

Take care.

Sue Jackson said...

Oh, Jennifer, it sounds like you're going through something difficult. It is never easy when a friendship ends. It's happened to me, too.

One woman I thought was a good friend stopped calling me after I got sick. I guess she got mad when I had to cancel some plans at the last minute. Thankfully, I have some wonderful, supportive friends who are very understanding about my limits.

Even more painfully, I once lost a friend and still have no idea to this day why she turned on me. It was terrible, though.

So, I don't have any easy answers, but just know that you are not alone. I hope you are healing...and enjoying some good books, too!


Priya Parmar said...

i think it is lovely that you posted an honest heartfelt question that you need to be answered. i think friends live in concentric circles. the circle closest around you is very resilient but not unbreakable. something that is unbreakable invites rough treatment and i think people are inherently breakable. outer circles are increasingly fragile. i also think you can be friends with someone but not be able to interact with them for one reason or another. it happens. you can love someone but not like them for a time.

Helen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kaye said...

friendship to me is when I give without thought of reciprocation. Love is love and it isn't always returned :)

Becky said...

For what it's worth, I disagree with the quote. I think it's ok to have a transient friendship. That does't make that friendship any less special. It is just part of life. People move on and in different directions, and that might mean disagreements or simply losing touch. I definitely don't think that makes your friendship any less real or true or special. Sometimes we need a certain relationship at a certain time. And that's fine.

Helen said...

I came across a couple of quotes which may help:

"There is no need for an outpouring of words to explain oneself to a friend. Friends understand each other's thoughts even before they are spoken"

"Friendship will only survive when laughter and tears, joy and sadness, secrets and outpourings are shared in equal measure"

"There is nothing wrong with a spat between friends, for friends will see sense and laugh about the silliness."

"When friends stop sharing, friendship ceases."

"Friendship, like a good wine, should improve with age. Sour wine should be discarded for it is bitter and unpalatable, whereas a good wine, like a good friend, should be highly valued."

Thank you Jennifer for having the courage to post your feelings. You have helped me finally come to terms with my sadness and regret. Maybe my ex-friend was right - no friendship is worth this amount of effort.

Time to move on for both of us I'm thinking!