I think I’m down to my last friend. Everyone else is an acquaintance, an unknown person I haven’t met, or an enemy.
You’d think that as a person matures (a kinder way of saying, “grows older“), that the list of friends would increase in number. That may be the case for some, not for all, certainly not for me.
Let me take up the definition of a friend and compare that to an acquaintance. I suspect that many people use the term friend when they really mean nothing more than someone they know.
A friend is defined as:
a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
I’ll buy that, and it defines a large group of the people we know. But there’s more.
The definition can be extended to include:
a person who acts as a supporter of a cause, organization, person, or country by providing assistance or other help
See the problem there? A friend is not just someone we know. That’s an acquaintance. A friend carries a different set of requirements, obligations, and concerns.
Therefore, friends are fewer and farther between. Acquaintances are everywhere. I submit that many people we call friends are really not friends. They’re merely people we know.
To that end, I’m down to my last friend. Vernelle, my wife, has shown herself to be a dedicated partner, a true friend, and that bothers me a bit, particularly as we get older. It’s not that I have any difficulty with the friendship part of a long term relationship.
It’s the definition of friend that raises one of my eyebrows. “Typically exclusive of sexual… relations” was part of the definition of a friend. Maybe that explains why couples get along well together as they enter their latter years, but have sex less often.
They’ve become better friends.
That’s not always the case, of course. Take a look at your enemies list. Are there any friends on it?
An enemy is:
a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something; a thing that harms or weakens something else
One could argue that marriage is a paradox; a friendly proton and an enemy proton gravitating around two dumb neurons.