Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I read an article this week on MSN.com about women and friendships. I love the articles on MSN because they are short, sweet and to the point and also very interesting. This particular article was really timely for me because I've been feeling like I don't have any "close" friends. In high school I had really close friends that I could do anything with. Now I have friends that have kids the same age as me, or neighborhood friends, or church friends, etc. and it was frustrating to me that I didn't have that one friend that was an all-around-friend. Especially after I would go home and hang out with Maria and Hannah, who I could talk about anything with and have a really good time, it was even more obvious to me that I had "lost" the art of making friends (this is really how I felt).

But I read this article which said that when women reach their late 20's and on that we need to cultivate six different types of friends and that having friends like we had in high school won't meet all of our needs because our lives are more complex from this point on. I know my life has gotten more complex since my 20's!

Six Must-Have Friends:
1. Work Friend
2. Friend In Your Kid's Class
3. The Friend Who's Known You Forever
4. The Hobby Friend
5. Straight-Talking Friend
6. Feel-Good Friend

Honestly, I felt so much better about myself after finishing the article. It's not that I'm not good at making friends but that my friends meet different needs in my life. It would be impossible to find another person exactly like me who's life was exactly like mine. If I did find someone like that they would probably be irritating anyways!

So I stopped and took an inventory of my friends and found that I have friends in almost every category and that in every aspect of my life I have made good friendships and that most of my friends are Japanese and that because of these friendships my Japanese has gotten where it is today. Lord knows that my husband hasn't been helping my Japanese along. He still looks at me with a puzzled look when I speak to him suddenly in Japanese. Sigh...

I am still surprised sometimes by the life that adults lead. I still feel like I'm 21 and shouldn't be allowed to have this much responsibility because I'll probably screw it up. But when I have these kinds of moments where I realize that "I am an adult" it is surprisingly reassuring. I'm headed in the right direction. I'm doing adult things and having adult emotions. I'm not behind my peers. Woo-hoo!

If you'd like to read the whole article, click here.


Lily said...

What an interesting post. i never thought about the difference btw friends in your 20s and in your 30s. I tend to agree- well it is more like how friendships change after settling down. Thanks for including the link.

Abigail Munday said...

That was really encouraging for me, too, Sarah, because I've struggled with not feeling like I have a bosom buddy since I came to Japan. My friends overseas just don't understand some aspects of my life now. My hubby gets to hear me moping about this sometimes! I've thought that I just have to rely more on God, but you know what? Lately, more and more, I'm realizing He made us for relationships with humans, too, and not just with Him. Since we're hardwired this way, that article about the six types of friends gave me more impetus to focus more on developing a few strong friendships and run around less like a headless chicken trying to be friends with everybody. I am a big girl now!

You don't happen to know anybody in the Nishinomiya area who does kyuudou, do you? I've had an interest in that for ages but don't know anybody who does it. I need a hobby friend!

Anonymous said...

I find I have made a series of friends as we move from place to place, and lately I seem to be running into friends that I made in every season of my life - it's quite amazing, and they still seem to like me, but I wouldn't necessarily renew those friendships again to the intensity they once were - not enough in common. However, I find that the friends we made when we were first married are the friends that we enjoy the most. We can go for years without seeing each other, then just pick up and carry on the conversation as if it never stopped. Both of us have lost our HS friends completely though....I don't quite get that.
About the bosom buddy theory - that everybody should have one close friend forever - part of me recognizes that happens for some people, both men and women, and part of me thinks that is a limiting thing that keeps you from making a larger circle of friends, and part of me thinks that is the invention of novelists, most of whom don't have a bosom buddy themselves......I call this the Anne of Green Gables syndrome! I love my friends and I wish I had more time to enjoy them, but my husband is my very best friend.
love Mom

Gina said...

Anne of Green Gables syndrome!...I love it! : )Sarah's mom, I like this phrase so much that you used! Perhaps because I loved the books and movies of Anne of Green Gables and her dearest friend, her bosom friend Diana! Kindred spirits they were! : )

I had 1 best/closest friend since preschool (Renee). We were friends all through school until graduation and all through university. I actually had a handful of close girlfriends since preschool through graduation and even many of us attended the same uni (Renee, Kim, Amy and Nicky) But sadly since I moved to Japan, it's harder to stay in touch. They all married nice guys and work in Denver, Colorado. And remain close with each other, while I am off living in another country. I still consider them friends. Good friends but when I go home, I find myself often being out of the loop. For example they share each other's lives or see each other, bump into each other at the grocery store. or attend each others kids birthday parties. meanwhile I miss all of it. I feel like I'm permanently absent! Ha ha ha! Huge gaps happen, even though it's really no one's fault. Like I said, I really feel out of the loop. Out of the know. I go home, and feel like I am forever trying to play catch up. We email. But losing touch and that closeness does happen.

In Japan, at first, I tried to have mostly foreign friends. I met a lot of wonderful foreign girlfriends .But I realized we're all spread out throughout Japan and it can be a challenge to actually have "get together's" and meet up. For example, it's exhausting trying to drive 2 hours or an hour and a half (one way) just to meet up with a fellow foreigner. And I'm not saying it in a bad way but the time of driving and the time it takes out of just general life. Makes it quite hard. And after a while, I thought. Why not just make friends with people who live, a heck of a lot closer with me. Become friends with the mom's of the kids, who go to school with my son who's in kindergarten. Make friends with the gals who live in my neighborhood. My Japanese has gotten better meanwhile their English has gotten a bit better too. Ha ha ha. But it's nice to have that friendship so close to home. And friendships with my son's mom's is awesome because they always let me know what's going on with school. Because the notes that come are in Japanese.

I wish, I had close foreign friends who lived closer. Because we do relate together well. Often go through the same things. It's just the distance that's the problem. I'm glad I met you through the internet though Sarah! You're awesome and your hubby is from Osaka. My husband's from Osaka too. People from Osaka are very good people. I consider you my friend! We can share our lives with another via our blogs and cheer each other up, when we need to! : )