How to Know Which Friendships are Meant to Last

Last night, after a long day of work and classes, I drove an hour back to my hometown to see a high school friend who was in town. I was exhausted, and slightly resenting her for only having that tiny window of time to hang. Ugh, super selfish, I know. She was in town for a wedding, so her weekend was understandably booked. I think it was just imagining driving back to school at 1am with the nearing snowstorm that was irking me. My selfishness aside, I went and we had the best time. We alternated between catching up and reminiscing over a couple drinks and mozzarella sticks. Near the end of our short time together, she said something along the lines of- “Thanks for making it work to see each other while I was here. You’re one of the people that’s just worth it for me to keep the friendship going.”

That comment has been lingering in my mind all morning, and I’ve been pondering- What makes a friendship worth continuing when the odds are against you? This seems to be a time in life where lots of friendships are coming and going, and it’s sort of a roller coaster. What I’m wondering, though, is what makes a friendship worth lasting? I decided to go ahead and make a list of the friendships I want to last, and then pick out similarities between them. Here’s what I found.

Things in Common

You don’t have to be the same, or even super similar, but you do need to have things to talk about. You need to be able to relate to one another, and it helps to have similar tastes in conversation. If you no longer have anything in common, chances are, you’ll no longer have a whole lot to talk about. Once the reminiscing is done, you’ll find the conversation at an awkward lag, because your current lives don’t really line up.

You Listen to Each Other

A key way to tell if someone cares about you and your well-being is whether or not they listen. In a healthy, lasting friendship, both parties have their chance to be heard. I noticed last night that my friend was genuinely listening to me talk. She was listening to listen, not to respond. I felt myself doing the same for her. We both really care about each others’ lives, and want to hear about them. I think it’s really important to have friends who want to tell you their stuff, but also want to hear yours.

Similar Levels of Intellect

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the people that are the easiest for me to talk to tend to have a similar level of intellect. It’s easiest to relate to someone who cares about what you care about, who questions what you question. Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of friends where we mostly just have fun together. But when I really think down to which friendships I know will last a lifetime, I always come back to the people that I have late night, stimulating conversations with. Try to keep around the people who understand your soul.

Two Way Street

The friendships that are going to last are the ones that have two people invested. The hard part, is sometimes, you’re the only one invested. I’ve had friendships that I wanted to last, but then realized I was the only one that wanted that. In those situations, you just have to let that person go. Make room in your life for the people who want to be there, and gracefully let go of those who don’t. Lasting friendships are a two-way street, with both people working to make the friendship work.


Those are the only parallels I’ve found my lasting friendships, but there have to be more. I guess I will keep mulling this over. Do you know of anything else that is telling that a friendship will last?


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