To go along with yesterdays post I thought I would explore something that has given me reason to ponder over the years. What is the "golden ratio" of characteristics that make for the best friends?
I started thinking about this when I found out we would only be living in our new city for a year. A year isn't a lot of time. But I want to make the most of it. So the question really became, "how can I weed through the hundreds of people I may come in contact with, and find the people that have the greatest potential to become friends?"
It sounds harsh, and rather unfriendly of me. I always try to be friendly.
Let's be honest. Not everyone we meet we have interest in becoming friends with. And by friends I mean the kind that you want to have over for dinner, call on the phone, trade babysitting with. I like having a large acquaintance pool, but I have noticed that my friend pool I like to keep a little smaller.
When I think about the characteristics of my best friend, we share the following (in no particular order): kids of similar age, medicine, hobbies, religion, body composition, political affiliation, economic standing, beliefs about money, food preferences (and probably more). And maybe what makes her my best friend is that our husbands are also best friends, too. We have a magic combination.
I also have a friend with whom I share little in common (by comparison). The tie that binds us together is that she was the person who I met first. Other than that we shared: neighborhood, age, religion, and political affiliation. Our kids are no where near in age, our economic status is different, we manage our money completely opposite of each other, an easy 100 lbs separate us, our husbands are friendly, and I am not always ready to eat her cooking. But she is my friend, one of my longest and dearest.
So what is the magic combination? Is it a numbers game? Are some characteristics weighted more heavily in favor of friendship? I still don't know, but I am positive that one exists. How? Based on pure experience. I can't think of a single friend that doesn't share at least three thing in common with me.
I don't rush into friendships, or at least I haven't in the past. My fear now is that as people find out our stay here is short-term will they be interested in investing the time to forge a friendship? Will I be interested? How much time is necessary for true friendship to develop? I don't know that I have ever been able to accomplish that in such a short time. There have been the exceptions, like my best friend. Some people you meet and immediately know you will be friends. Now off to find those people!
What are some of the commonalities you find make for the best friends? Or do you have friends with whom you have nothing in common?