Good Housekeeping South Africa|May - June 2020
By now, we all know that friendship is just as essential, and worthy of our attention, as any other form of love. Maybe it’s the influx of books and TV that celebrate female friendship – think Netflix’s Someone Great and Dolly Alderton’s book Everything I Know About Love (Penguin) – or perhaps it’s because we know just how dangerous loneliness can be. Whatever it is, it seems that, finally, friendships are being recognised as the shining beacons of hope that they are.
I’m in my mid-20s, and although I’m also in a long-term relationship, I rely on my friends intensely, and them on me. We discuss our careers, fears and everything in between over endless bottles of wine. My phone is constantly alight with WhatsApp threads and Instagram comments; all private jokes and cheerleading. I know that these friends will be a constant source of joy and comfort, but I’m also aware that our bonds will shift. I’ve seen my 30- and 40-something colleagues lament the loss of late nights and deep chats as children, marriages, promotions and ageing parents take priority. I know that, as all the complexity and responsibility of life revs up, friendships all too often drop to the bottom of the to-do list.
Then again, I have also seen first-hand how important it is to sustain these friendships when the going gets tough. When my mum – a very busy woman with six daughters – lost her own brilliant mother, it was the childhood friendships she had nurtured over 50 years that helped mend her broken heart, piece by piece. It’s our friends who are best equipped to keep us afloat and cheer us on, even when everything seems too much. So I asked experts, writers and relatives for their best advice on keeping those sparks alive as we grow older.
This is what I learnt....
1 CHECK ON YOUR CVP
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May - June 2020