Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What is a best friend?

Sunday night I got to do one of my favorite things........Spend some quality time with one of my best friends while sitting on my porch, watching the sunset, smoking our pipes, and as Guy says, "Trying to solve the world's problems." When I do those things with this particular friend, we usually engage in great conversations. Common themes include Politics, Religion, Communism, Gardening, and the fact that some of the best micro-brewed beer in the world is brewed right here in Ohio. Sunday was no exception, but our conversation was one of a different and more personal nature, the topic of Friendship.

We were discussing the term best friend and how it differs from person to person. (BTW, we were not discussing this inside a marriage, If you are married and don't consider your mate your best friend you have issues that need addressed before you can even begin to wrap your thoughts around this concept!) The main point we talked about was how it's interesting how someone can consider a person their best friend and how that person doesn't hold the same opinion of them. How is that possible? The answer is b/c friendship is such a personal thing. He said his brother didn't have a lot of friends (by choice) and that he was probably his brother's best friend. But he did not consider his brother to be his best friend. It was a pretty obvious example of that personal importance.

Then I told him something I had talked about with the guys in my youth group when they asked about friendships. When trying to define your best friends, think about getting married. If you were getting married in one month, and ignoring the socially politically-correct family requirements, what 4 or 5 guys would you have in your wedding? What 4 or 5 guys would you ask to stand with you and show the world the people you share your life with? Those people you picked are your best friends. And the part that makes this a great exercise is that it applies to anyone at any time; young or old, married or divorced, man or woman. (Well women would need to pick women, but you get the idea!)

Using that idea with those guys in my youth group created an interesting situation I didn't expect. At least four of them said they would have me in their weddings! That brought up the question should we, or do we, feel bad about not reciprocating those feelings back at the same level. The potential for emotional hurt is very real if someone puts themselves out there and the feelings are not returned. [Not saying it is necessarily so] but those guys in my youth group might be a little upset if I didn't say I considered them friends. My friend's brother might feel the same way if my friend told him how he felt. That is unless as adults we realize the point that friendship is a personal thing. And that our feelings are just that, not necessarily the same as those around us.

Not sure why I shared this, just been on my mind since Sunday.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

Wow, you have really got my mind going on this subject. Mike and I have talked about this many times over the years because as I have gotten older my idea of what a "best friend" is has changed greatly. I have a much more mature and healthy way of looking a friendships in general but especially best friends. I think I'll have to post some more on this on my blog. But all that being said, I appreciate the post, it is definatly thought provoking.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Well, I think that the term "best-friend" is viewed differently by your age and maturity level. Yes, Aaron is my best friend, he is my husband and therefore should be my best friend. But When I introduce him to people I don't introduce him as my best friend, I guess that I assume that it is assumed. However, when I talk about (or even to) Christina, I always refer to her as my best friend. I have had a lot of "best friends" in my short life, but I she is the best one I have ever had, and still is. She and I could be the same person and it would be okay. There is a difference though, Aaron and I could not be seen as the same person, we are very different, as are Christina and I. I guess what I am trying to say is, there are differnt kinds of "best friends" and yet they are all still best friends.
I don't know if any of that made any sense, but I tried. Thanks for the post!


1:32 PM  

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