As you get older, one undeniable fact in life you will realize is that there will only be a handful of people who will stick with you. It’s not something to be sad about, that’s just the way it is. People get older. People get married, have kids, and all that, and people lose touch. That’s the world we live in.
You may have a lot of acquaintances and contacts, but there are only a few you can your good friends you can count on; the type you can call in the middle of the night for a drink or the ones you can talk to about literally anything.
So if all your acquaintances and contacts are not really “friends,” what are they then? What’s the borderline between calling someone a friend and not a friend? Are Facebook friends still considered friends?
Humor me a bit and let’s take a closer look at the different type of friends that a person can have. The following may not be all the types that exist in the world, but here are the ones that I’ve come up with.
Also, I’m not going to discuss the boyfriend/girlfriend/bestfriend types because those are… well, pretty obvious and too easy. Of course your BFF will stay with you till the end of time!
A) Acquaintance Friend
I guess this is pretty basic and straightforward. In reality, an acquaintance isn’t really a friend right? That’s why we call it an acquaintance. However, some people can cross that line between a person you just met into becoming a real friend. Whether you met that person in a business meeting or in a party, that one event wherein you met can just be a one-time thing or to something bigger: actually being friends.
This is more of the “Oh yeah I know him. We met in a party once last year” variety.
B) Work Friend
Work friends include your officemates, your partners, your clients, and whoever you have to deal with it at work. Work friends are obviously closer than acquaintances but somehow there’s that “line” again. Are they your close friends or are you close to them just because the circumstances in your work led you to be close? You know what I mean?
Remember, proximity breeds likeness. Relationships can be formed just because you spend countless hours doing a job with a person.
Personally, I became really good friends with the people from a company I used to work before because the circumstances led us to be close. The work was really stressful and we had no other option but to band together. And besides, they’re really cool people too so it was easy for us to be friends. Of course I wasn’t friends with the entire office and there were still those that I consider acquaintances or shallow work friends.
C) Friend from School
School friends extend to the people you met in elementary, high school, college, law school, grad school, and whatever else school is out there. I’m sure all of us have that one or two group of friends that were once our schoolmates. The bond is different I should say. Maybe because you were all young at one point – immature and discovering shit together. Also, all of you have one singular purpose in school: to graduate. That goal, together with the environment you guys are in (teachers, relationships, projects, etc) led you guys to be close and to be friends.
What’s nice about school friends are the memories that you guys share. Again, the bond is just different. I’m not saying that this is the strongest kind of friendship. No, it’s like that. It’s more of having that shared history that makes you guys feel close despite getting older.
D) I-can’t-remember-how-we-became-friends Friends
Maybe you met that person in a party, or in a business meeting, or at a friend’s house, or at a bar or just somewhere. The point is that you can’t remember where you met and why you guys are still friends. Despite this fact, you still surprisingly get along.
You possibly met through a common friend but somehow the two of you just hit it off and started hanging out even when that common friend is unavailable. You guys got close and the origins of your friendship doesn’t really matter anymore.
E) I’m-not-really-sure-if-we’re-still-friends Friends
All your old schoolmates, old officemates, old acquaintances, and all your exes are included here. Either time has brought you distance, or maybe your friend moved far away from home, or worse that friend broke your trust.
There are tons of reasons why people leave. But guess what, you have left people too. Both sides are at fault and somehow things aren’t the way it used to be.
Are you still friends? Maybe there’s also such a thing called conditional friends – the type you only became friends because you were in a position to be friends. Perhaps it was the environment or situations you were involved in, but now, since those circumstances have changed and I’m sure each of you has individually changed too, you sadly realize that you’re not meant to be good friends.
But then again, because of that history considers you to be friends. It’s the present that’s iffy. You were close before, but how close are you with that person now?
F) Facebook Friends
Facebook Friends or Social Media Friends in general (i.e. Twitter or Instagram followers) can be really tricky. It’s obvious that someone’s 800+ friends aren’t all his friends. It’s easy to add someone on Facebook. With just a couple of clicks, some random person can automatically be your friend.
Getting someone’s Facebook is also the 21st century version of getting someone’s number. Being friends on social media is all about being cute, really. You post some random crap about your cat or dog and your “new friend” (who just might be your crush and that’s why he got your Facebook in the first place), will like your post or photo.
I do get the point of Facebook however. You do get to connect to people one way or another. The important thing is not to get used to the connection that social media gives us. Liking someone’s post or even chatting someone online shouldn’t replace actually having a conversation with a live person.
G) Friend Friend
To put it bluntly, these are your real friends. Anytime, anywhere, no matter what situation you are in life, they will always be there.
They are real in a sense that I don’t even have to explain what they are. They are real too much that as you read this, you’re already thinking who the people in your life fall into this category.
They are friends to keep.
You might meet thousands of people in your lifetime, and if you’re lucky you just might be friends with some of them. Friendship isn’t about the number of friends you have, but the relationships you formed with the people you love the most.