Do you have any lifelong friends? You’re blessed if you can name even one. If you can’t, don’t worry! It’s not too late to learn how to make lifelong friends. By working on the friendships you have already, you can enrich them to the point where your union will last into your elderly days.
Of course, you could also meet someone completely new and strike up a special friendship with them at any point in your life. Lifelong friends don’t have to be from childhood, they just need longevity.
For a friendship to go from regular to lifelong status, there has to be a few points that both parties understand. This isn’t a friendship that can be neglected, it’s one that you hold close to your heart and understand deeply. [Read: How to open up and make true friends in your life]
As the name suggests, lifelong friends aren’t around for a season. They don’t enter your life, serve a purpose, and then disappear. This is someone who is in your life for the long haul.
But one of the main characteristics of a lifelong friendship that most people don’t understand is that these types of friendships are rarely super-close every single day.
Most people who have lifelong friends don’t speak to that person every day; but there’s a sense that if you ever need anything, that person will be there.
You’ll go through different phases in your life, travel, meet new people, get new jobs, study, and even argue occasionally. But that doesn’t mean the friendship is over. It will evolve and change, but it will always be there. You both understand that your closeness is more important than anything life may throw at you.
When learning how to make lifelong friends, you have to forget what you see on the TV and focus on reality. This is a ride or die situation, but it doesn’t mean you’ll speak to them constantly. It’s a gentle presence, and in many ways, it’s a lot deeper and more reassuring because of that. [Read: Good friends are like stars]
Sounds complicated, right? It’s really not. Lifelong friendships are so easy and natural. It’s almost like breathing, but that’s after the point where your friendship is solidified and you have total faith in one another.
But learning how to make lifelong friends from scratch in the first place is quite another subject altogether. Here are some things you have to keep in mind if you want to start making life-long friends:
You can’t make friendships last a lifetime unless you are a good person. People simply don’t stick around if they can’t see enough good in a person, it’s that simple. You must be understanding, compassionate, kind, open-minded, honest, and mindful of the feelings of others.
If you can do that, and find someone else who embodies all of these points, you’ll find making a lifelong friend much easier. [Read: Don’t let these bad friendship skills push people away]
If you want to nurture a lifelong friendship, you have to put the hours in, and that means making your friend a priority in your life.
No more putting them off because you don’t want to go out, and no more making excuses when you think you have a better offer. Those are not traits of someone who deserves lifelong friends!
Of course, we’re not suggesting you jump through hoops whenever your friend calls, because you have your own life too. But make them a priority in your life and spend as much time with them as you can. They should also do the same for you in equal measures. [Read: All the reasons why people ditch flaky friends]
Being a good friend in general is about being there for your friend when things are good and bad, not just when things are shiny and happy. The foundations of a lifelong friendship are built from being there for each other through thick and thin.
The memories made along the way and knowing that you can rely upon each other if need be are special.
Nobody is perfect, and you’re not, either. Your friend will be flawed, just like you, and it’s important that you embrace these flaws rather than taking umbrage or allowing them to cause a problem.
Embrace their differences, because that is partly what makes them who they are. [Read: How to be a friend – the real art of true and meaningful friendships]
Sometimes life takes you in totally different directions, but that doesn’t have to mean the end of your friendship. Some of the strongest friendships on the planet have endured marriages, divorces, children, moving to other countries, you name it.
You might be about to get married, and your friend might be about to embark on a journey to China.
The key point in understanding how to make lifelong friends is to know that all of this is okay and life will bring you back together in the end. It’s entirely possible to stay friends in totally different situations, and it gives you plenty to talk about! [Read: How to get your life together – 30 ways to live your best life]
If something happens between you and your friend, it’s vital as a lifelong friend that you don’t jump to a negative conclusion and assume the worst. Always think the best of your friend and allow them to explain anything that needs explaining.
You’re going to have ups and downs. You’ll still argue over silly things and miss each other when you’re not around. These are the things which make your friendship stronger. [Read: 18 ways to build lasting friendships]
Be a shoulder to cry on whenever possible. That doesn’t mean dropping everything at a second’s notice all the time, but it means being on hand to listen to your friend as much as you possibly can.
In return, they will do the same for you. You have no idea how healing it is to have someone simply listen and understand you. That is what makes a friendship special.
The strongest friends don’t always dwell in the same place! It’s entirely possible to have a long distance friendship that is stronger than a friendship in the same place! Location doesn’t matter. The effort you put in does.
For instance, making the most of the time you do spend together is vital. Make an effort to meet up, have something to look forward to, and focus on building good memories. While any friendship will always have its ups and downs, learning how to make lifelong friends really comes down to consistency. [Read: How to make real friends outside your social networks]
Lifelong friendships are built on trust and a special bond. They aren’t necessarily built on the need to speak every single day or see each other all that regularly.
The key is touching base as much as you can whenever you have something to tell each other, but also simply to say “hey, I miss you, how are you?” [Read: Why the qualities of a good friend set them apart]
One of the biggest friendship killers around is jealousy. Jealousy often springs up when a friend suddenly starts expanding their circle and making new friends. But it’s entirely possible to have a special lifelong friendship with someone who has many other friends!
And you know what? It’s okay to have a large friendship circle!
There will be large and small events happening in both of your lives that will shape your friendship as the years go by. All of this is normal and okay! It helps to strengthen the bond you have because of all the ups and downs you go through together.
Don’t assume that if something big happens in your friend’s life, such as getting married or moving in with someone, that means your friendship is over. It doesn’t. It just means it will change a little. [Read: Emotional stability and factors that control life’s highs and lows]
You’re really close but that doesn’t mean you’re never going to have a misunderstanding or an argument. You’re both human, after all!
Whenever an issue arises, sit down together with a coffee and discuss it honestly and maturely. Don’t throw insults at one another or try to prove a point. It won’t get you anywhere.
Try to understand your friend as much as possible and use compassion rather than always going down the cynical route and thinking the worst. If the boot were on the other foot, you’d want them to do the same, right?
This is key in cultivating lifelong friendships and something that will ensure yours lasts the long-haul. [Read: How to develop empathy and master the art of growing a real heart]
A lifelong friendship is a reliable, gentle, and stabilizing presence in your life. It’s something you should hold onto and cherish at all costs.
Don’t allow life’s negativities to get in the way of something so special. But at the same time, don’t panic whenever you have a slight squabble or misunderstanding either. All of these things are normal in friendships, but it’s how you handle them that makes the difference.
[Read: Ways to emotionally connect and feel closer to anyone]
Understanding how to make lifelong friends really hinges on the ability to put in the effort to understand each other on a deeper level. These friendships aren’t developed overnight, but they grow over time.
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