2015-01-20

Wait But Why: 10 Types of Odd Friendships You’re Probably Part Of

When you’re a kid, or in high school, or in college, you don’t really work too hard on your friend situation. Friends just kind of happen.

For a bunch of years, you’re in a certain life your parents chose for you, and so are other people, and none of you have that much on your plates, so friendships inevitably form. Then in college, you’re in the perfect friend-making environment, one that hits all three ingredients sociologists consider necessary for close friendships to develop: “proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other.” More friendships happen.

Whatever your particular mountain looks like, eventually the blur of your youth is behind you, the dust has settled, and there you are living your life—when one day, usually around your mid or late 20s, it hits you:

It’s not that easy to make friends anymore.

Sure, you’ll make new friends in the future—at work, through your spouse, through your kids—but you won’t get to that Tier 1 brothers level, or even to Tier 2, with very many of them, because people who meet as adults don’t tend to get through the 100+ long, lazy hangouts needed to reach a bond of that strength. As time goes on, you start to realize that the 20-year frenzy of not-especially-thought-through haphazard friend-making you just did was the critical process of you making most of your lifelong friends.

-Tim Urban