It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.
“Some friendships last a lifetime, but the truth is most don’t. In fact, the average friendship only lasts seven years.” (“Surviving a Friend Breakup”; Katie’s Take 10/30/2012)
According to Katie Couric’s interview with friendship expert Irene Levine, most friendships don’t make it past seven years. The reason, she says, is simply that people change over time, so friendships change over time. But if I look at my dearest friends, I’ve been tight with every single one of them for longer than seven years. My very besties are friends from high school and college–both of which took place more than seven years ago.
Some of these friends are people I might not necessarily be close with if we met today. But that’s what’s so great about old friends. Whether you would be pals today or not doesn’t really matter because you’ve grown together.
I know it’s naive to assume all your friends will be around forever. But I generally believe that when it comes to the pals I’m close with, we’re close for a reason. And we’re in it for the long haul.
But, research says, that haul will likely be seven years. Just enough time to get the itch and perhaps a wandering eye and start noticing new potential friends. What is it about this seven year span that makes us question our partner choices?
Let me ask you: How long have you been friends with most of your BFFs? Am I being uber idealistic to think that seven years seems on the speedy side? Do I have too much faith in friendship? I’ve had plenty of shorter peripheral relationships with friends, but when I meet someone who’s the real deal, I do what I can to keep her around. Am I crazy?