Is there such a thing as 'friendship flings'?

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KitLily
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22 Jan 2023, 1:58 pm

What I mean is, do you think it's possible to have a very intense, short-lived friendship? Where you make a friend, you share a lot in a short space of time and feel very close, then suddenly it's over.

Similar to short-lived romantic relationships, where there is an intense relationship for a short time. Described as 'a fling.'

I've decided that's my pattern.

'Normal' people often have longstanding friendships with people they've known since childhood, but short-lived romantic relationships.

I have a longstanding romantic relationship with my husband for 30 years, but short-lived friendships that don't last long but can be intense.

If I look at it from that perspective, it makes a heck of a lot of sense. I'm just 'that way round', not the 'normal' way round.


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funeralxempire
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22 Jan 2023, 2:01 pm

Yes, just look at when people go to cons.


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22 Jan 2023, 2:20 pm

Yes, it is possible. I know some people do have short intense friendships.

For me, it takes a very long time to become close friends with someone. Usually, the other person sees me as a close friend pretty soon into the friendship.

It's different with people I've lived with. The people that became friends through being housemates, I have felt closest to - even though it took a while to get there, too.

And online connections are different. Some people are so easy to chat with, you almost instantly know they're your kind of people. And you can often see from their posts whether they are someone you'd get on with.


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KitLily
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22 Jan 2023, 2:33 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Yes, just look at when people go to cons.


What does that mean? Do you mean 'conventions'? Can you explain a bit more?


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funeralxempire
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22 Jan 2023, 2:37 pm

KitLily wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
Yes, just look at when people go to cons.


What does that mean? Do you mean 'conventions'? Can you explain a bit more?


Yes, conventions.

Quite often at them people get close to others because of shared interests, but they don't all keep touch until they see each other the next year.


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KitLily
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22 Jan 2023, 2:37 pm

Where_am_I wrote:
Yes, it is possible. I know some people do have short intense friendships.

For me, it takes a very long time to become close friends with someone. Usually, the other person sees me as a close friend pretty soon into the friendship.

It's different with people I've lived with. The people that became friends through being housemates, I have felt closest to - even though it took a while to get there, too.

And online connections are different. Some people are so easy to chat with, you almost instantly know they're your kind of people. And you can often see from their posts whether they are someone you'd get on with.


Yes, it takes me a loooooooong time to trust someone and feel close to them. Probably over a year. In that time, often the person has gone through the stages of friendship and discarded me already! They haven't got the patience to wait for me to open up to them.

I suppose all human relationships are short, medium or long, whether romantic or otherwise.

I'm just accepting that I have short friendships, I'm just 'like that'.


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KitLily
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22 Jan 2023, 2:38 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Yes, conventions.

Quite often at them people get close to others because of shared interests, but they don't all keep touch until they see each other the next year.


Oh I get you now. Yes, I can imagine that. I've never been to a con, it must be a nice yearly event.


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Where_am_I
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22 Jan 2023, 3:41 pm

KitLily wrote:
Yes, it takes me a loooooooong time to trust someone and feel close to them. Probably over a year. In that time, often the person has gone through the stages of friendship and discarded me already! They haven't got the patience to wait for me to open up to them.

I suppose all human relationships are short, medium or long, whether romantic or otherwise.

I'm just accepting that I have short friendships, I'm just 'like that'.

The other thing is causing offence in some way, without meaning to, and the other person runs for their life. When you live with them, they can't run.

This works too:

Image


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KitLily
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22 Jan 2023, 4:43 pm

Where_am_I wrote:
The other thing is causing offence in some way, without meaning to, and the other person runs for their life. When you live with them, they can't run.


Oh yes that's the story of my life: causing offence unintentionally and they run for their lives. So I'm learning to accept that I'll always have short-lived friendships which can end at any second without any warning. C'est la vie.


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Mona Pereth
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22 Jan 2023, 7:29 pm

KitLily wrote:
Oh yes that's the story of my life: causing offence unintentionally and they run for their lives. So I'm learning to accept that I'll always have short-lived friendships which can end at any second without any warning. C'est la vie.

Question: In what kinds of contexts have you been meeting these friends? Online, in-person, or both? If in-person, in what kinds of context? (e.g. job, school, bars, or just living in the same neighborhood?) If online, in what kinds of online contexts? (e.g. just happening to run into each other's social media accounts, or common membership in some ongoing group or forum, or perhaps some other kind of online activity such as a multiplayer online game?)

Are your friendships typically isolated friendships, with no common acquaintances? Or do you usually have common acquaintances, or even common friends?


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Mona Pereth
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22 Jan 2023, 7:44 pm

KitLily wrote:
What I mean is, do you think it's possible to have a very intense, short-lived friendship? Where you make a friend, you share a lot in a short space of time and feel very close, then suddenly it's over.

Similar to short-lived romantic relationships, where there is an intense relationship for a short time. Described as 'a fling.'

Usually because the other person breaks it off? In what fraction of cases, if any, have friendships ended with you being the one to break if off?

If it's almost always the other person who breaks if off, then perhaps there might be things you could do to make this less likely to happen. This might possibly including making some changes to the ways you go about finding friends, in the first place. It might also include making some changes to the way you interact with your friends, to increase the likelihood that, when misunderstandings happen, your friend will be more likely to be willing to resolve them.

I just now Googled the term "fragile friendship" to see if anyone else besides me has been using that term. Lo and behold, I found the following:

- Do You Have Fragile Friendships? 30 Tips to Turn Fragility Into Longevity by Tara Thomas, a relationship coach in Australia
- It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart, The Atlantic, February 9, 2022

I haven't yet had time to study these articles to see how helpful they might be.

EDIT: Another possibly relevant article: How Friends Become Closer, The Atlantic, August 29, 2017


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KitLily
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23 Jan 2023, 9:14 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Question: In what kinds of contexts have you been meeting these friends? Online, in-person, or both? If in-person, in what kinds of context? (e.g. job, school, bars, or just living in the same neighborhood?) If online, in what kinds of online contexts? (e.g. just happening to run into each other's social media accounts, or common membership in some ongoing group or forum, or perhaps some other kind of online activity such as a multiplayer online game?)

Are your friendships typically isolated friendships, with no common acquaintances? Or do you usually have common acquaintances, or even common friends?


In real life, I've just met people at social groups e.g. Pilates or mothers meeting at the playground to collect our children from school. Or nearby neighbours.

Online I meet people in online social groups.


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KitLily
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23 Jan 2023, 9:15 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Usually because the other person breaks it off? In what fraction of cases, if any, have friendships ended with you being the one to break if off?

If it's almost always the other person who breaks if off, then perhaps there might be things you could do to make this less likely to happen. This might possibly including making some changes to the ways you go about finding friends, in the first place. It might also include making some changes to the way you interact with your friends, to increase the likelihood that, when misunderstandings happen, your friend will be more likely to be willing to resolve them.

I just now Googled the term "fragile friendship" to see if anyone else besides me has been using that term. Lo and behold, I found the following:

- Do You Have Fragile Friendships? 30 Tips to Turn Fragility Into Longevity by Tara Thomas, a relationship coach in Australia
- It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart, The Atlantic, February 9, 2022

I haven't yet had time to study these articles to see how helpful they might be.

EDIT: Another possibly relevant article: How Friends Become Closer, The Atlantic, August 29, 2017


I think the other person is usually the one to disappear on me. Probably 3/4 of the time.

Thanks for those links :heart:


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kraftiekortie
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23 Jan 2023, 9:15 am

I guess it could happen....it's a pity if it does happen. It goes against the whole concept of friendship.



KitLily
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23 Jan 2023, 9:24 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I guess it could happen....it's a pity if it does happen. It goes against the whole concept of friendship.


Yes, Mr K, it does. Friendship is very hard to find these days...


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Mona Pereth
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24 Jan 2023, 2:26 pm

KitLily wrote:
Yes, it takes me a loooooooong time to trust someone and feel close to them. Probably over a year. In that time, often the person has gone through the stages of friendship and discarded me already! They haven't got the patience to wait for me to open up to them.

But you've opened up, quite a bit, to all of us here on Wrong Planet.

Of course, what you have with us here on Wrong Planet is a one-dimensional kind of emotional intimacy, in a safely anonymous context, separate from the other ingredients of a friendship.

KitLily wrote:
I suppose all human relationships are short, medium or long, whether romantic or otherwise.

I'm just accepting that I have short friendships, I'm just 'like that'.

It doesn't sound like this is what you really want, though. It sounds like you wish you could have longer-lived friendships, if only you could find people willing to be more patient with you. Is that correct? If so, then it isn't you who are just 'like that,' but rather your social circumstances (e.g. the attitudes of the people whom you happen to have become friends with) that are forcing you to be "like that"?


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