What say you?

We hear it all the time: women are about relationships (and men are about competition.)

Since I was in my 20’s, I’ve been curious about women and friendship. My interest hasn’t faded; in fact new questions and new angles keep coming up. I want to explore my own needs and expectations regarding friends and to see how those factors have changed over time.

Well, its almost four decades later, so research across the decades is now part of my own experience. However, hearing from others about what they believe friendship means would add a great deal to my understanding. Please take a look at the list below and tell me which questions interest you, which issues resonate? These are some of the things I may be writing about this month.  If other thoughts come to mind, please add them in the comments section.

I’m not really focused on expanding the reach of my blog, so (dear readers), if your interest is piqued by anything I write or ask here and you want to pass it on to a friend, that would be marvelous. If I don’t get any comments, I am prepared to ramble on about this topic, until I run out of juice. Which may take a while…

  • How were/are friendships formed in your teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s,70’s… ?
  • Are situational factors the most common? Classmates, roommates, coworkers/colleagues, parents of children’s friends, neighbors, shared interests (sports, handcrafts, support groups etc.)
  • What needs do friendships meet at each of those ages?
  • What do you need to receive from friends? What do you expect/want?
  • What do you believe you need to give?
  • What are the responsibilities of friendship?
  • How do you see friendships in relation to partner/husband relationships?
  • How long do/can/should friendships last? Is there a predictable duration?
  • How do friendships end? Drifting apart, fading out, conflict, one person cuts it off?  Are there common experiences of termination?
  • What about friendships across differences? In age, gender, sexual preference, parent/non parent, race, ethnicity, economic class?
  • What about family members as friends? Sisters, cousins, aunts, mothers, daughters?
  • Friendships over distances of space or of time. Long-time friends vs ‘new’ friends.
  • Elder friendships.
  •  ? ? ? ?


2 thoughts on “What say you?

  1. What I have always found interesting about relationships is which end and which persist. My most long-lasting ones aren’t necessarily the ones I expected that of. High school, college, grad school and beyond… I’ve been repeatedly surprised, often thrilled and sometimes saddened by the friendships that remain as well as those that have faded.
    As others grow and change, so do we. Add to that varying communication and confrontation skills, beliefs about politics/faith/child-rearing/on and on, distance, life…It’s really hard to make time and space for everything. Sometimes friendships suffer simply because of that; others suffer or become stronger in spite of.

    • Thank you for your comments, Em. You are so right about the surprisingly resilient friendships and the sense of loss I feel about the ones that just fade away, in spite of seeming to be deeply rooted. You’ve given me more to think about, per usual.

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