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Got friends? Find Your Handful

written by Maryanne Comaroto, PhD September 2, 2020
Got friends? Find Your Handful

My mother told me I was lucky if I could count all my real friends on one hand. It must have been fifteen or so years ago now, when it occurred to me – after a string of disappointing intimate relationships – that maybe she was right – again. That it might be wise to invest more time in creating some deep and lasting friendships, as they theoretically seemed to have greater staying power and could be in many ways equally fulfilling, perhaps in some ways even more.

I must add that, up until that that point, my history with friendships was rather sketchy and my role models even more so. My mother barely trusted women (her best friend slept with my dad) and my father, well, made a lot of offers people couldn’t refuse. Childhood aside, the relationship skills I had gathered afforded me as many pleasant and happy memories as traumatic or forgettable ones. Over the years, many of the friendships had been more fragile than I liked, and oftentimes out-of-balance one way or the other. Either I was too needy or too unavailable, or our lifestyles were not totally compatible – being a single mom certainly didn’t help. Yet, the ones I did maintain (for whatever length of time) offered a mutual comfort that, when absent, left me yearning for that very specific kind of connection that only a platonic camaraderie offers – one that, no matter how compatible, a sexual relationship does not.

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