What is Life cycle of friendship?


A typical friendship goes thru following phases.

Proximity – Real life friendship is often initiated via geographic proximity like office, school, meet up via social network etc.

Discovery – One selects friends who s/he thinks aligns with his/her type based on perceived philosophy, interest, social status etc.

Intimacy – Friendship deepens via exchange of ideas, frequent visits of each others’ places, sharing personal information, asking for advice, joint day outs etc. Usually this is the longest and most matured phase of friendship.

Drift – In this phase some change in one or both party’s circumstance causes lack of common interest. By mixing with each other for long one tends to focus on each other’s bad points rather than good traits. At this stage parties often expect many things from other parties because of intimacy. If one party moves away geographically that also often tears the friendship abruptly.

Break up – At this stage, friends are already drifting for some time. Unless both parties actively try to address the issues, the gap just widens. At this stage each party accuses the other party being not interested in keeping relation. With time, the crack becomes wide enough to break the friendship up.

After that, if they again re-unite at a later stage under whatever circumstances the friendship may continue again from intimacy stage or just does not get along like earlier ever.

So what you can do to lengthen the lifespan of a friendship?

  • Understand the friendship life cycle
  • Reduce your expectation
  • Do not circulate confidential information to third parties and never bad mouth about others
  • Realize your own or other party’s change of circumstances
  • Find common interests
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