Is there such a thing as a true friend?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 13, 2012 6:02 AM GMT
    Some events in my life have me wondering what it means to be a friend. Here is my personal opinion of the four types of friends:

    1. General term friend. Friends who are more of acquaintances on good terms.
    2. Proximity Friends. Friends whenever you just happen to be in close proximity to each other.
    3. Fairweather friends. Friends who you hang out with occasionally
    4. True Friend. The perfect friend who is always there for you and always has your back.

    Pretty much all my friends are proximity friends. I'd consider myself lucky just to get even one fairweather friend, but I don't know if even that is asking for too much. Is there even such a thing as the perfect friend? For gay men, I kinda assume that borders on boyfriend, partner or husband. (Speaking of which, what term would you use to define your future lover, parter or husband?)

    So I'm curious to see out of the guys here on RJ, how many friends do you have, and how would you classify them? Does anyone have a true friend, or are they mostly fairweather friends?

    I know it may be a little much to ask, but I just wanted to know everyone's thoughts on the term friend and what it means to be a friend.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 13, 2012 6:03 AM GMT
    "To have a friend, you must be a friend."

    That said, yes, there is such a thing as a true friend.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Dec 13, 2012 6:08 AM GMT
    My dog is pretty true to me icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 13, 2012 6:17 AM GMT
    I agree, there are different levels of friendship. A true friend will help you bury a body. Everyone else is just an acquaintance.
  • Diceroll

    Posts: 224

    Dec 13, 2012 1:23 PM GMT
    I agree that there is such a thing as a 'true' friend, but disagree with the OP's definition (i.e. they are a 'perfect' friend). Sometimes close friends can seriously fuck up and do some stuff that will cause problems in the friendship. It doesn't mean they aren't true friends, they are friends who make mistakes.

    Obviously if they are constantly doing things to mess up your relationship with them, it's time to decide whether you want them around you.
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    Dec 13, 2012 1:44 PM GMT
    I have four true friends. I have hundreds of acquaintances.

    The common theme that defines my true friends today is that they don't fear telling me the truth. The truth will set you free, but it's first going to piss you off. Often times we think someone is our friend because they agree with us and justify our behaviors. It's comforting, it feels good, and it's the basis of denial.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Dec 13, 2012 1:47 PM GMT
    They exist..... although in no great abundance. Though, maybe I'm more particular about who I call a "friend," let alone a true friend.
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    Dec 13, 2012 2:18 PM GMT
    I would say 100% yes and doesn't have to be one true friend only. Just thinking about that i would give that title to six of my friends, each having done something or a particular experience between us that made me see them as a "true friend". Having known most of them for over 10 years and even being on opposite ends of the country today, we still have weekly skypes to keep in touch. Then when we meet back up in the summer without seeing eachother for 4-8 months, nothing has changed. I consider these people family, and it's good to have people like this in your life.

    I think the most telling of how good of friends you are is how you handle a fight. If you get in a scrap and stay pissy at each other for eternity you weren't that great of friends and you find out how much you value that friendship (of course depends on what happened). For example a few weeks ago I got in a massive fight with two of my best friends (who are dating...wooohoooo). But after a weekend got together to talk about it, ended up hugging it out and went to the pub for beers.
  • HorrorHound

    Posts: 1435

    Dec 13, 2012 2:22 PM GMT
    Yup! I know a few "4's" & feel greatly blessed I've had them in my life!
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 13, 2012 3:13 PM GMT
    i'm the greatest friend in the world. the problem is you other people don't know how to handle the awesomeness that is me not wanting to talk to you.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 13, 2012 3:27 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    calibro saidi'm the greatest friend in the world. the problem is you other people don't know how to handle the awesomeness that is me not wanting to talk to you.
    I could live without you ever talking to me. We'd make the best bffs. We'd never ever see each other or communicate in any way. But we'd be oh so very close.


    you forgot about the part where you give me money
  • mr_bijae

    Posts: 229

    Dec 13, 2012 3:32 PM GMT
    When I took psychology in college the professor started the subject of relationships by stating, "If, when you die, you can count all your friends on one hand... consider yourself lucky." Most of the class scoffed at this idea. This was long before facebook and texting, yet everyone thought they had more friends than they could count, some claiming upwards of a hundred friends.

    A friend will always be there to help you, they are the first to respond when you are in need. They show up when they say they will, even if it's moving or painting day. Friends listen to you when you rant or whine and ask nothing in return. And a good friend sits with you in jail waiting for bail to be posted ;-)

    True friends are very real, and very rare. They are relationships that require nourishment and reciprocity. To have a true friend you have to be a true friend. I can still count my true friends on one hand and consider myself very lucky. I know at any moment I can call on them and they will come running to help me, as I would, and have done, for them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 13, 2012 4:47 PM GMT
    I have 2 real close friends of over 30 years. They're more like family than friends. We have had our ups and downs over the years just as anyone might with a sibling but no matter what everything is forgiven and forgotten with hardly a word.
    Old friends are gold friends.
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    Dec 13, 2012 4:47 PM GMT
    When I think of true friends, I always think of my ex mother-in-law, great woman. She had a friend she worked with in the early 50s, the friend left the job for another that took her all over the world. My MIL always remained in contact with her, the friend retired from two jobs and had no family. She became an aunt to my kids. My MIL was by her side until the day she died, close to 50 years from when they had met. A friendship that was built early but took someone special to keep alive, never forget, always in touch, there until the end. I learned a lot from seeing the relationship they had built but also recognized the commitment and work it takes to be a really true friend.
  • Machina

    Posts: 419

    Dec 13, 2012 4:50 PM GMT
    I have many of the #1-3 types, but none of the 4 unless I count my Mom.

    I used to have a friend which definitely fit into the number 4 category, but when he got married his wife didn't quite approve of me, so out I went.

    It can be really hard to make quality friends...
  • Sportsfan1

    Posts: 479

    Dec 13, 2012 5:19 PM GMT
    To have a true friend you must be a true friend as well. I have only one "true" friend with lots of acquaintances. I have gym buddies, guys I see at the gym and just say hello to. I have professional colleagues that I work with but none of them would be what I would refer to as a true friend.
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    Dec 13, 2012 8:24 PM GMT
    Something I wonder about other gay guys - how many of your close friends are straight? My bestie (#4) is straight as an arrow and we've been there for each other for 10+ years. I love the guy as my brother.

    Most of my friends (1-3) are gay and I get uncomfortable hanging with them because I know they want sex or relationship. It gets annoying cause I like to hang out or hit the gym but tire of the constant sexual tension.
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    Dec 13, 2012 8:31 PM GMT
    In HS I crushed hard on this one guy. We never really hung out too much. Fearing I wouldn't see him again, I came out to him. Sadly he's straight, but we became really good friends after that and hang out all the time when he's in town. He's my #4.
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    Dec 13, 2012 8:44 PM GMT
    My best friend is the complete opposite of me.. So yeah.. Why asking such a silly question?
  • MidwesternKid

    Posts: 1167

    Dec 13, 2012 9:19 PM GMT
    My mom and I had a discussion about how some of her great friends came and passed and since I have learned that friendships can be treated just as relationships. They can either last a life time, or they can run their course. And breaking up with a friend for me has been harder than breaking up with a boyfriend. As of late I have been keeping my true friends closer. The small things they do for me really make me glad I have them around. And I hope what I do for them in turn makes them thankful.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 13, 2012 9:29 PM GMT
    Interesting topic. I understand where you are coming from. I'm pretty fortunate, I have about 5 friends that I can call if I have emergencies and I can really talk to. Those are really the ones that count. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have some of the lower level friends (and I have plenty) that move up and become the real item, but "fair weather" friends are nice, but for me, its all about the real deal.
  • O5vx

    Posts: 3154

    Dec 13, 2012 10:05 PM GMT
    How well a person handle a life altering experience will determine what type of a relationship I have with them. For example, I have many friends, but I only have maybe 2 or three person who I could tell that I am different from them. Friendship can be build based on different things. It could be build based on geographical location, interests, hobbies. What makes a friend true is their ability to accept that you are not perfect and are still willing to share their life experiences with you. Taking the time to get to know your friends and what wakes you friend is central to maintaining the relationship. The word true friend exist only because we want to categorize our relationship to help us make better sense of the mutual interests that we share.
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    Dec 14, 2012 9:46 PM GMT
    I've got friends that fit all that you mentioned, and one specifically that fits the true friend category. We see each other all the time, his family regards me as family aswell, and we've been for each other durig the toughest moments in our life. I have some other friends that's are always there for me when thing get rough - and vice versa, we just don't get to see each other often.
    I'm pretty fortunate for having the people I have in my life
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    Dec 15, 2012 12:40 AM GMT
    A true friend, in my opinion, is the friend that you may not have seen for years...but when you do see them it's as if the dynamics of the relationship have not changed. I have a few friends where after not seeing them for years, it's as if I was still living next door to them.

    I guess it's also the introspective ramblings of a mid 20 something year old. So take it with what's its worth.
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    Dec 16, 2012 11:42 PM GMT
    Diceroll saidI agree that there is such a thing as a 'true' friend, but disagree with the OP's definition (i.e. they are a 'perfect' friend). Sometimes close friends can seriously fuck up and do some stuff that will cause problems in the friendship. It doesn't mean they aren't true friends, they are friends who make mistakes.

    Obviously if they are constantly doing things to mess up your relationship with them, it's time to decide whether you want them around you.


    I'm not saying they are perfect beings, I'm saying they do everything a good friend should. Like be there for you when you need them, make an effort to see you regularly, respect you and any plans you make, etc.

    I say "perfect" as a loose term here.