Online friendship has a whole new meaning to it. We have friends we've never met, voices we've never heard. We can reveal intimate thoughts and feelings to total strangers, we can blog to an unknown audience about our marital and family problems.
But do we actually make friends any more these days? You know meet the type of people you just gel with? Does your partner get on with their partner? Can you just chat freely anytime of day or not? Can you turn to them in a crisis?
I have a childhood friend for 42 years, who is on my facebook, but we don't really interact anymore. A school friend for the past 34 years, who I lost touch with for a 10 year period but we just picked up where we left off. I've a former neighbour who is a friend of 25 years, who I see regularly but we don't chat online. Our kids have known them longer than anyone else apart from family members.
I have another friend met through one of the kids, of 18 years, who I can also talk to about anything, at anytime. The same with another of 16 years.
I also have a friend who falls into in the above category, who I met at Uni 20 years ago.
My husband has a couple of lifelong friends of 42, 33 and 25 years and one met through work and a shared love of music for 3 years.
We both know each others friends very well and their partners and families, we share mutual confidences and we can call on them and vice versa in an hour of need.
These friendships are often strained by the distance from where we live in Dubai and several other, long term, friends have fallen by the way side as our lives have changed.
Since joining twitter in 2009. I've made lots of new friends, people that I no longer interact with online but meet up with when we're in the UK. My husband also knows these people and calls them friends, when I asked him to help me list the number of people we know, message, visit, go to the pub with, I was surprised at how many he named and how quickly.
But new friends, one's met in the last 8 years, since we moved abroad have been harder to find.
We know none of our neighbours over that time, with 2 country moves and living in 4 different houses.
We do have friends though, real people, from our time in South Africa, met through the kids and through charity work. They were and still are very important in our lives and we visit at least once a year and they visit us and we chat often on whatsapp.
But in the last 4 years since we moved to Dubai friends have been harder to find. I've no job, the kids have left home, our neighbours move frequently and in fact in the past 8 years I've only learnt the name of one of them.
I have met people in the dog park, but we meet up only once a week for coffee and a chat and our lives remain separate the other 6 days of the week.
There are two other couples we know here in Dubai, both met online and we all get on. We're planning a holiday to America with one set this year, sometimes we see them often, other times it's several times a week. The other set we just meet once a week at the pub quiz.
All the friends in the UK are reasonably local to where we have our base. They make an effort to meet up with us, they initiate the meet ups when we visit, many have been to at least one of our homes since we've been away and all have put me, my husband and a combination of kids up over the years, collected us from airports, been on the door step in an emergency, helped with obtaining documents we've needed, run errands, had our post delivered, looked after our flat. We've been involved in their lives as well as them in ours, births, deaths, marriages and christenings.
I don't actually need anymore friends, the ones we have are the best in the world. I just need a few of the above closer to where we live. Someone to meet for a coffee, someone who just pops in or I just pop to theirs. Someone to walk the dog with, stay over when Peter is away or me at theirs. Someone to shop with, talk crap with snd just generally provide me with a bit more company and share the good and bad with, without waiting till I've flown 3000 miles.
I've never lived in a foreign country but I have moved many times in my life, mostly alone. Sometimes a friendship just seems to happen like a great gift from God. Yes you do need a few local companions even if they never become lifetime friends.ReplyDelete
that sums it all up, thank youDelete
I have some friends who I have known almost my whole adult life and they are priceless to me. One of the things I did not expect about blogging, however, was the number of relationships I would form with fellow bloggers. It has absolutely been one of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging for me.ReplyDelete
I meet up often with some fellow bloggers and we chat daily on social media also, it's been lovely to meet people this wayDelete
My closest friendships happened at school and uni. I am still very close with 4 friends from those times. However, I have found that Facebook has ruined a lot of friendships. People just do the strangest things online!! I would like some more friends, but it can be quite hard. #TriumphantTalesReplyDelete
yes facebook can be very damaging to relationships with friends and family alsoDelete
I don't know if it's an age thing or not but as I've gotten older, I find it harder to make real friends. Good company yes, but not that real tight friendship. I find the whole online world for friendship very strange x #KeepingItRealReplyDelete
I guess it gets harder when the kids leave home to actually meet new peopleDelete
Hi Suzanne, it must be hard forming new and strong bonds when you've moved so often in recent years, but as they say the oldies are the goodies. It is nice putting the world to rights and talking utter bilge with someone we feel comfortable with. When it comes to friends quality is far better than quantity, even if it does mean walking the dog alone a lot.ReplyDelete
Thank you for popping by and sharing with #keepingitreal.
oh yes, quality is far more important, I'd just like a few of these people nearer to where i liveDelete
It's lovely that you still have friends at home, it must be so nice to touch base with them when you can. I have been thinking about friends lately too, and I don't see many. I don't share coffee's and natters very often (in fact very rarely) and they don't visit me, probably because I don't visit them. (But I'm sure they don't understand how difficult it is for me, even a door step can be a BIG hurdle) BUT, I often receive messages online and by post, and little gifts from friends who live further afield. It warms my heart to know that people think of me and take time out to let me know. xReplyDelete
I've found the value of online friends invaluable when i've been living abroadDelete
Adult friendships have been hard for me the last few years. I feel your pain. Visiting you from the blog crush link up.ReplyDelete
it gets so hard to make friends when you get older though i findDelete
I have had friends come and go, we naturally outgrow each other or our lives change course and the similarities that would bind us are gone, leaving us little in common. I do have one friend who's been there most of my life, even with a huge gap years ago of 4 years of not seeing or speaking to each other we're as thick as thieves now. Other friendships seem to be virtual, one moved to Canada so that's a whatsap video every once in a while. Blogger friends are mainly virtual but I've made two or three beautiful friendships whereby we actually meet in person now. I think the world of social media brings like-minded people together and these are the people I want to be friends with xReplyDelete
it is lovely how social media opens so many doors of opportunities for meeting life long friendsDelete
I've noticed the older you are, the smaller your friendship group. But those that stick around are friends for life! Thank you for sharing this with us at #triumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow!ReplyDelete
I guess our lives fill up when we have children and we have less time for physical meet ups with realk life friendsDelete
I have to agree with Lianne above... the circle of true friendship grows stronger, smaller and more genuine. Great post, lady! #triumpanttales xoxoReplyDelete
that's true for sureDelete
I think you're very lucky to have friends like you've described here - they are few and far between, and I am yet to find any that are involved more than the odd meet up in a coffee shop once every couple of months. I think it is harder to make and maintain friends as an adult as everyone involved has so many responsibilities so it can be tricky to find the time to invest in them fully. I hope you find your Dubai crew very soon #blogcrushReplyDelete
I'm not sure I'll find my Dubai crew, we've been there 4 years alreadyDelete