How many friends do you REALLY have?

Best Friends - Ernie and Bert: best friends
@CanadaGal (4304)
Canada
June 16, 2008 11:51am CST
I had quite a sad realization a few weeks ago. The fact is, I have very few really good friends in the city where I live. I have lived here for 10 years now, and although I have a lot of acquaintances, I only have one actual good friend here. He's someone I feel I can talk to about anything and everything... someone I don't feel the need to hide anything from, and someone who won't judge me. And even though we've only known each other for about 1 1/2 yrs now, I consider him to be my best friend. I have other fantastic friends, but the closest one, traveling distance wise, is 3 hours away. So hanging out with her, and getting a coffee some nights, or going out for an evening just isn't something we can do. And with the fact I don't drive and the increase in gas prices, we barely see each other. We do talk on the phone daily, which is great, but it's not the same as it used to be when we both lived in Toronto and could see each other in person regularly. I could go through my phonebook (or facebook? lol), and easily come up with a dozen or more names of people I could contact for help for anything in an emergency, and I know for a fact that they would be here for me in a matter of hours (again, that traveling distance thing). There are even more people I could call on for more minor instances, and they too would be there in whatever capacity they could. I have acquaintances in the city I live in. Lots of them. There are a bunch of people I could call up and meet for coffee or lunch or for a playdate with the kids, but those friendships are not deep and meaningful as other friendships I have. Throw in the other parents and caregivers I talk to at the school, or neighbours I chit chat with at the mailbox, and you'd think I had tons of friends. But the reality is I am very lonely. I have considered moving out of this city and perhaps back to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) where most of my old friends still live. However, I've been gone for 10 years now. People change. I've changed, they've changed. And just because we were good friends then, doesn't mean we have enough in common now. There's always my online friends too. Again, there are people I can turn to and talk to about anything and everything if need be, and they will be there to listen and give advice and often enough, put me in my place and tell me to get over myself and my issues. lol. But again, they are scattered all over the world, and we don't "hang out" in person. So how many friends do you REALLY have? Have you known them long? How often do you see them?
4 people like this
24 responses
• United States
16 Jun 08
I don't 'run with the pack', in fact I'm pretty much a loner, although I do love meeting new people and 'socializing'. I love my solitude and weird as it might sound I have friends that are not people. Right now my 'friends list' reads like this: Non-people: Oscar Driver's old family summer home. The river it sits beside. The bear who broke into that house, although we have never met I can feel him and I know it is mutual. The Sycamore tree that grows there. The water snake that lives in the rocks down by the bridge. All my kitties of course. People: The Buddhist guy I met when I was camping. The Mennonite couple that lives down the road and named their daughter Ruth. The postmistress. Best friends: Myself My 2 grown kids. My sister. A guy a met online and who I have never met but we are practically 'cut from the same cloth'. When I lived in Hollywood I had so many friends I didn't have much time for myself at all, but they were wonderful friends so I didn't mind. I have not had friends like that since I left L.A., but I never kept in touch with any of them, and I'm glad I didn't since I don't like dragging the past around with me every where I go. But sometimes I do miss having human friends that I have more than a little in common with, who don't look at me like a 2-headed alien from outer space anytime I express thoughts or ideas that are not common and agreed on by the masses. I don't think I've ever been lonely in my entire life though... there is always so much going on that is exciting and interesting and entertaining that even if I did it probably wouldn't last long. If it did I would write poetry about being alone I think, and turn it into a thing of beauty.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
16 Jun 08
Getting more into your mode of thinking, I should count myself as another best friend. And I admit, I wasn't always my own friend. Not that I didn't like me, but I was too busy pleasing others, and forgot about me. Never again.
• United States
17 Jun 08
Both my sisters are like that. It's not a bad thing to want others to be happy, but my one sister continuously does things that do not make her happy just to make others happy and then the 'others' still aren't happy. The other one drives me crazy waiting on everybody hand and foot! It's like NO! I don't need a sweater! No thank you, I don't need you to do my laundry, no thank you no thank you no thank you... jeez! Good luck 'reforming' yourself, hehehehe! You'll be glad you did!
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
Oh, I'm already glad I did. The first step towards it was when I left nuckfuts 5 1/2 yrs ago. Now I'm finding myself in a new rut, that's all. It's growth time again. And growing pains do hurt... emotional and physical ones.
• Canada
18 Jun 08
I have 1 BEST FRIEND, a forever friend, you know who she is.....sparks! We have known each other for 20 yrs. Throught the best and worst of times. I can share anything with her, she will not judge me. Either of us would drop anything and BE THERE if needed anytime, anywhere. I have some acquaintances, yes, but I am actually happy to be fairly solitary. I am more social here on the lot than in real life. I value these friendships more than the acquaintances I have. I am very picky, I guess as to whom I allow into my life. I am very trusting and open and honest and many have taken advantage of that in the past. So I am reluctant to make too many 'new' friends. There was an instance just recently where someone spent a year trying to befriend me only to use something I said in confidence against me when they got angry. It is things like that that reinforce my wariness of people. So many, nowadays, are just out for themselves and don't see the big picture.
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
My forever friend is my friend Dawn. The fact that we're 35 and 36 now and have known and been good friends for over 30 years is pretty freakin' fantastic! We know each other inside and out, can read each other all to well, and tell it like it is to each other... something that is the MOST important aspect of any friendship to me. Don't beat around the bush with stuff... that's flaky. Tell it like it is, and I'll do the same... and we'll all respect each other more because of it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jun 08
Yep, that's me, "Tell it like it is, Annie". Take me or leave me. I am just naturally like that. I can't seem to help it, it is just the way I function. I hate people that 'beat around the bush". I hate having to 'read between the lines'. Too many misunderstandings that way. I hate misunderstandings. It really irritates me how so many people ASSUME so many things that are wrong. I would much rather someone was straight with me as that is how I am. I try my best to be clear. I admit, I am not always the most tactful person, but I think I make myself pretty transparent. Maybe it is because so many people are hiding secrets. I don't know. I just can't NOT BE straight or clear with someone as to my feelings and intentions. In fact, if I have done something I often confess. I cannot live with guilt either. Just me. I'm weird. I know. Different from the norm.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Jun 08
Hahaha! And wasn't Annie Oakley herself a pretty straight shooter? I'm grinning so hard my face hurts! I tend to 'shoot from the hip', hehehe, also I have been known to be a little 'trigger happy'. But I've learned that some people 'can't handle the truth', like cops for example, and sometimes even mothers - like my own! Just yesterday she told me I was going deaf because I ignored her when I was in a hurry to dig up some friggin' weeds before the sun got broiling. No way I was gonna tell her the truth, which is "I'm not going deaf, it's called selective hearing!". I would have been delayed for a WHOLE LOT longer had I told her that!
2 people like this
@skinnychick (6906)
• United States
16 Jun 08
I have 3 friends really. I have mostly accquaintances from work and school. But real friends there are only 3. One of them I see a good amount of the time because he is in my area. But the other 2 I only see once in awhile. One of them lives 5 hours away and the other lives about an hour way but she is really busy with her kids and stuff. I miss those two crazy girls. Sheesh!!!
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
16 Jun 08
I miss my best friend who I talk to every day too. We got the chance to hang out in early April when she came for a visit for the weekend with her twin girls (we both have twins... how cool is that? We've been best friends for over 30 years, since junior kindergarten, and both ended up happily divorced with 3 kids, and 2 of them being twins lmao!).
• United States
16 Jun 08
Sounds like you two are the twins! LOL!!
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
16 Jun 08
best friends  - Canada Gal and her best friend
In many ways, we sure are! I'm on the right.
@TCampbell (180)
• United States
17 Jun 08
I didn't realize how many real friends I had until I was hospitalize a couple of years ago. It was all very sudden so I didn't have time to make arrangements for someone to take care of my dogs. My good friend Annie, after she took me to the hospital went into action and had called everyone on my speed dial. Though many of my friends had never met one another they came together in a way that still brings tears to my eyes. My sister had flown out from Virginia and told me one night at the hospital that she was so grateful for the people in my life as my friends took her in as well, giving her a place to stay and a car to drive since my house was over an hour from the hospital. My dogs were so fat from everyone feeding them they were put on a diet when I got home. I always knew I had a couple really good friends but when this happened, I was overwhelmed by all of the support from my friends and their families and I can't every thank them enough.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
17 Jun 08
Talk about real friend, I'm not poor. When I feel I want someone to talk to when I'm down, I can find my friends to talk. When I want to share my happines with my frineds, there will be a friend to standby. I have at least 5 true friends. I so proud I have such nice friends. Even thought I had a friend who made me feel regret to know her, but I still have a lot of great friends. I will appreciate them.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
I have 4 that I feel I can call and talk to about anything at any time. And yes, I've been burned in the past by so-called "friends" as well. I think we all have.
@myklj999 (33038)
• Olney, Illinois
17 Jun 08
Would you believe none? At least in the way that you speak of. I have my 'net friends and that's it.
1 person likes this
@redkey65 (221)
• China
17 Jun 08
it seems there are more acquaintances nowadays, while the true friends are so few. maybe the time have changed, and people's life value changed too.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
It's a very different world each decade, that's for sure. People are so busy rushing around to keep up with society, and many people are forgetting the value of long time friendships.
@neildc (17251)
• Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
17 Jun 08
i have been here in cebu, a far away island province south of manila. manila is also south of bulacan where is grew up. so basically, my good friends were in bulacan. i found some of them in the internet so we almost not seeing personally. here in cebu, i have less friends but my best friend that i have communication and personally meeting everyday is my wife. we had been together for the past 12 years now...
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
It's so wonderful how the internet can really help to keep some friendships alive. And having your best friend as your wife is wonderful. :)
@Rikza1 (295)
• Finland
17 Jun 08
I have 2 really really good friends. So called "best" friends. I can share all i want with them, go to them at anytime, and i don't wanna leave them. I also got 5 friends who are just good friends, who i can talk to just about anything, visit them anytime and i keep in touch with. Also got many not so close friends, but who i talk to pretty often, meen in town and stuff.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
You are blessed to have so many friends and acquaintances :)
@fatima07 (169)
• Philippines
17 Jun 08
I have a lots of friends, but I can say that I dont have a best friend. Until now I can't find the person that can be my bestfriend to share all my personal secrets because they seems that they can't keep secrets
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
Best friends are hard to find... that's why once you DO find one, you shouldn't take it for granted. Best friends will not share your secrets with others... they are true confidantes.
@Ravenladyj (22936)
• United States
17 Jun 08
Near me? LOL none...the closest close friend of mine is about an hour away but she is very busy and our schedules rarely match up....my next dearest, tight friends live miles and miles away from me....I'm in Western New York and they are in places like California, Ohio, PA, Canada etc etc....How long have I known them? wow I think the shortest time is about 7 yrs and the longest being 20+ yrs (which is the majority of them LOL)..How often do i see them...very very rarely..in fact I dont talk to them that much either really BUT when we do talk or see each other its like no time has passed ya know.. I guess I dont mind though really...I've always been a loner type I prefer to be on my own than deal with the crap that comes along wiht hangin with a group of ppl...I have zero tolerance for the he said she said b/s and the jealousy etc etc.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
The dynamics involved in a group of people being friends as opposed to just one on one tend to be different. And yes, the he said she said b.s. is a pain. I left that behind me after high school. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who cannot see their best friends regularly.
@subha12 (18452)
• India
17 Jun 08
i know the list can be followed from mail box address book or my orkut profile. also the mobile phone book also not the truth always,. so many contacts saved and arrely with touch with some.I can say, at this moment there is no one. I was cheated by my so called best friend. so its hard to believe now.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
Being betrayed by someone who is supposed to be a dear friend really does hurt, and yes, it is very hard to be willing to open yourself up to that kind of trust again. I can relate all too well.
@YOULANLIU (312)
• China
17 Jun 08
I was told that chosen friends should be carefully when I was into the school's door.I think choose friends is just to choose the road of life,it is very important because the same types of people always get together.Their actions will affect you more or less.I don't want to stay with idle staff,so all of my friends are hardworking ,forward person.From the exchanges with them, I believe that I have made a correct decision.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
You are who your friends are. That is SO true!
@weng_08 (282)
• Philippines
17 Jun 08
They say that those who have plenty of friends don't have real friends. It's not always true, of course, what I want you to realize is that you are not alone. You may not have a lot, but you've got the best one. I have few friends myself, but I make sure I keep in touch even with my friends from grade school and high school. It is important to spend time with friends. One of my best friends is working overseas, so we barely see each other, but when we do, it's almost like we've never really been apart. I also make sure I regularly have coffee and watch movies with my friends. As I've said, I've got few, so it's not that difficult to find time for each of them. Have a great day!
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
Part of the reason I started this thread was seeking confirmation that I'm not alone in my situation; validating my feelings in a way. Thank you for helping with that. :)
• Philippines
17 Jun 08
I also have lots of friends. But these past few months, i rarely have the chance to see them all because of differences of our schedule. I have lots of friends, but honestly and sad to say, not most of them i Can really tag as my soul mates or the umbrella of my life. But then, I consider them all as friends.I have my party friends, my high school , elem. and even college friends and I also have my own clique at work. I can't say here whom i can consider as true to me, they might be reading this ha ha, but them I'm grateful to all of them because they even offered their time just to be with me and share their life with me. I don't know if you also have this feeling but sometimes they only look up to you or even manage to text if they have problems.Well, somehow I felt flattered cause i know they trust me so much .but hey,I cannot always be a shock absorber to everybody
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
I have had those kinds of friendships as well, where I only heard from certain people when they needed my help. I have chosen to not have those people in my life anymore because it's far too emotionally draining.
@tschu8 (136)
• United States
16 Jun 08
I have only one true friend. I have many aquaintences and friends but one person that I would trust my life with. And I am ok with this. We have been friends for about 22 years now and we have alot in common. We only live about 10 minute drive apart and do not get to spend as much time together as we have in the past but that is ok. We both have out own families and lives as well but if she ever needed me and I ever needed her we are there for eachother. I do have other people that I do feel close with and spend time with when I can but when the question come up as how many friends do I have only one person comes to my mind. It does not make me really feel lonely or anything because I would rather have one true friend then a dozen or more people that I could not trust or count on.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
16 Jun 08
Excellent point on having one true friend as opposed to lots that cannot be counted on.
@sylvia13 (1850)
• Nelson Bay, Australia
16 Jun 08
In Aug it will be 15 years since I arrived here and in all that time I have only been able to have 1 friend and she was "inherited", so I did not find her. We meet twice a year for a two hour breakfast and then I don't see her again for another six months. In spring and summer it is almost painful to see people sitting outside with a relative or friend talking and I wish I could do the same. My friends and family are spread all over the world, so I am only able to see them every now and then and not as often as I would like. I try to be my own friend and I find that my computer has helped me a lot! Not only to communicate with people, but to entertain and express myself. So to answer your question, I have one friend, but she is dossified, 2 hours every six months. Maybe I had to leave too many people when I moved countries and now I am paying the price.
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
16 Jun 08
One of the problems with creating and maintaining so many online friendships, is that it doesn't always allow for time to make new friends in person. And I think too, as we get older, we become more picky about who we get to know on intimate levels. At least I find I'm like that. lol.
• United States
16 Jun 08
Hmmmm...friends I really have....let's see... 1) Jenny. I've known Jenny since I was about 16 years old, so it'll be about 20 years that we've known each other. I can tell her about anything. 2) Ed. I've known him just over 9 years (we worked together before getting involved) and I feel as though he doesn't judge me. I can tell him nearly anything too, although I'm still not comfortable telling him EVERY little thing. 3) Jenn. I've known her since we met on our kids first day of kindergarten (and they're finishing the 9th grade!). She's seen me change the most over the years. We can go back and forth, we don't see one another every day, but we keep in contact via email. 4) Harry. I've known of him longer (20+ years) but we didn't really start talking until last fall. He helps with nearly anything I ask him too (here around the house), is helpful but insists that I should break up with Ed and go out with him, since he never sees Ed over...but he doesn't drive and I'd have to drive him home. So how would that work? I have lots of acquaintances, but these people have been constants in my life for a while now.
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
16 Jun 08
I have 2 others that I can talk to about anything as well... but both of them live on the other side of the country in B.C. Thank goodness for msn!!!
1 person likes this
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
16 Jun 08
I know how you feel, and I am sorry that you feel so lonely, because I know it's not nice to feel like that at all. I have some friends spread around the world. I live in Spain and some of my friends are in Australia, England, New York, etc. But I'm lucky enough because more than half of them are in the same city as me, which is cool. But I also think that quality is better than quantity, and one of my best friends lives in Ireland, so I only get to see him a few weeks a year, and it's still great. To that you must add all the people i've met online of course. I would say that I have like 8 true friends plus 2 or 3 I met here. Those i can consider close friends. Obviously among them there are always some you get on with better, but that doesn't mean that they're better or worse friends, just a matter of personalities.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4304)
• Canada
16 Jun 08
It's the first time in my life I've ever felt so alone. It's a strange feeling indeed. I have some friends who I will talk to only about certain things, but the TRUE friends I'm meaning to refer to in this discussion are the ones that I can talk to about anything and everything. Those are the ones hard to come by I find. And yes, it's all about personality matches.
@p1kef1sh (45638)
16 Jun 08
That's a good question. How many friends do we need? I am easily able to separate my on and off line friends. For practical help or a place to stay in a hurry, I can probably count on about three people. For a chat or lunch, probably about six, for unconditional love, two - one I'm married to, the other I'm the father of. When I was ill last year I found out that many people that I thought of as "friends" were in fact very selective about the terms on which our friendship was based. Lots of "poor you" not much "lets talk, come for supper". Actually, the "best" friend was my wife's oldest friend who lives about 100 miles away. She was just there for me. Then I discovered myLot! My on-line friends are very different. I have about 10 who I can rant to. Of those, about four are people that I could call up day or night for a shoulder to cry on. Hope that helps. XX
1 person likes this