Friends for a lifetime understand each other in ways others can’t. If you want to know how to make lifelong friends, check out these vital points.
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 enrich them to the point where your union will continue until 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.
I have one special friend. Someone I have known since I was a child. In fact, I can’t even remember meeting them, it happened when I was so small. We have been entwined our entire lives. Throughout our years, we’ve separated, come back together, traveled, but always been present in each other’s lives in some way.
That is a lifelong friendship, and one I cherish.
For a friendship to go from regular to lifelong status, there has to be a few points which both parties understand. This isn’t a friendship which 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]
How to make lifelong friends: 11 points to bear in mind
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.
#1 Be a good person. You can’t make friends to 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 how to make lifelong friends much easier. [Read: Don’t let these bad friendship skills push people away]
#2 Make your buddy a priority. 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, I’m 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]
#3 Be there for all seasons, not just the good. 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.
#4 Know their faults and embrace them. Nobody is perfect, and you’re not either. Your friend will be flawed, just like you, and it’s important that you embrace these rather than taking umbrage or allowing them to cause a problem. Embrace their differences, because that is partly what makes them who they are.
#5 Allow life’s changes to occur, and go with the flow. Sometimes life takes you in totally different directions and 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!
#6 Don’t jump to conclusions. 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 be the one to explain anything which needs explaining.
#7 Know that lifelong friendship is hard sometimes. 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]
#8 Always be on hand to listen. 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 understand you and simply listen. That is what makes a friendship special.
#9 You don’t always have to be physically present. The strongest friends don’t always dwell in the same place! It’s entirely possible to have a long distance friendship which 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 too, and focus on building good memories. While friendship will always have its ups and downs, learning how to make lifelong friends really comes down to consistency. You should always be there for each other, either physically or virtually, and you need to prove it during good and bad times.
#10 You don’t have to speak every single day. 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. My friend lives in a totally different country, and I see them probably two or three times a year.
We speak regularly via social media but not necessarily every single day. 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]
#11 They’re allowed other friends too! 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. 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!
Understanding how to make lifelong friends really hinges on the ability to put forth effort and understand each other on a deeper level. These friendships aren’t developed overnight, but they grow over a period of time.