Friendships can be so easily taken for granted. Once a good friendship is established, it is easy to maintain, and that is what makes them so good. Don’t get fooled by the easiness of a good friend to think that the relationship doesn’t need some continuous nurturing.
One of my very best friends is someone I met 25 years ago in college. Mike and I met on the first day of college waiting for our first class, Geology lab. After 45 minutes of getting to know each other outside the classroom, we realized together when an upperclassman walked by to tell us that labs don’t start until the second week of classes. The rest is history.
Growing up, I never really had a best friend except for my brother. My brother was a great friend but being 10 months apart, he kind of had to be my friend.
Mike had very similar experiences with friends which is a key reason we connected so quickly. Since that time we were in each other’s weddings, spend time with each other’s extended families, and shared triumphs and struggles together.
Last week Mike visited my family while on business with an organization in North Carolina. He runs an international family business with his dad. If you own an airport runway, you need to call Mike. His company is the only one that does what they do.
A good friendship is when there is little or no effort to keep it going. It doesn’t start that way. To get there:
- Get your ingredients. Determine your most valuable friendships. These friendships are those you can see decades in the future.
- Bake. Maintain and care for the friendship. It is up to you to stay in touch and foster the relationship.
- Simmer and cool. Like cooking on the stove, at some point turn down the heat and let the friendship settle. Like the previous step, you want to keep the friendship alive but you don’t want to force a friendship that doesn’t exist.
- Enjoy. Once the friendship settles, you can effortlessly enjoy benefits of an established friendship. If the friendship doesn’t settle it may need a little time or it may not be a friendship meant-to-be.
I really appreciate the friendships I have made throughout my career, with neighbors, people we have known through our kids activities, and now with friends from all over the world who read this blog. I am looking forward to a lifelong friendship with you.
Who is your best friend? Why?
What have you found to make friendships
stick together for the long haul?