Long Lasting Friendships Are Magical!
These are the friends who watch you do something crazy, then join you. Well maybe not join if you decide to be a high-wire artist like Phillipe Petit and tightrope walk across 2 skyscrapers. However, they'll always cheer you on!
Some friendships are not meant to last, and others go on naturally forever. Those who witnessed it all and still stand strong by your side through falls, triumphs, burdens, heartbreaks, disagreements, relocations and the different chapters life presents. They stand by you when you're present and when you're not and always communicate how much you mean to them. They celebrate life with you and always encourage you to reach for your goals, no matter your age. And then if time has passed between calls and texts, there is never an awkward moment, EVER, when you connect. No explanation to why you haven't reached out, you complete a sentence from your last conversation and always find something to laugh hardy about. They are truly the most precious people to cherish forever.
There is magic in maintaining a long friendship and I believe the magical secret is unconditional honesty, communication and acceptance without judgement, through thick and thin with a lot of laughs, crying and fun...lots of fun! We all know as years go by our friend circle seems to diminish a little as you continue to learn who the true ones are. And, those who stick around offer a bond that would sell out quicker than gorilla glue if it could only be manufactured and sold at stores.
I am blessed with some long lasting friendships and two of them will forever be my "Best Besties". They know more about me than I do sometimes. Susan, I met in kindergarten, 55 years ago, and call her my "Sister". A title she will forever hold. Angela, my "Golden Bestie" I met after I married 34 years ago. Her loyalty and honesty I'll relish forever. The best is, my two besties have become friends through the years and have a deep respect for each other and embrace each others differences.
So What Makes For a Magical Long Lasting Friendship?
Read on as I share some magical habits (they're not really magical but very real) that I believe lead to long lasting friendships. This list speaks from my heart when I'm with my true friends. I'm sure I'll spark a smile, a tear, a big laugh or all three together as you peruse through my list and think of your true friends.
You Celebrate Life Together
I start here because no matter where your life's journey leads and what the occasion is you are celebrating, you can count on true friends to be there to laugh, cry and celebrate with you. If even just through a call, text or Facetime outreach. Sue lives in Delaware, Angela in Jersey near me, yet we have all worked at celebrating small and large milestones together with silly excitement...always. Excitement that has profound influence on our mood and well being. It's like you're dancing through life together.
You're Able To Show Your True Self...Always!
No false pretenses ever. Authenticity is key in true friendships. Being vulnerable, letting your guard down (opening up about something unimaginable in your life) and genuine (the good, bad and ugly) definitely allows your friends to open up to you. It makes you feel so good inside to be you and share with your confidants. Those who just smile and say "Really?" with no developed conversation have proven to me through the years, they are just friends and many times just acquaintances.
Trust And Loyalty
Just these two words are enough to know your friend is a lifetime keeper. They are the natural segue from showing your true self. Knowing you can trust someone with your deepest thoughts and secrets and having them be there for you consistently is so important. Some of us have friendships that we question at times. There's that one friend who makes comments about others, how they do things and their idealisms, always quick to voice their opinion which makes you question their integrity. You find yourself wondering if trusting this person is okay. Have they shared confidential information about you with others. You often wonder why they do this, your radar goes up and you re-consider their loyalty to you. This doesn't mean that friend is not sincere, it just makes you think. This confirms how paramount trust and loyalty are.
You Embrace Each Others Differences
You grow up in the same house with your siblings, and even the two or three of you are different and you accept that. They're your family and that's what its about. As you grow up, you tend to gravitate toward those with the same interests the same all the way through parenthood. It's a fun connection you make along the way. However when that convenience or shared experience is no longer needed, this core of friends seem to disappear. I always think about my train ride through life, how some passengers have to hop off so I wish them luck and move forward. My point is this. True friends are not there for a conditional duration. True friends embrace how each of you are different. They accept your flaws, culture, home life, favorite songs, activities and politics (yes I said it). They are the ones who never disconnect, even when you have different idealisms or opinions.
Set Time To See Each other
This is a biggie, and my dearest gals can attest to this. Quick check-ins and short or long get- togethers are so important. Setting time aside to be with each other, is precious and ours tend to be walks near the beach, overnights in Atlantic City (well any casino to give our small donations to), trips to the shore, restaurant hopping and vacation time. Yes, keeping friendships alive and strong takes effort, but not the "Oh boy I need to see her" kind. Its a fulfilling effort you look forward to. Especially when it's an overnight get away. Then get ready world... cause here we come with lots of chatter, sometimes rambling about the same thing. That's what happens when you know someone for so long. You repeat, repeat and then repeat again followed by laughter because you can.
All Year Listeners
When you have something to say, a true friend will actively listen to you, even if it takes all year to get to the point. Well not really. They'll cut you off and say "Okay, enough...get to the point" or "Okay, I'm on my way over now" even if it takes a long drive to get there. True friends will listen longer to your joys and frustrations. Hence, when you're being heard there's something that happens inside called "love" for someone who truly gets you and cares about what you have to say. They show their love to you each time they listen.
Opinions Without Judgement
This one has probably happened with one of your friendships. And it usually happens between you and someone you considered true to your heart. Nevertheless you have a disagreement or give advice (sometimes it's misunderstood) and the person you thought was your friend decides you mean nothing to them. Communicating quickly bringing up the issues is a way to honor the relationship. True friends know how to do this in a way that doesn't blame and leads to healing together. This is one of the truest moments that defines a friendship. If this fails, as it has for me, please never hold a grudge and wish them a nice life. You put your best effort in. Hey you never know, one day they might just reach out. Or as my dearest besties who are truly like me, and it's happened to them too, say "We'll never know why" and then say "I love you".
Your Family Is Their family
We have family, then we have framily, who we chose along the way. As friendships continue to grow through the years, you tend to acknowledge your true friend's families as your extended family. Everyone in your family knows them and welcomes them with open arms when they see each other because it's just so real. Everyone expects them to be at family gatherings and hear updated happenings in their life. Your kids even refer to their kids as cousins. It's a wonderfully blessed order of how things can be and one to truly welcome. Moreover, you are surrounded by everyone who means so much to you.
I hope I have shed some light on true friendships, from my perspective and life experiences. So as you sit back and think of your friends remember, with true friends, you're never truly done learning and exploring together. They should never be a burden and on a to-do list for next week. They are the ones who you can count on to uplift your soul.
When you try some of these secrets you offer your friendship for life. And I hope the other person you call your true friend does the same. If they don't that's ok, because there are other friends who want to know you forever. I have found mine and will hold them close to my heart forever.
Have a true friendship story to share, reach out. Fluca@lifestylegiftguide.com
Coming Soon: Dancing Through Life With Friends