It’s brilliant because it’s true. How many times have you spoken these words? “We probably wouldn’t be friends if we met today but…”
It’s a phrase oft uttered when one friend introduces a new pal to an old one. A diplomatic way of saying “Don’t judge me based on the company I keep, we lived next door and shared a blankie when we were 5. Her crazy ways/lack of personality/nasty humor are no reflection on me.” You know, without actually having to come out and say it, because you’d never speak ill of your lifelong buddy, right?
Maybe that’s why making friends as an adult is so much harder. Suddenly we’re in full control of who’s awarded our precious time. We’re not thrown into a relationship because our mothers are best friends or we grew up on the same block or we were randomly assigned a shared dorm room. Hectic schedules keep us from making plans with ladies who don’t fit our perceived BFF mold, because that would seem unproductive. A waste.
But here’s the catch. The most satisfying friendships are often with people who are totally different from us. The very souls we could never see ourselves clicking with. They’re the ladies we couldn’t get rid of because our mothers were best friends or we lived on the same block or in the same dorm room. Since we couldn’t shake them, we learned to love them. What other choice did we have?
I read recently that adults decide within 10 minutes of meeting someone what kind of relationship they want with that person. Once our grown-up minds are made up, we have a hard time changing them. Maybe if we did a bit more forcing, the people we meet who seem crazy or stand-offish or juvenile would in fact become the BFFs we’re (I’m?) looking for.
Or maybe meeting each other today would be a disaster.
Thoughts? Do you have an old friend you don’t think you’d mesh with if you met today? Or is that a cop-out line? Is adult friending hard because we simply don’t give people a chance to grow on us?