I have been thinking a lot lately about friendship and what it means to me.
I don’t have a large circle of friends. More pockets of friends whom I have met at different times in my life.
There are those I have known and still meet up with from as far back as nursery, infant and junior school, those who I grew up with in the same village, those I met at secondary school, and in sixth form. Then there are those I met at university, and whilst we struggle to meet up, we all still look out for each other and would be there at the drop of a hat if any of us needed anything. There are those I have met through work, friends of friends, evening classes. The opportunity to make and meet new friends is endless.
But what about friends we have never met?
Do you need to have met someone in person in order to claim them as one of your dearest friends? To share with them your greatest fears? For them to be amongst the first people to share your successes with?
I have been friends with Laura since the late 90s. We met on a message board for one of our favourite bands (we were both slightly crazy for Another Level at the time!). We clicked instantly. Overtime we became closer and closer. Communications changed. We moved from the message board to writing letters, emailing, texting, and more recently, to Whatsapp.
Laura has been there through every break up, every family drama, every huge life event (the good and the bad).
At the same time I moved to London, Laura moved to Australia. We don’t speak as often as we used to, but I still think of her a lot, and I know that if either of us needed someone to talk to, we would be there for one another.
There are so many times we could’ve met up before she moved to Australia, but for whatever reasons, we didn’t. I almost wonder whether we feared that meeting up in person would ruin our friendship somehow. Perhaps we feared that the bond we had on paper, wouldn’t be there in person. We will probably never know.
I met another girl on the message board too. Julie. Who lives in Taiwan. We have lost contact a number of times over the years, but we always find each other again. We shared a lot about our families and found so much happiness in talking about our different cultures. These days we mostly stay in touch on Facebook and Instagram, but it’s lovely to see what she gets up to, in a world that is very different to my own, yet it’s a world where we share the same values.
Do you have friends you have never met? Friends who know more about you than anyone else, without ever having met face to face? I would love to hear your experiences, feel free to leave comments on your friendships below.