Once, my good friend told me: I like America, because it’s so easy to make friends there”.  Yesterday, my neighbor told me:”Yulia, it shouldn’t be hard for you to make friends here-you are very communicative”. Well, I thought about these two statements and I was wonder why it is not that easy for me at all?

It’s pretty common for all cultures that after the family, friends come next. This friends circle is important. I always thought that friendship is like a little love. You never know when and why it started, you can just guess.  Is it that easy to make friends even if you are very communicative, have a lot of people? How huge is the difference between real friendship and good acquaintances? There are several routes friendship can grow from: sometimes, friendship starts from first sight-you see the person, talk to him/her, like them, you want to meet and talk more and more and you became close so naturally, without any efforts, as think alike kind of people. Sometimes friendship is situational-which means you became friends with people because you live close by, or take the same class, or work at the same office and your tables are next to each other.  This type of friendship can disappear as soon as the situation is changed, but it also can grow into a real one. Some friendship is dependable-one person depends on the other for advice, help, etc. (it’s can be mutual or a one-way road).  However, majority of real friendship relationships require time. It’s easier to make friends when you study, or are young, or have a mutual interest (don’t confuse with situational friendship though). So, friends I know for 20 years and more live in Russia and Europe and I miss them.  I have several friends here, and I may build new friendship as well over time. However, it’s all not that easy.  My husband likes to simplify things. When he sees me talking and laughing with some random girl at the party, he likes to say: Oh! I see you found a new friend!”  Male are different. Naturally they don’t talk for 1.5 hours with someone they don’t know.  They feel much more comfortable with sofa and TV (or sofa and newspaper – it’s various).  However, majority of women need company.  It’s hard to explain that if women talk for an hour (and they probably didn’t even start real talk yet), that they are not exactly friends or they even may not like each other. This is the way of many women-they think and learn through socializing. But friendship is different.  It’s almost like love, it’s tricky as love, and sometimes we need it almost as much as we need love. Are you agree?


5 thoughts on “Friendship

  1. Hi Yulia,
    Unfortunately it’s not only about men and women, it is as you say “cultural”. I would say that friendship in the West is more superficial. While in Russia/former Soviet Union we tend to have a few good friends that passed a test of time. It’s been an issue for me as well. I’ve been living in the UK for more than 3 years, and still there are very few people I can call friends. Unsurprisingly, the only people I can truly connect with a Russian girls. As you’ve noticed, the moment I start talking to a girl, my bf says “Why don’t you go for a coffee together?” And it shocks me. Why? Why should I go for a coffee with a stranger? I need to look into the person’s soul first, and then decide if he/she is worthy of my time…
    Anyway, thanks a lot for your hearty post. Would be great to know what others think on that matter.

  2. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment! I agree with you that western approach to friendship is more superficial, probably that is why it seems to be “easy to make friends”. They do create a close relationships here as well, but it is just different. It’s funny also how your guy and mine thinks alike: “Why don’t you go for a coffee together?” Sure – it would fix everything) So simple – just have a coffee with a strange, and here it is – your new fresh-baked friendship))

  3. I would say that the word is a jungle. A human being is an animal, and he can either bite you, or protect you from other animals. And, hence, Russian way of making friends is more like the one of a Mawgli. You need to feel the person to be able to say “We be one blood, thou and I”. I am not saying it is better, or worse, it’s just different. I believe out of all the difficulties one may face while moving to another country – this one is the greatest.

  4. This is an interesting way looking at that. I like your comparison. Yes, probably the way we handle friendship is more “wild one” , “close to nature”. That is probably why it’s hard to replace it and also we depend on that.

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