True Friends or Aquaintence?

How do you define “friend”?
Here’s a good question that I was discussing with a friend (someone who I consider a legit friend!) the other day. Facebook has whitewashed the term “friend” over the past 10 years. It’s an easy, comforting label that we all know isn’t 100% factual…..but would you really want to have an “acquaintance” list?
Yeh. Didn’t think so.

Which brings us to the definition of the words!

The friend I was discussing this with took a much broader approach to “acquaintance” than I do. I often use the term “acquaintance” to distance myself from someone I do not value nor respect for whatever reason. For me, it has just a slightly negative connotation.

But what about those people in between?

The 50 Shades of “Friends” whom you encounter often, enjoy doing various things with, are happy to see if they appear on your radar, do lunch with, invite to parties, laugh with….but they simply wouldn’t be on your 2 am call list when yo’ mama dies.

Lately I’ve stolen a term from another pal that seems applicable…

“Friendly”.

As in…”not close friends, but we are friendly!”

It works.

A whole big bunch of friendlies.

Friendlies are the spice of life. 😄

And as for the question, what separates true friends out for me starts of course with feelings. How much I like that person, how well we interact, the feeling of being able to be myself without feeling talked down to, ridiculed or judged (that’s a huge one). I’d like to think that physical time together isn’t as big of a factor but it definitely is. The more hours and effort one puts into communicating in various ways and face to face playdates, the closer a friendship becomes.

Too bad the English language is so inadequate in defining various shades of friendship and love.

Author: Lisa Cole

Lisa Cole is a freelance writer and social media specialist skilled in non-profit marketing and grass roots advertising. This mother of four weaves humor, emotion and depth into stories about parenthood and life in the American South.