Today whilst at lunch with my girlfriend, I learnt what a situational friend was. Basically, its a friend in a friendship bonded by a shared situation. Simply speaking, it’s the kind of friendship which gets cut after you leave your shared situation in which you met. Suddenly a whole lot of stuff has come to light for me! I would sit and wonder, why is it this person needed me? Some friends come about through shared experiences, bonding-by-drama, etc. One minute I would be sharing the most intimate things about myself…the next..BOOM they are gone. When that time is over, I’d go on about my business. But be left with this lingering question: Why? I use to think to myself, is there something wrong with me? What did this person want? Did they get what they needed? Did I get anything out of it? What happens when that one thing goes away, should you try to salvage the friendship on the premis of the friendship or just let it go?
I think we all change from year to year, job to job, residence to residence, age to age. During each phase in our lives we befriend people who share situations or environments. We befriend them only because of the commonality of shared experiences, and once those situations or environments change…the friendships usually fade out, too. It’s not like we sought out their friendship…rather, we gravitated toward them out of routine, necessity, boredom, whatever. It is confusing when situational friends are also close friends. A crisis, an urgency of some kind can push people together. When the crisis is over, people stay friends, thinking that because something so hard or horrible or painful or intense pushed them together, the friendship must be true, real, strong, and close. Close friends are real friends, and with each passing day you feel their importance…depending on the circumstances of your mood or the situation you are in.
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” Helen Keller.
“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing…not healing…not curing…that is a friend who cares.” Henri Nouwen