I asked myself about 10 years ago, how you could know if someone is a good friend. One of my best friends answered me, that you will know if somebody is a good friend, if he is there for you, when you need him. When you are in trouble.
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” — Malcolm S. Forbes.
While I agreed on that 10 years ago, I see thing pretty much different today. I think in order to really know somebody and to know if you can really trust him, you need to know him in different situations. Somebody may appear like a good friend but maybe your friendship is just based on a similar pain for example and while you think he is a good friend, his circumstances may change and there is no pain which needs to be shared, no empathy based on his own pain and you will lose somebody you appeared to you like a good friend. In my eyes this person never was a real good friend, if he behaves like that.
One of my best friends got into a relationship and soon his girlfriend told him that he should stop the contact to me and another friend of him. I know him since about the second grade of my primary school, which means that we are friends now for about 19 years. He told this girl that if she really loves him, she has to accept his friends. Unfortunately she was not able to do this and soon my friend break up with her. I never met this girl and he told me this story years after it happened. It does not matter if he is, is not, just started or broke up a relationship, between our friendship never was any difference. And this is the case with the friendship with my best friend. Nothing, not even a relationship, changed something in our friendship. Besides that, of course they are people which I do not count to my best friends but still, when they entered a relationship, nothing changed about our friendship and I really appreciate that and the character of this peoples. Don’t get me wrong, it is ok that your priorities may change when you enter a relationship. Maybe in the first months you are blind because of love and that is ok. But if you change the friendship to somebody completely, what what kind of message is that, that you deliver? “Thank you, there were nice times but now I have something better and do not need you anymore?”. It is remarkable to know that the persons who’s friendship was not affected by a partner, have really deep relationships. One of them married and I was his best man. One is going to marry and asked me to be his best man and few others have a very long and happy relationship.
One of my best friends one said that your life should be like a good coffee. The relationship should only be the cream on top of the coffee. So the coffee should also be good without any cream. I totally agree with that and mirrors what I said in the previous section.
There is a group of friends I know since I’m 14. They live in Düsseldorf, which is the neighbour city of Cologne. The city where I was born. Till the time when we all finished high school, we saw each other at least once a month. Only that time counted was 6 years, which is pretty long and specially in that area of time where you grow up as a teenager and a lot of things changed. Of course people joined and left the group and a lot of things changed. When we started going to university, we all spread around the world and now, 13 years later, we see each other only one or two times a year and speak each other maybe once every quarter. But when we do, everything is like always! Even the jokes seems to be the same silly ones like 13 years ago ^^ I really love this guys and I hope and think that we will keep in touch all life long!
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