So, I bought a book (not new for me) called “Friendships Don’t Just Happen” by Shasta Nelson. I bought it at the suggestion of my friend, Letecia, because I expressed my plans to widen my circle of friends. Shasta also has an interactive website but alas, there is nothing there for those of us in Austin (at least not yet). Being me, and how I have never feared beginning things on my own, I want to find a way to connect here in Austin in order to create those meaningful friendships.
Shasta’s book explains the different kinds of friendships we form and then, in part two, goes on to offer help in “growing” those friendships – especially the kind you are truly seeking. I have friendships that fall into the first two or three types on the left and in the center (on her scale left to right) but in all honesty I am seriously lacking in what she calls committed friendships (all the way to the right).
Early on, in the very beginning of the book, Shasta makes reference to how important having these relationships is to our health and well-being.
I have always been a nomad – beginning with being an Army Brat – then marrying into the military – it became a pattern in my life. So I do know how friendships – good ones – can be formed. I have done it over and over again, successfully, my whole life. But today, perhaps at my age, but also in this technological, fast-paced time we live in – we just need to look at new and different ways of finding friends or finding the women who have the potential of becoming best friends.
I have long been aware that creating and maintaining those kinds of committed friendships demands just that – commitment! I have been a fan of Thomas Moore’s work for years and know that we must take care of relationships for them to remain healthy and for them to satisfy the needs we have from them. It not only takes time and attention to get to the committed stage, it also takes time and attention for them to last any reasonable amount of time.
I am at a place in my life where my BFF’s are almost all online. They are wonderful women and there for me always. But that does not help a lot when I am sitting here in my apartment and I just want to connect in an intimate, loving way – in-person – with someone I hold close to my heart in friendship. There is no one in my life that qualifies for that role. I certainly have friends I can tell most anything but they are not available for hanging out – for some casual fun on any kind of regular basis. I don’t hold them responsible or love them any less for that. I just know that I need more.
I haven’t read the part yet about finding those friends but I do know what I seek and what has pleased me in former, committed friendships.
This friend …
- Has some common interests but certainly could share new ones with me.
- Holds similar spiritual views – has common ground.
- Is trust worthy and honest.
- Is single and available and will make time for friendship.
- Is close to my age, perhaps 60 plus….
- Wants to have face to face contact at least 2-3 times a month.
- Won’t walk away mad but will hang in there to resolve conflict.
- Calls and also loves to get calls to just check in.
- Knows that friendship is a two-way street and is willing to both give and receive in forming the bonds necessary.
- Knows how to listen compassionately and is also willing to be vulnerable herself.
- Doesn’t have a problem with finding very inexpensive things to do.
There may be some more things I will add to this list but it is a start!
So, if I want to do this, I must begin. This is my first step. I am putting this on my blog and sharing my blog. I welcome ideas and if you are in Austin and somehow resonate with what I have listed – I would love to explore.
I have formed a group on Facebook to discuss this topic. You can join here
As I continue to read and explore I will add to this topic, so stay tuned …