For those who don't want to go to the link, the article is entitled "Half of all Friends Replaced Every 7 Years". Here is a of pull-out which give the essence of the article.
"Sociologist Gerald Mollenhorst of Utrecht University in the Netherlands...conducted a survey of 1,007 people ages 18 to 65, and then contacted the participants seven years later. From the original group, 604 people were re-interviewed. The survey contained questions such as: Who do you talk with, regarding personal issues? Who helps you with DIY in your home? Who do you pop by to see? Where did you get to know that person? And where do you meet that person now?
The results showed that personal network sizes remained stable, but that many members of the network were new. About 30 percent of discussion partners and practical helpers had the same position in a typical subject's network seven years later. And only 48 percent were still part of the network. This finding goes against previous research which had showed that social network sizes are shrinking."
I'm thinking, as I look through my address book, his idea is reasonably spot on. I don't make close friends quickly. I tend to keep people at arm's length until an incident or just time itself has allowed us to get to know each other better. Then, I'm very loyal. The friends I've known for a long time will tell you we've "had words" with each other, even come to the point of thinking our friendship wasn't worth saving.
But I was told by a therapist when I was going through my divorce that ALL relationships go through a rocky period. It's what you do when the friendship gets to those rocks that defines where it's going to go. If one or both of you put no stock in any part of the friendship, it won't survive even the smallest of hurts. If you do value the other person, you will find the kernel that keeps you together through the very rough patches.
Remember the movie, "The Seven Year Itch"? A devoted husband is tempted by a neighbor who happens to be Marilyn Monroe. The movie is based on the premise that the hardest year of a marriage is year #7. I remember in one of my philosophy classes in college, the teacher mentioned that it's not just a premise and it's not just in marriages. Conversations have a "7 minute cool down". After 7 minutes, there is a natural pause. She always waited until the class naturally came to that point and then started class. It got so we would try to talk through it but would fail. She said friendships have a "rule of 7". If you can last through year number 7, it will be a life-long friendship. But it does go back to how much are you willing to work to keep going through the natural adversity and the natural human-ness of life.
So here's to my friends, old and new, who have seen me through college, marriage, work, child, work, divorce and now middle age. Regardless of where, in that list, you joined my journey with yours, I hope we can and will work through those pot holes inevitable in any journey.
Beverage: Nothing as I'm going to bed after I pill the cats.