What is a friend?
I lost a friend today. Not because she died, but because she rejected our friendship. While working through the hurt, I began to wonder what makes one person a friend when another will never be more than an acquaintance.
In these times when we can communicate over long distances it’s possible to grow and maintain friendships even though we rarely, or even never, see one another. That means close proximity is not a prerequisite to friendship like it used to be.
According to google, we have acquaintances, casual friends, close friends, and best friends. The difference between these is a measure of intimacy. How well do we know the person? How much do we share with them? How deeply do we care about them? Friendships take effort. Both parties in a healthy friendship reach out to the other.
We all have different needs and those needs change as we age. No friend is perfect, and no one friend can be all things to us. Nor can we be all things to another person. I believe the most important measure of a friend is that they care about and trust you.
Friendships are going to come and go in our lives as we change and grow. I helped the friend I just lost through a difficult time in her life. In fact, we became friends because of that. I wonder if maintaining a friendship with me was a constant reminder of a time she’d prefer to forget. More likely, she simply no longer needs me in her life.
Rejection is never easy, but I take solace knowing I gave her my best.