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What Makes a Friendship Last?

three women standing together

While I was home for Thanksgiving I met up with my three closest friends from high school. I met these girls when I was 13, and we were all in the same youth group. Pretty much throughout high school it was the four of us in some capacity, and our friendship has endured even though we’re all in different places in life, and none of us live in the same place.

We caught up on life over breakfast sandwiches and coffee at Panera, and it was almost as if we were right back in high school and no time had passed at all. And I thought about that during the rest of my trip — why is it that with some friendships years can go by, and when we’re all together, it isn’t weird or awkward, but it feels like the most normal thing in the world?

What is it about this friendship in particular that has endured?

Here at Boundless we’ve talked a lot about the changing nature of friendships, so I’ll add my perspective to the mix. Here are three things I think are true about my friendship with my high school friends.

A Shared Story

When you have so much history with a friend, it means you’ll always have some sort of common ground, no matter how much each of you might change. For us, so many of my growing up memories involve these friends: mission trips, summer camp, small group Bible studies, the prank war we started with our guy friends, college visits, and most recently, weddings. And with Facebook we can keep up on the major life events so that when we’re all together we can talk about the stuff that really matters — the stuff that isn’t covered by a status update.

A Shared Commitment

I’ve often thought of friendship as a two-way street, and it just doesn’t work if only one of you is doing the walking. Of course there are seasons where one of you might carry the bigger load of maintaining the friendship, but for a friendship to endure, everyone has to be committed to it. And with these girls that’s true. I think we all realize that we have something worth preserving. We’re all willing to put in the work to stay connected to each other.

A Shared Success

Like any relationship, friendships work best when you each are committed to the other’s success. There isn’t room for jealousy or comparison in our friendship — we just accept each other for who we are and the blessings God has given each of us. And the funny thing is we’re all at different places in life, but because we all want the best for each other, those things aren’t what define us.

So we left with promises to stay in touch and see each other at the next holiday that brings us all to town, and I know that no matter what life brings our way, we’ll each make the effort to make that happen.

What do you think makes for an enduring friendship? What does it take for a friendship to last?


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