Omoigui Osasogie: Teenage & young adult relationships [NEXT]

by Omoigui Osasogie

Friends play an important role in the life of young adults. Most human relationships, including casual acquaintances, are non-loving in that they do not involve true passion, commitment or intimacy. Friends normally come from similar backgrounds, share the same interests and enjoy each other’s company. Although many young adults feel the time pressures of going to school and working, they usually manage to maintain at least some of their friendships though perhaps with difficulty. As life responsibilities increase, time for socialising with others may be at the premium.

Friendship tend to same-sex, non romantic relationships. Humans often characterise their friendships as involving respect, trust, understanding and acceptance- typically the same features as romantic relationships, but without the passion and intense commitment. Friendships also differ according to gender. Some females tend to be relational in their interactions, confiding their problems and feelings to other females and some males on the other hand tend to minimise confiding about their problems and feelings; instead, they seek out common interest activities with other males. Others tend to interact more with the opposite sex. Friends provide a healthy alternative to family members and acquaintances.

They can offer emotional and social support, a different perspective, and a change apart from daily routines as each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by meeting by a new world is born. Though some natural loners are happy without them, most of us depend greatly on the company of a true friend. The conventional wisdom is that we choose friends because of who they are. But it turns that we actually love them because of the way they support who we are.

People in successful same sex friendships seems to possess a well developed, intuitive understanding of the give and take of intimacy. Those who know what to say in response to another person’s self disclosure are more likely to develop satisfying friendships. Hefty helpings and unconditional support are ingredients followed by by acceptance, loyalty and trust. A friend with too many opinions about our wardrobe, partner or taste in movies and art may not be a friend for long. If anything, it’s giving and not receiving that makes us value a friend more.

From young adulthood onward, our notion of what makes a good friendship changes very little, but our capacity to maintain one does. It’s a poignant reality; we know what it means to be and have friends, but after we graduate from university and go our separate ways—launching our careers, getting married, having children, caring for aging parents—we’re often unable to muster the time and energy to maintain friendships we profess to value. Like anything else in life, if we want to remain friends with someone, it requires a little work. Simply put, we must show up. There are four basic behaviors necessary to maintain the bond.

•Communication facilitates the first two essential behaviors: self disclosure and supportiveness both necessary for intimacy.
•Interaction is the third essential intending to a friendship. You have to text, you have to call, you have to visit. Not every time but once in a while. Find the nearest hang out & take time to catch up. The activity doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to interact.
•The last and most elusive behavior necessary to keeping friends is being positive. At the end of the day, the intimacy that makes a friendship thrive must be an enjoyable one, for the more rewarding a friendship, the more we feel good about it, the more we’re willing to expend the energy it takes to keep it alive.

Osagie enjoys copywriting and content marketing. She has keen interest in writing Fashion and Lifestyle topics.

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