Monday, February 13, 2012

Four Types of Friendship

While reading MWF Seeking BFF, I learned about the four major types of friendships:

1) The Acquaintance - someone you'd chat with on the street or at a local cafe;

2) The Casual Friend - a 'grab lunch' pal who often serves a specific purpose, such as a tennis or running partner;

3) The Close Buddy - an intimate, trustworthy comrade you can say anything to; and

4) The Lifer - who's as deep and forever as family.

According to the book, women should have 3 - 5 lifers, 5 - 20 close friends, 10 - 150 casual friends, and 10 - 100 acquaintances. After reading this, it made me think about the make up of my friendships.

The writer of MWF Seeking BFF, was in search of a friendship like she has with her two besties from grade school. When I think about my friendships, I don't have a bestie from 'way back in the day'. When I was growing up, I had a group of best friends who I always thought I would be best friends with. But then life after high school began, and for me, those friendships slowly faded away. I do run into some of them from time to time when I return home to visit my family. Although I'm happy to see them and catch up, I feel like we live in two different worlds. For me, they have moved into the acquaintance category.

When I went to college I met one of my friends that I consider a Lifer. When I first arrived on campus I sought her out to learn more about sororities. After five minutes of talking, our friendship grew into so much more. (And I never did join a sorority) Today she and I live in different parts of the country and we don't talk on the phone nearly as much as we used to. When I was recently in her city on business we got together, and you would have thought our last conversation was just days before. I know that I can always count on her for anything and that she is just a phone call away.

When I think about my Lifer category, I honestly don't have that minimum three people that probably should be in that category. When I think about another friend that I would place in this category, she is a friend that I have only known for a few years. The best thing about our friendship is that she allowed it to grow naturally for me. She would consistently ask me to do things with her, and I would consistently say 'yes' only to cancel at the last minute. But that never stopped her from asking. When I finally started accepting her invitations for more small group interactions, our friendship quickly started to grow. Now I know that no matter what happens, she and I will always be friends.

I believe that most of my friendships fall into the casual friend category, sometimes overlapping into the close buddy category. For me, if I can't tell someone anything and everything, they are probably more of a casual friend than a close buddy. But then again, I do have some friends that I can say anything to, just not anything about everything. (Make sense?)

I'll be the first to admit, that I tend to keep people at arm's length. For someone to really get into my inner circle, it takes a lot. There isn't any type of criteria that has to be met, it's just when I feel comfortable and that I can really trust someone. You've all heard someone say, "It's not you, it's me". Well, it really is me.


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