Two friends laughing over coffee.

How to Maintain Friendships

Importance of Friendship

When I was growing up I had quite a few friends and this is where the importance of friendship started. In public school, my best friends were often invited over to my house to play after school, or we had sleepovers on weekends.

I probably had the largest number of girlfriends when I was in high school. We “hung out” everywhere together, including in the school cafeteria, at dances, the mall, movie theater, and we also went to “boy-girl” house parties together.

By the time I was in college, my circle of friends got smaller. I had dorm-mates I lived with, and on weekends we would go to one of the local bars and have a few beers together.

Once I entered the workforce, the number of good friends I had got even smaller. High school and college friends often lose track of each other as they become disconnected when one or both move away.

Finding Those Special Friendships

There is one dear friend I have stayed in contact with to this day and I know I will cherish her friendship forever. We first met when we were in grade eight and carried on into high school together. Both of us played the flute in the school band. We even shared the same music stand. After graduation, we both stayed in our hometown but we went to different post secondary institutions.

When I got married, this friend was my maid of honor and, a year later, I was pleased to be one of her bridesmaids. Forty years ago, when I moved three hours away, she and I stayed in touch by phone, mail and an occasional visit. Today, email and Facebook really help. We can easily chat online and get to see photos of each other’s families on a fairly regular basis.

A few years ago I was invited to her retirement party. This past year, she was invited to my graduation party. We have always been there for each other, in good times and in bad. I know that will never change. That is why I cherish her friendship so much!

Finding Friendship Through Children

Over the years, my husband and I have also become good friends with other couples. They include next door neighbors as well as a few married couples that we came to know through our church and my husband’s job.

I cannot think of anything that draws people together more than bringing up their children together. Doing things like going to neighborhood barbecues or Sunday school picnics, watching the kids’ baseball games, school music concerts, or Christmas pageants all help form close bonds of friendship among the adults that are very hard to break.

Over the years we have had the privilege of attending our friends’ children’s weddings and we have actually come to love their grand kids as if they were our own!

We also have good friends through my husband’s work that we see about every 10 years. We have known them for 40 years, but after about 10 years they moved back to England. So we have only lived in the same country for about 25 percent of the time we have known each other, but when we see each other (either here or in England) we basically pick up where we left off, as if we had just seen each other the day before. That is a sign of true friendship and we consider ourselves very lucky!

Why is Friendship so Important?

So, why do we stay connected with our friends and cherish their friendships so much? Certainly, it is much easier when they live next door or only a short distance away, but distance is not always the deciding factor when it comes to maintaining a good friendship.

It is quite easy to drift apart, even if they live nearby. Staying close friends can often be hard work but it is really worth it for the importance of friendship.

There are certain memories, both good and bad, that you can only share with the friend that you made them with in the first place. Only my next door neighbor and I can really appreciate how funny it was when she and I had a few too many glasses of wine that one Christmas when we decorated gingerbread houses with the kids.

Another girlfriend and I are the only ones who know exactly how we felt the day we went to have one of her dogs put down many years ago.

Close friends also come in handy when you are looking for an honest opinion. It can be about something totally trivial, like whether you should buy a particular pair of shoes, or it can be about a much more serious matter like getting advice on a martial problem.

Do You Know What the Importance of Friendship is?

It is very important to cherish good friends who are supportive, truthful, loyal, trustworthy and comforting. Knowing the importance of friendship will help you live a fuller life.

They should be a good listener, a shoulder to cry on when needed, a confidante, as well as someone who builds you up rather than puts you down. Friends with such wonderful qualities can be hard to find, so when you find them make sure you work to keep them and truly cherish them.