275 Days ’til 40: Seasonal Friends vs. Life Long Friends

22 May

This post was inspired in part by a comment made by Dorothy McDonnal re: a previous post of mine.  Thank you, Dorothy for getting my brain thinking about this topic!

Have you noticed that there seem to be two different kinds of friendships we form?  The two types of friendships that I have most experienced are seasonal friendships and life long friendships.  They each can be very valuable, can bless us deeply, and can enhance our lives in meaningful ways.  Each type of friendship is critical along our life’s journey and each has an important space in our lives.

Seasonal friends are in our lives for a set time and purpose.  Often these friends are connected with school.  For example, we can have grade school friends, middle school friends, high school friends, summer camp friends, and our college buddies.  These friendships can often feel deep and meaningful.  We tend to expect them to last longer than that particular season, and when we are lucky they do – but often they do not.

We meet friends in places of worship – church/ synagogue/ etc.  These friends are often connected to that place of worship and if you move on to the next church/ synagogue, then a new peer group will surround you in your new spiritual home.  Again, some of these friendships do blossom and last longer than a season, but many are dependent upon that unique spiritual experience.

Most of us form friendships and alliances with work colleagues as we “grow up” and get jobs.  Some of these people we will keep in touch with long after we move on or retire, but some of them we will only socialize with during the time we are working with them on a daily basis.  Sometimes I have been surprised by which of my work colleagues kept in touch and which work colleagues I never heard from again.  What I find fascinating is that it is not always predictable.

When we are really lucky we find those special friends whose relationships with us are able to transcend all these temporary spaces of time in our lives (like schooling and jobs or places of worship).  These friendships last no matter what the life circumstances may be.  These friendships are amazing gifts.  I find that with my life long friends I can go months, even years, without speaking to them and pick up as though we had just seen each other the day prior.  This is a true test of an enduring friendship.  As I mentioned in the paragraph above, what I find so interesting is that, at times, it can be hard to predict who is going to be that lifetime friend.  Sometimes they are the people we least expect.

Today, 275 days ’til 40, I am so thankful for both seasonal and lifetime friends.  I am currently working on building my immediate network of seasonal friends, hoping that some will bridge the gap into lifetime friends.  I hope you find the right balance in your life too.




Tags: , , , , , ,

39 responses to “275 Days ’til 40: Seasonal Friends vs. Life Long Friends

  1. introvertedknitter

    May 22, 2012 at 00:25

    I really enjoyed how you explained the benefits to both types of friends, all too often we seem to forget how important the seasonal friends can be in our lives. I think you really nailed it when you said it is almost impossible to predict who will become life long friends. Thanks for sharing your insight on the subject.

    • 400daystil40

      May 22, 2012 at 08:33

      Thank you! And, yes, they really are both important!

  2. lengesinski

    May 22, 2012 at 00:26

    Friends for Many Reasons, and Some Only for Season(s). All Important, All Treasured.
    Good Thinking Piece(as Always).
    Take Great Care…..LenG

  3. buckwheatsrisk

    May 22, 2012 at 00:38

    on of my friends i met when we were 13 we are complete opposites in every way, we drive each other crazy if we spend too much time together, and yet we are like sisters from another Mother…we have been through hell and back together…28 years! it is truly a gift!

    • 400daystil40

      May 22, 2012 at 08:32

      Wow – that IS a gift!

      • buckwheatsrisk

        May 22, 2012 at 19:18

        sure is!

  4. charlesmashburn

    May 22, 2012 at 00:42

    Excellent thoughts on a very interesting topic. I think about this from time to time, and recently came to the conclusion that because of my lifestyle–I move a lot–I don’t have a lot of lifetime friends. I’ve come to view my life as one of seasons, and even told one of my dearest friends–one of the best I’ve ever had–that our season had run it’s course. We will stay in touch for a while, but due to our different lifestyles and circumstances, we will probably drift apart. (I moved from where he lives two years ago, and he will probably stay there the rest of his life.) I could write a book on the subject, but better not do it here!
    Thanks for another great thought-provoking post!

    • 400daystil40

      May 22, 2012 at 08:32

      Thank you! Maybe one day you should write a book on the subject! I also tend to move around (not a LOT, but a lot more than most and have lived in multiple countries) – I find a similar thing to you, but I have also been surprised at the lifelong friends who have been there along the way.

  5. Fiona Pimentel

    May 22, 2012 at 00:43

    Yes, it is strange we cannot predict who will keep in contact and who won’t. And sometimes when I don’t like someone at the first meeting, they become a good friend. Better not tell my friends which ones I didn’t like at first!

  6. kevinfortruth

    May 22, 2012 at 01:08

    I look at the friends one makes in life a little differently. When we are young, we have some neighbors and friends who we really became close with and they tended to stay our friends for most of our life. We also have casual friends for a season as you call it. Some are seasonal friends for as long as we are going to a given school or work at a given job or as long as we attend that church.

    Those friends are somewhat seasonal, but all along the way we continue making some lifelong friends.

    We might have 30 lifelong friends – some started as friends in the 3rd grade, others in high school and college, and others at various jobs during our career. Some become inactive because of relocations but when we cross paths we renew our friendships and compare what has happened in our lives and then we go our separate ways again until the next time or the next Christmas Card newsletter that talks about births deaths jobs etc.

    There is a 3rd category I would call “fair weather friends” or friends as a matter of convenience. These people are those who want us as a friend as long as we can benefit them or they can benefit us. When one of you gets fired, the other no longer needs the friendship and the calls become less frequent and when you bump into that person they do everything to almost not recognize you or become very apologetic for not calling. In reality, they were not really friends, they were acquaintenances that appeard to be friends. Sometimes you kno2 when you are shaking hands goodbye or hugging goodbye it is for the last time but you just dont say that, right?

    • 400daystil40

      May 22, 2012 at 08:30

      You make some really good points. I am so glad you posted your perspective, because I can really relate. I also can relate to your last sentence… and yes, we do not seem to readily admit when it is the last good-bye, even when we know it is…..

    • Ahmed

      June 8, 2012 at 08:17

      I wonder why there are “fair weather friends”! i think its all about some sort of flaw in their selves and they try to make up for it by behavior such like this.

      • 400daystil40

        June 8, 2012 at 13:34

        I am not sure…. it is a very interesting question….

  7. Sid Dunnebacke

    May 22, 2012 at 03:50

    So true. As a testament to WordPress’ potential for coolness, I’ve encountered a couple folks here that I fully expect to fall into the latter category.

  8. thelastsongiheard

    May 22, 2012 at 08:17

    I’m doing a similar thing myself… forming new friendships and rebuilding lifetime friend relationships 🙂

  9. Graham Bunting

    May 22, 2012 at 09:12

    Great post again. I guess the key is to live each friendship for what it is, and realise that mutuality is key. If you are giving a lot, but getting little in return, it is natural to become frustrated, so ensure you manage yourself well, but give as much as you are able to. I am a very people-centred person and generally invest heavily in relationships, which are not always reciprocated. I can find myself becoming “worked up” when it feels one way, but ultimately you can’t force it. It works or it doesn’t. The best ones are the friendships where you are apart for years and when thrown together, you just pick up where you left off. It’s good to recognise each and every friendship for however brief as a valuable moment in your journey and enjoy it for whatever it is 🙂

  10. Lucianus Mauricius

    May 22, 2012 at 10:36

    Being a person who’s challenged when it comes to building and maintaining friendships, it was interesting to read your blog today. I’ve never been able to hold on to any kind of friendship for more than just a few years tops. It’s something about me which either drives people away or I just chase them off. I guess it has something to do with the fact I hold very high standards towards those I call my friends and thus I expect them to be just as I am. I realize it’s not a very constructive way of dealing with friendships, but in my defense I must say being a person with very high emotional turmoil and at the same time trying to balance out my aforementioned emotions, I hate it when people are not as straight forwards as I and above all are not correct, in all the meanings this word implies. Needless to say what this has done for my more close relationships, which have been non existent for many many years.

    • 400daystil40

      May 22, 2012 at 13:17

      Yes, I have had problems in the past that were similar… we have to realize we cannot expect people to operate with our same standards or ethics…… I agree with you about people being straightforward as well… it is hard when people are not…

  11. Fay Moore

    May 22, 2012 at 11:27

    Even those friends who are in your life for decades can come and go — almost like seasonal friends. One friendship began as we young mothers raised our daughters together. Later we comforted each other through major losses in life. Then we each moved, though at separate times, to a new city and reconnected, then drifted apart due to busy lives. Now we are reconnecting again. We’ve shared friendship for over 30 years!

    • 400daystil40

      May 22, 2012 at 13:18

      I love it when friends are able to fade in and out throughout your lifetime… 🙂

      • Fay Moore

        May 22, 2012 at 13:24

        We have friends we met a decade ago. We see them every two years. They always marvel, saying “we just pick up where we left off.” It’s true.

  12. The Beachwalker

    May 22, 2012 at 23:52

    As the social beings that we are, I find that the more enduring friendships that I’ve encountered at least in my own life, were the ones forged out of turmoil, distress and conflict. Maybe it is just a statement about my individuality among others in this realm, maybe it is a truism. I don’t know, nor do I mean to debate it. As time goes on I lose more of those that were real to me, and I make less. The last i heard there were something like 7 billion on the planet. I don’t think I am on an island with this, I believe there are others that because of the isolation of this digital age, well, well we just haven’t met yet.

    • 400daystil40

      May 23, 2012 at 08:40

      Yes, I think you are correct… and I do know of many who bonded during tough times and are still friends… it is true that trauma can bring us together….

  13. Hawkruh

    May 23, 2012 at 05:22

    This post brings me sadness as I have seen the truth of it for many people. For myself, I’ve never developed those lifetime friends that I am aware of.

    • 400daystil40

      May 23, 2012 at 08:50

      😦 It is hard when you do not have that opportunity…

  14. Paws To Talk

    May 24, 2012 at 04:32

    We cherish our two lifelong friends. We’re lucky to have them!
    Bella and DiDi

  15. Ahmed

    May 24, 2012 at 11:04

    wow i really like this topic. The problem is that its very rare nowadays to find that lifelong friend, so once you find a person who deserves to be so, you should do your best to keep his friendship.

    • 400daystil40

      May 24, 2012 at 11:14

      Yes, Ahmed, I agree with you completely! It really is a gift to find that friend and when you do you want to make sure to make the effort to maintain the friendship. Thanks for your comment!

  16. The World Is My Cuttlefish

    May 30, 2012 at 23:46

    There is excitement in meeting someone with whom you feel a kinship. You may know it to be fleeting or you may have an expectation of friendship. It is the communion of souls, however brief, that lights me.

  17. Ahmed

    June 8, 2012 at 07:53

    I’m reading this article for the second time, I like it how we feel when we have a life long friend but the problem when it comes to lose this friend or when we have to separate because of any circumstance, I feel like I’m alone in this world as well as I prefer to stay alone and keep memorizing the old days!!

    • 400daystil40

      June 8, 2012 at 13:34

      I can understand your comment so much! Sometimes it seems easier and less painful to think about the old days and good friendships then to make the effort to create new relationships that might be lost.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: