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When Friends Are Family: How Different Friends Can Feed You in Different Ways



If you’ve ever left home and left friends behind you can relate to my situation.

​Hey, y’all. My name is Jacob, and I’m a member of the team here at Friendship Explored. I’m extremely excited to be writing about my various friendships! I have many of them and yet they are all a little different. Before I begin, allow me to provide you with some background info on myself. I grew up in New Orleans before moving a couple of hours away to Lafayette, Louisiana for college. After graduating, I decided not to go back to my hometown. Now you might ask “what does that have to do with anything?” but to my story, it probably made the biggest impact on my friendships. And if you’ve ever left home and left friends behind you can relate to my situation.


By moving away, I was able to expand my friendships to a whole new group in Lafayette.

​My New Orleans friends are some of my strongest yet hardest friendships. Distance is no small feat. I’m forced to be very intentional about my Nola friends because I don’t see them often, but when I do, we pick right back up where we left off. We laugh and enjoy each other’s company and even joke about how I just need to “move back home” because of how much they miss me. I always remind them that even though I love them very much that I have a new home. In the last few years as technology has gotten better, FaceTime and Zoom have allowed me to visit with my friends even when I can’t physically be in the same room with them. My Nola friends keep me grounded in my roots and I will always be grateful. By moving away, I was able to expand my friendships to a whole new group in Lafayette. And now that I’ve been here 8 years, I have established several subgroups of friends. The first of these groups are the ones I met in college. It’s important to note that some people in this group have come and gone in my life and others are still some of my closest friends today. Although I no longer spend time with some of the people from this particular time in my life, they taught me valuable lessons. I have accepted that it is perfectly okay to have friends that are only there for a season. I still wouldn’t change a thing. And just like how I moved away from my hometown, some of these college friends have since moved away from Lafayette.


Although I no longer spend time with some of the people from this particular time in my life, they taught me valuable lessons. I have accepted that it is perfectly okay to have friends that are only there for a season.

One of those friends recently moved to New Orleans for a job. We still talk almost every day and I cherish that time. We both love sports, so most of the time we are just arguing which team is better and what players our favorite teams should acquire. But sometimes we have more serious conversations on religion, politics, philosophy, and relationships. I would say he is one of my best friends who I can talk to about anything. The older I get, the more I realize I crave quality over quantity in friendship.


The older I get, the more I realize I crave quality over quantity in friendship.

While I love having those closely bonded friendships, some of my friends are purely circumstantial. The best example of this is my work friends. Not that I don’t appreciate their friendships, but many times our relationship is formed solely because of proximity to each other. We bounce work ideas off each other, have lunch together, complain about how hard the job is, etc. Pretty normal stuff that I think we can all relate to.


Every now and then, one of those work friends becomes an outside-of-work friend. I had a coworker who left the job to take another, but I made a point to hang out with him because we share a lot in common. He is a little harder to spend time with because he works long hours and has a family. So to hang out with each other, I play board games with his family as a way for me to spend time with him. That way, I don’t take him away from what little time he gets with his kids. This seemingly small compromise allows us to feed each other’s friendship and keep the relationship growing.


This seemingly small compromise allows us to feed each other’s friendship and keep the relationship growing.

There’s one more friend that I made in college that I’d like to tell y’all about. She’s probably the friend that I trust the most. She and I share many things in common, including our religious beliefs, political ideology, and just how we view the world. But more than anything, she’s my biggest confidant. She’s the one I goto for any problem I have. She listens and is just there for me when I need it. I don’t get to spend as much time with her because of our busy lives, but I know she is always a call away.


Despite the various relationships I have with them, they all feed my friendship needs--each in their own way.

Why have different kinds of friends? Why can’t they all be from work? Why can’t I just talk to the one who’s my biggest confidant? Well, because despite the various relationships I have with them, they all feed my friendship needs--each in their own way. I have fun with them. I have serious conversations with them. I even rely on them to be there to pick me up when life gets me down. In essence, my friends are my family. And that is especially important, considering I don’t have family close to where I live. So, my hope for y’all is that you find friends that can fulfill your needs and become your family too.


My friends are my family.

Exploring Together, Jacob

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