Despite what television sitcoms might want you to believe, lifelong friendships are not all that common. While hanging out with a tight group of friends all day, every day sounds great, the reality is that few people have the time to do so. Of course, friends come and go, but it is only a select few that will remain in your life.
Thanks to the Internet and social media it is easier than ever to make new friends and keep in touch with people, but having a true lifelong friend goes a lot deeper than that. For many it is about spending time together offline and sharing together through life experiences, which is more meaningful than simply interacting online.
Anyone fortunate enough to have forged a lifelong friendship will immediately recognize the following signs.
1. You Are Never Too Busy For Each Other
As work and responsibilities pile up there is less and less time to spend with friends, but lifelong friends always find a way to stay in touch. Even when a night out or a weekend away isn’t feasible, there is always the option of a quick lunch together or simply a drink after work.
Due to so many things making demands on our time, it is a precious commodity, but lifelong friends understand the importance of some quality time together. It might take some planning and schedule juggling, but time spent with a lifelong friend is always worth the effort.
2. You Know Everything About Each Other
Nobody is perfect and a lifelong friend knows this better than most. Even better, they accept each other the way that they are, which means quirks and all. This is one of the things that make lifelong friends closer to family.
They might tease each other about weird personality traits and other strange habits, but won’t ever let it come between the friendships.
3. You Have Each Other’s Backs
Lifelong friends know that no matter what happens, they have someone that they can depend on. As the saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed, and lifelong friends will stand by each other in tough situations.
It is a two-way avenue as well, so unlike friends who only get in touch when they are the ones in need of help, lifelong friends will stick together through the good and the bad.
4. You Don’t Sugarcoat Advice
Just because lifelong friends don’t judge each other, it doesn’t mean that they will just say the things they want to hear. Being honest when it comes to criticism or advice is extremely challenging, but lifelong friends have each other’s best interest at heart and will say what needs to be said.
This is something men tend to find a little easier to do than women, but lifelong friends won’t hesitate to show some tough love if it is really needed.
Lying is futile as well; you might try, but lifelong friends are usually able to know exactly when one of them is lying about something. Other people might be fooled when told that everything is fine, but a lifelong friend will see right through the facade and know how to offer support.
5. You Know How To Make Each Other Laugh
Friends will share funny jokes and memes with you on social media, but lifelong friends have enough shared experiences to make each other laugh with only a word or phrase. Laughter increases the release of endorphins and reduces the stress hormone cortisol, so sharing in laughter with a lifelong friend is a great bonding experience.
Thanks to all the shared experiences of a lifelong friendship there are usually plenty of humorous stories to draw upon as well. Best of all, lifelong friends understand each other well enough to know exactly when some laughter is needed.
6. You Don’t Let Change Get In The Way Of The Friendship
There are very few constants in life and lifelong friends understand this. Major changes, such as marriage, children, moving or changing jobs often come at the cost of a few friends, but lifelong friends are able to roll with these changes.
Even if it means they need to make more effort to stay in touch, lifelong friends will do so instead of letting the friendship fade away because it requires more energy to maintain.
7. You Are A Part Of Each Other’s Lives Even When Apart
The bond forged between lifelong friends means that even when they are not together there is still a feeling of being connected.
This is also one of the reasons why lifelong friends are able to pick things up right where they left off when forced by circumstances to spend long periods of time apart.