I think a lot. That is a fact. Although there are plenty of things to think about, I am constantly working and reworking my conceptualization of interpersonal relations and interactions. It may be because we as human beings interact so much and so often yet seldom ever really connect. We are in constant communication yet real exchanges seldom ever take place. A prime example of this would be the ever popular Facebook and Myspace websites. Now don’t get me wrong… I love my Facebook. (although I never caved in to the Myspace bandwagon) It allows me to remain in contact with and stay aware of what’s happening with people I met and appreciated. But I also realize that all my “friends” on facebook come nowhere near what I define as a friend. But maybe someone out there looks at his or her list of 359 Facebook friends and considers each and every person on that list to be a “friend.” Clearly, my definition and that individual’s definitions of friendship do not match up.

I am not so concerned with this hypothetical person’s conceptualization of friendship differing from mine as I am with those I consider or have considered to be my friends. C.S. Lewis writes that friendship begins to form at the moment when two people look at each other and say “You too? I thought I was the only one!” I have come to find that real friendship, good and true, forms best when that exclamation of like-mindedness is made when two individuals find that they conceptualize friendship in the same way. Although my concept of the fine details of friendship has been in flux as of late, my core concept of the relation has always been the same. Friendship is based on love and loyalty. That may sound like the foundation of a romantic relationship, but I don’t think that romance can function without friendship because you won’t want roses and poetry all the time, but you will always want someone who can actually understand you there beside you.

I have lived through a series of, for a lack of a better term, “failed good friendships.” From those I learned more of what I find real friendship to be and more importantly what think it should never be. But I will spare you all the horror of reading about outlandish things I have lived through with my then good friends.

Most importantly, I believe that friendship with both men and women exists and should exist for its own sake. It is a wonderful thing within human capacity to share such a form of camaraderie. There are those who do not think that way at all. I have come across a substantial group of people who find friendship between a man and a woman to be only a means to an end. If you’re not dating within some allotted time period then you should cut your losses and move on (but then you were really never friends to begin with.) Another group thinks that friendship between individuals of the same gender is simply a time filler until everyone finds a husband or a wife and then the same sex friendships must dissipate. To me, those are all gross deviations. To me, that is a most barren view of human existence. If we cannot connect for the sake of connecting and appreciating one another, then all our other relationships will always have a hollow core.

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