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We throw around the term “my best friend” as a way to describe the friend who has come to mean the most to us and with whom we have bonded on the deepest level. We long for deep friendships.

But the truth is that close friendships are hard to nurture and even harder to keep. Most of us know more about losing friends than we know about finding new friendships. We know even less in our transient society about how to sustain good friendships. Sometimes friendships end because we demanded too much. No one friend can (or has to) be everything to you. It’s alright to have different “best” friends for the many different parts of yourself and for the many different interests that you have. Go ahead and give yourself permission to explore new friendships. It’s even alright to dial up an old friend with whom you’ve lost touch over the years.

Reflect on how friendship has become more or less important in your life in recent years. If you could write a letter to an old friend, someone whose friendship you lost to a blunder or to misunderstanding, or to distance and time, what would you say to that friend now? What about this friend do you still miss? What makes the memory of your friendship with that person still come to mind after all these years?

–Renita Weems

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