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The good things about friends

two men fishing

By John Dunnery


We hear many songs about romantic love but few about friendship. Yet friendship often lasts longer than romance, and friendship brings long-term comfort and sustenance. Here are five benefits of friendship:


1. Friendship provides social companionship. Friends fill the all-important role of reliable social companion. If you need someone to accompany you to a movie and your romantic partner is unavailable, you call a friend. If you have nothing to do on a Saturday evening, you invite a friend over to your home to watch television or play cards.


2. Friends help when help is urgently needed. There are moments in life when you need assistance urgently but it’s awkward or inconvenient (or prohibitively expensive) to hire someone. A friend is invaluable when you decide to pack up and move out of an apartment at the last minute, or when you’re too sick to step out the door to go grocery shopping, or when your basement is flooded and the plumber is delayed.


3. Friends give honest advice about personal matters. When you need someone to tell you that it’s time to end a relationship, you rely on a close friend who has known you for many years and helped you through previous heartbreaks. If your parent is near death in hospital and decisions must be made, yet other family members are blinded by emotion, a friend can give objective advice.


4. Friends fill in memories. Friends are necessary to supply those tiny, obscure fragments of data that nobody else would care about or know. If you need to know the name of a long-lost roommate from 1986, you call a friend of that era. If you can’t quite recall the color of your first car, you contact the friend who spent many hours driving with you in that car.


5. Friends forget what is too embarrassing to recall. Friends can be trusted never to mention those truly embarrassing incidents of our lives that they witnessed. Their lips are sealed by loyalty and compassion.


Good friendships are a necessary part of a happy life. Lovers provide thrills and excitement, but friends fulfill several other important roles. Such friendships should be nurtured and treasured.


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