A Friendship That Lasts Essay

Image Credit: Carlos C., Glendale, AZ

No matter how close you and your friends may seem like, that doesn't necessarily conclude that you guys will always stay together. Don't depend on friends, they will always leave you in the end. Friends come and go, and that is the truth. Whenever you feel like you've grown close with somebody, they will take advantage, hurt you, and step out of your life. 


They may be befriending you, but no friends are fully optimistic, and are always there for you. That's what I used to think. I used to have a friend that truly understood me, my everyday emotions, and pains. And she would always talk to me about her past and her mistakes and how she had learned from them and moved on. But now, we're strangers.


Friends have masks. They will somehow break in the end; they can't hold on, and sometimes they leave you because its best for the relationship. But other times, they leave because they are weak. They can't grasp the truth. They can't find themselves ever again. They are not the person they used to be when they met you. Memories changed them. The pain reached their souls, where someone else can not see their true form in. 


A shield of insecurities, fear, betrayals, an outburst of emotions are the key factors. Both of you guys will slowly drift apart, become distanced in your own thoughts, forgetting that the other one once existed in your lives. You guys may acknowledge each other, mutter a small greeting, but never really strike a real conversation ever again. It's simple. This is life, and we may never really see why this happens the way it does. 


Although both people in this past friendship will feel pain, one will feel stronger pain than the other. The friend that left the other already knows what pain feels like, he or she is letting the other friend know what she or he has been through. Somebody has left him or her too. This friend is only teaching the hurt friend how tragic and broken life can be. How love can break. How relationships can be torn apart, just like that. 


In conclusion, all people are born pure, but as one breaks, it passes on. It is a deadly cycle, one everybody will face at least one in their lifetime. Everyone will change their identity, because of society. Because of peer pressure. Because of pain. Because of knowing that love doesn't last forever. 

As life becomes more complicated, competing responsibilities -- such as marriage, parenthood, family, work and relocation -- can make staying connected with your close friends challenging.

However, friends are an invaluable part of life. They provide an additional support network and help you get through everyday challenges. Although it can be tough to maintain your friendships when you have a lot going on, the task doesn't have to feel impossible.

We asked Iona Monk, a registered clinical counsellor, couple therapist and founder of Vancouver Couples Counselling, to provide us with some insight on how to maintain lasting friendships in today's busy world.

1. Be flexible
Be open to the fact that your friendships will change and grow over time. "Friendships change over the years and it's important to be flexible and to change with them," says Monk. "It's important to feel securely attached to each other so you can navigate through the waters of change. Marriage, babies and relocations are all things that affect friendships."

Your relationship is much more likely to be long lasting if both you and your friends have the ability to grow as people, accepting and embracing change in the process. "Friendships are fluid, ever-changing entities, and it's important to be able to accept that," Monk advises.

2. Stay committed
Commit to staying connected with your friends even when you are far apart. When it comes to maintaining a long-distance friendship, it's important to share the details of each other's lives so you can stay connected on a closer level.

"Skype and phone calls are excellent ways to maintain a friendship when you are apart," says Monk. "It's also nice to send little gifts to each other in the mail, to show your friends you're thinking of them."

For a long-distance friendship to work, you need to make the commitment to stay in touch. "Make the commitment to speak at the same time every week or month," suggests Monk. "This is your date to connect with your friend and it becomes your special time together. Develop rituals and routines and keep them going," she says.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover three more great ways to make your friendships last on page 2.
3. Be patient with your friends
When a friend goes through a huge life change, such as having a new baby, it may feel like there is no longer any space for your friendship. This can be difficult, but patience is key.

"Ultimately, someone may end up feeling misunderstood and resentful. It is important to realize that your friend has a new priority," explains Monk. "You may feel jealous and angry at first; this will pass over time, but the first year or so will be tough."

It's important not to take the change personally. "Your friend is swamped with a brand new world of feeding, diapers and lack of sleep, and she will not have a lot -- or any -- time for your friendship. Do not take this personally," says Monk. "It's important to be understanding during this time and to help her out where you can."

So what can you do? Spending time with your friend and the new baby -- and doing things to make life easier for her -- is a good place to start, says Monk. Putting your needs on the back burner and helping her out as a friend (babysitting so she can nap, offering to run errands for her or making her a meal) will all be appreciated.

4. Communicate with your friends
When conflict occurs between friends, communication is the only way to move past it in a healthy way. "Being able to speak your mind and let your friend speak hers is important," says Monk.

Stay cool and don't jump the gun by making assumptions about your friend that aren't true -- for example, telling yourself that your friend doesn't care about you.

"Calm down and then communicate with each other. Writing an email or a letter to fully express your feelings is a good idea to ensure you get it all out," Monk advises. "But wait until you are calm to do so. Once something is in writing and the send button is pushed, you can't get it back."

5. Maintain balance
In order to maintain a relationship that's healthy and beneficial to the both of you, it's important to find a balance within the friendship. "Treat the friendship and your friend's feelings with care -- the same way you want to be treated," advises Monk.

Remember that your friend is human and will make mistakes, and so will you. Keep in mind that you love each other and allow for mistakes to happen, Monk says.

Friendships are an important part of our lives. They provide support, perspective and camaraderie. While it might seem hard to maintain these relationships, with patience, healthy communication and an open mind, you can help your friendships thrive despite your hectic daily life.

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