View Poll Results: How many friends do you have?

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56. You may not vote on this poll
  • I can count my friends on the fingers of my hand.

    44 78.57%
  • between 5 and 10

    7 12.50%
  • between 10 and 20

    2 3.57%
  • between 20 and 30

    1 1.79%
  • between 30 and 50

    2 3.57%
  • more than 50

    0 0%
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Thread: The Nature and Value of Friendship

  1. #61
    Senior Member einherjarNZ's Avatar
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    The Seven Year Itch

    Personally I can't say I've ever had a friend for 7 years.

    I would have to say that study is one on persons of stability in environment and lifestyle. Normal people I guess. People who are born and raised in one environment and live in a stable social atmosphere.

    I can't help but think there is something quite significant about a 7 year turn-around on friends. It seems to be a number that resonates of turning points in life. 7 years old. Used to be the age a child would enter the childrens organisations like the English Boys Brigade. 14 was the age one would enter a youth organisation like Hitler Jugend. 21. We all know 21 as a significant turning point into adulthood. 28 you're still clinging onto your youth while simultaneously confronted with absolute responsibility for your life to date. 35. 35 is probably a reality check. Maturity has kicked in and you question everything. At 35 you try to get your life back on track and right the wrongs you have committed yourself to. From there on it's either uphill or downhill in 7 year progressions.

    A friend for seven years. Now that must be something huh?

  2. #62
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    Friendship for Life?

    Do you think it exists often? Not literally for life, but for a very long time. In the average situations here, peoples' friendships are of short duration. You've friends in high school for example, but then you go different paths because you go to different universities, and you keep in touch a little bit at first, but then you make new acquaintances, and you forget the old ones. The same happenes when university is done, and you've different jobs at different places. The friends shift according to the entourage. Have you any friends of long duration, how does it happen?

  3. #63
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    I often put it in a simple way: "There's friends, and then there's people you hang out with". The former will essentially stick with you no matter what the situation, and you will be friends with good standing towards each other, even if thousands of miles apart. I think the Havamal puts it quite correctly:

    To a false friend the footpath winds
    Though his house be on the highway.
    To a sure friend there is a short cut,
    Though he live a long way off.

    Hávamál, Stanza 34

    I can say that I am lucky enough to still be in good contact with most of my childhood friends. We grew up together, shared similar experiences - and even though I went to Scotland aged 13, with only about a third of the year spent back home, I am still friends with most of them, and whenever back in the country, I would always catch up with them, and keep in phonecall contact during my time up in Scotland. And that is even though we have some diverging interests, and in some cases there is only two things that still binds us together: the same sarcastic-sardonic-morbid sense of humour, and the experiences we shared.

    With boarding school it was somewhat different. There were several people I hung out with, but I lost contact with many of them - in some cases even though they would go on to go to university in the same city. On the other hand, my best friend and I kept contact throughout, even though in the 4 1/2 years since exiting school we at no point lived closer to each other than 70 miles, and even though there was a period when he was in Germany and I was up in Scotland, we kept in touch, and our friendship is just as warm and close-knit, we can still speak about everything.

    That's what makes the great difference between true friends and "people you hang out with". Both are important to have - but whilst the former will always stick with you, and whilst you can always approach them even if you haven't spoken in years, the latter will never be heard of again once you move. I think the abovementioned stanza in the Hávamál has it 100% correct.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

  4. #64
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    I have moved alot, so dont have so much contact with old friends. But I've kept in touch with a couple of friends from my childhood, one of the persons grew up on the island where my family has a farm, so we kind off grew up together. Known him for as long as I can remember. True and good friends are rare, and in Håvamål it says you should visit your friends often to keep the bonds strong.

  5. #65
    Senior Member Freigeistige's Avatar
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    People grow in separate ways, especially during their younger years. For this reason, my friendships never last more than 3 or 4 years. I simply lose interest in a person because they have traveled such a different path, usually a path I now have disdain for. I suppose it will be different as I get older, but maintaining childhood friends is not something I have any interest in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freigeistige View Post
    I suppose it will be different as I get older, but maintaining childhood friends is not something I have any interest in.
    Me neither. I also think of my friends and acquaintances as in either of the two groups Sigurd described, and as I've experienced while building relationships with those I'd now call sure friends, I don't think one have what one needs, mentally and emotionally, during one's childhood to cultivate that kind of friendship.

  7. #67
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    Our modern way of living stops us having true friends for life, we move too much and do not depend upon our friends as we used to. it is impossible to keep the same friends if you move, you may keep in contact, but soon the person becomes just another acquaintance, one with which you share a lot of history, but that is all you share as you no longer share the joint experiences that create and hold a friendship in place.
    If you do not move around then it is totally possible to have a lifelong friendship, and if your lucky that person will also be your husband/wife.

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    Friendship for Life?

    Perhaps it is possible, but the lessons of life teach that it is extremely rare. The only friendship (or foes for that matter) that may last for life are close family.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    To a false friend the footpath winds
    Though his house be on the highway.
    To a sure friend there is a short cut,
    Though he live a long way off.

    Hávamál, Stanza 34
    That's an amazing quote. I agree completely.


    I'm not sure if you'd count it as a friend for life, but my fiancée and I were friends for a long time before we started dating, and even now I think of her more as a friend than anything else. Something like monogamous friends with benefits, if you understand what I mean. Even if we were to "separate" we'd probably still live together, barring extreme circumstances.

  10. #70
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    Yes I do believe people can have friends for life, I had 3 friends that I would trust with anything and have known them since I was a teenager. One of them passed away recently and we all miss him very much.

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