Friends versus Acquaintances
What’s the difference? In my mind, there is often no difference. I want to consider my acquaintances to be my friends. Why is that? One of the most difficult things to adjust to when it comes to being an adult is the decrease in the number of friends. At least that has been my experience. There seems to be a bigger divide between friends and acquaintances. As a teenager, and even as a young adult, all of the people who make up your social circle are considered to be friends. You have time to spend with them and it seems to be easier to find things in common with people.
As a married adult, your deepest friendship is with your spouse – which is great, but it does decrease the time you have to devote to developing other friendships. If you are very lucky, you find other couples that you both get along with and with whom you can develop a deeper friendship. That doesn’t often happen though.
I have some really deep long-term friendships that are awesome, but many of my real friends do not live close to me, which is frustrating sometimes. I would say that outside of family, I probably only have one, maybe two, “real” friends who live in my town – meaning someone that I spend time with outside of activities such as church or work.
So what’s the problem? Well, nothing other than the fact that I would love for my friends to live closer to me! But it is hard for me to realize that those people who are my acquaintances are not necessarily my friends. Carlos often has to remind me that if someone were my friend they would call me or visit me – I wouldn’t have to rely on seeing them at church or at work. But that goes both ways – who do I call and spend time with? Do I depend on convenience (being at the same place at the same time) and technology (primarily facebook) to keep up with people? Or do I take the time to develop friendships with those acquaintances with whom I really enjoy spending time?