By: Michael Appleman, M.S.

True friendships are difficult to find. It takes years to master the ability to create non sexual closeness. We have to learn how to choose skillfully. Have a balance of give and take. And building mutual trust. Finally we all must disconnect peacefully when the friendship cannot be saved.


Trying to be friends is not easy. All involved must take part. When only one side works at the friendship it will definitely die. The type of friend you are changes. It depends on your age, health, marital status, backround, commitments and priorities.


New friends appear to keep you young. If you have not had three to four new friends in the last year ask yourself if you have been....

  • Self-involved: Boring, overbearing or uninterested in others.
  • Out of Balance: Are you a loner, a workaholic or are others not willing to be honest and learn about you?
  • Inactive: Cultivating and maintaining friendships take a lot of work not just on your side.
  • Not Enough Time: How will you enjoy life to the fullest without finding the time?
  • Flustered: How can I manage my time?

Ways to Improve the Quality and Quantity of Friendships


Put your friends on your Calendar:

Set aside time to spend with your friends. You can spend time with them physically or by telephone and chatting on the Internet. Also writing and sending by mail, fax or E-mailing them keeps the friendship alive. Make the time with them important. Do not always cancel at the last minute. Also if you must cancel be honest and let them know why.

Try taking the Initiative:

Having acquaintances as friends can be easy. You can have a dinner at your home or go out for one. If you have an extra ticket offer it to your acquaintance. Get both families together. Go to the movies, the mall or just for a ride.

Get use to Listening:

After asking your friend a question. Do not get use to using the answer to talk about yourself.

Assess before you Invest:

Having a new friend is an investment of time, energy and spirit.

Ask these questions to yourself:

  • Are you happy to see this person?
  • At times do you see this person out of obligation or social climbing?
  • Do you respect this individual?
  • Do you care about their well-being?
  • Are you interested in the individuals mind, experiences or problems?

Friendship Leading to Love

Be Straightforward:

If this friendship is to lead to an important relationship you need to expose all of you. This will help the other person to learn about you. Honesty is the best policy.


Try not to bring your personal problems with you. We all have problems throughout our lives. We need to control our troubles. As a relationship grows people should be able to express their problems and get help and support.

An Overworked Life

Remain Connected with Friends:

Keeping regular contact with friends is the main base of a friendship. As a real friend it is your responsibility to pick up the telephone, E-mail, mail or fax your friends. Informing them that you are busy but you are thinking about them is important.

Asking your friend how he/she is doing is very important. Also try to return a friends telephone call, E-mail or other contact within 24 hours. This will also let them know you respect them. See how they respond.


If you or your friend do not respect and show your friendship the odds are it will not last.

I am Busy:

If you cannot make the time then you will not be seen as a true friend.


Attempt Harmony:

If you have opened yourself up and your friend has not be careful. Friends need to open up and let each other know who they really are. A friendship does not mean you must be 100% the same.

When a friend is in need all they have to do is ask for help. We do not have to have all the answers. Also do not manipulate. That will cause the friendship to eventually end.

The Top Five Pitfalls:

  1. Do Not Make Love With Your Friend:

    It is very hard once you have made love to keep or return to the usual friendship. Most of the time things do not work out and they become awkward. Is it worth destroying a friendship for the sexual excitement?

  2. Unless Harmonious; Do Not Travel Together:

    If you do not communicate then the trip may not be as enjoyable. It can also ruin the friendship. It may be best to go your separate ways. Then at home or in the hotel discussing and looking at pictures will be enjoyable.

  3. Do Not Tell The Truth:

    When an individual cannot handle the truth many people feel that lying is the best for a relationship. At some time that will destroy the friendship. So telling the truth is always the best.

  4. Do Not Double Date:

    If your friend is married to or dating an individual you cannot get along with try to meet them privately. Also it would be best for you to work on accepting their partner. This will help your friendship and your present or future children.

  5. Do Not Betray Your Confidence:

    Betraying confidence in a relationship is saying good-bye to a friend. Eventually your friend will find out.

As we see friendship is hard work. We all need friends. So do not put your friends aside. Always stay in touch. If your friend does not contact you for a short time try to reach him or her. If they do not respond then you must look the relationship over. When and if they decide to get back to you listen to their reasons for not keeping in contact. If this is continually going on, ask yourself: Are they a true friend? So remember, we should not treat our friends the way we do not want to be treated.