So sometimes I am, admittedly, frustrated with the challenge of making new and fulfilling relationships post-college. Making quality friendships, especially when you work for a small company and are single, is honestly quite challenging once you hit your thirties.
People are more settled, and sometimes more cliquey than in high school.
People don’t seem to want to make the effort for new friendships. And that sucks.
And then every once in a while, when I am feeling sad I stop and think about it, only to realize that I am actually surrounded in life by a pretty amazing and diverse group of people who care about me.
So here are the 15 types of Friends who make my life extra awesome, as told by Friends, logically.
(Note: Many of my friends fit into multiple categories and overlap. Which makes them even awesome-er.)
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1. The “Spur of the Moment” Friends – So it’s a Tuesday and you have just had one of those days and need a beer and a vent. Or you have just watched a super sad documentary about killer whales in captivity and are in the midst of your bi-annual cry and need someone to just distract you with sunshine and rainbows for a second… this is the friend you can call up and they will chat or meet up with you on the fly. ‘Cause they are that amazing.
People that get each side of you…
2. The “Sporty/Outdoorsy/Adventure” Friends – These are your outgoing friends… the ones that convince you to take up skiing, show up at that barre class, and think that getting up at 6 am to hike up a mountain will be fun. And they drag you along, bringing out the rough-and-tumble outdoorsy side of you. Some of them you don’t seem to see outside of volleyball, but you can always count on them for a strategic set on the court and that counts for something.
3. The “Culture/Artsy/Fancy” Friends – You know, the ones who will be first in line with you to see that random concert or who are happy to wander an art gallery for four hours while you make pretentious, vaguely-informed observations. They suggest wine tastings and help you indulge your elitist-artsy side with no judgement or mocking involved…. Because they are digging it just as much as you.
4. The “Grocery Stores are Fun” Friends – This is the kind of person who you have an equally good time with whether you are at the grocery store or an amusement park. You may have been roommates with said person and spent hours laughing and commiserating over ice cream choices. These friendships are usually incredibly easy, casual and solid.
People who push you…
5. The “Up For Anything” Friends – These are the individuals people keep you from becoming a cat-lady, even when you totally feel like it on a Friday night. You just know they will blow up your phone until you suck it up and go be social. And you know that at the end of the night you will be glad you put on pants, because experiences are priceless.
6. The “Different Strengths” Friends – Whether it is someone who can FINALLY teach you how to master cat-eye eyeliner or give you pointers in tennis, this person has enough overlaps with your personality that friendship is easy, but so many differences in knowledge and strengths that you feel you always have something new to learn and new ways to better yourself when you hang with them. And vise versa.
7. The “Older/Wiser” Friends – They have seen it all. They have been through the stage in life that you are at and can commiserate, offer advice, or simply pour you another glass of vino. They are beyond whatever silly drama seems to occur in your current existence and offer much needed perspective from their soap box of experience and caring.
8. The “Younger/Carefree” Friends – They make you feel wise, while keeping you young at heart. (When you are feeling like a 70 year old in a 30-something body.) They will inspire you to adopt some of the new hip lingo that kids these days are using and keep you generally tuned in to pop culture and technology. They also seem to have more free time, if not money, than some of your more settled buddies.
People who won’t judge you…
9. The “New You” Friends – These are the friends that have only met you since your big move/breakup/career/life change. They aren’t burdened by back history (though they like to listen and learn about old you) and their views on you are only based on CURRENT you. They only know you for who you are now, and judge you as such. You history is nothing but a good story to them, without judgement or retribution.
10. The “Switzerland” Friends – These guys somehow have never merged into your other groups (based on interests or geography or something) and are forever neutral. They only know your other friends through your stories and perspectives and couldn’t spread tales if they wanted to (which they wouldn’t). Therefore you are free to talk, vent, whateves and get completely impartial advice from your friend who only wants the best for you.
The surprise friendships…
11. The “Yours/Mine/Ours” Friends – These are the friends you adopt from others, and over time this “friend of a friend” turns into an autonomous friendship between the two of you. Obviously you would get along because you share a friend, but there is something magical about developing your own relationship with them.
12. The “Bromance” Friends – I picked up most of mine in college, but these are the boys who are your local stand in for your brothers. These guys will always have your back and will give you honest (sometimes tough love style) romance advice. You act as their wing-woman and hope for them to find a girl who is amazing as they are.
Which leads to…
13. The “Couple, But Not Couple-y” Friends – So you probably started out as friends with one half of this pairing, and somehow down the line discovered that you were friends equally with both of them individually. They invite you along to events, and never, even for a second, make you feel like a third wheel. They listen to your dating horror stories with equal parts fascination and relief that they are no longer there.
The changing friendships…
14. The “Relative AND Friend” Friends – This person is a blood relation to you. At some point, especially when you were younger and more obnoxious, you might not have gotten along. But now you have both grown up and realize that you are friends outside of the fact that you are siblings/cousins/children/etc. It’s like a 2-for-1!
And we can’t forget…
The ” Forever” Friends – You guys probably were little when you met. Life may have pointed you in different directions. But somehow, through the craziness of it all, you know you will always be in each other’s lives. Time may pass between chatting or seeing each other, but when you do it is as if not an instant has passed. They have known you since you were a munchkin, seen you through puberty, college, thick and thin and still love you.
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Yes, friendships may take more work when you get older. But there is also a beautiful depth and meaningfulness to them now. You aren’t just friends because you have homeroom together or because you live in the same dorm. You aren’t friends because you are on the same soccer team or because you live near each other.
You are friends because you want to be in each other’s lives.
And that is something pretty awesome to remember.