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Exploring the 3 Types of Friendships in Life

Updated on October 11, 2011
FaithDream profile image

I'm an inspirational writer working in interior design, planning commercial offices where I found my niche, but with a passion for writing.

Did you ever experience a time in your life when you felt people were avoiding you?

Ever wonder why people purposely stayed away? Perhaps, you wonder if you offended them in some way.

You think over your last encounters reflecting on your conversations.

Did you say something that was misunderstood? Were you complaining or gossiping? Maybe you did nothing at all.

Perhaps your last meeting was fine, maybe even great. You remember sharing laughter, enjoying each other's company, everything was wonderful.


Days go by, weeks, and months pass. You reach out, but they don't return your calls.

Maybe you run errands and see them out and about. A simple 'hello' and you both move along. Yet there are no more calls. No more visits and you sense you're being avoided.

How do you feel? Do you follow up with them and ask if something is wrong? Or do you just let it go, thinking, well maybe it's for the best.

Rejected by a friend

These questions trouble many.

More often than we would like to think. Perhaps we are too busy in our lives to bother with another. We would like to think we would "be there" for our friends in their time of need.

Yet for many there is a sense of rejection, a real hopelessness for those who are out casted and left alone.

This review leads to another question.

What about you? Which side of the rope do you stand on? Are you the one being rejected, or are you the one who is avoiding someone else?

3 Types of Friendships

Friendships come and go in life. In the seasons of change, a person encounters new friends and old friends fall away.

There are those friendships that stay with you during a lifetime. Those that are the first you call to share good news and the ones you can count on in a crisis.

The seasonal friends could be those you work with. There is minimal outside contact besides the day-to-day working together. These friends share your joys and may know of your sorrows but they don't connect deeply with your situation. They are the flyaway friends. When a person leaves the job, you don't see them anymore. That's it. They are gone.

Lastly there are the stranger friends. These are the simple encounters you have with your neighbors, local grocers or attendants that you see often. Yet there is no deep meaning to the relationship. They serve a purpose. They help you carry in your groceries. They may shovel your sidewalk in the winter. They may be regulars at your church. You don't know a lot about their lives and you don't want to. This is the avoidable friend. You don't seek a deep friendship with them and they easily drop out of your life.

Now let's dive deeper into the meaning of these 3 types of friendships.

Friends for a season, a reason, or a lifetime

So why are there so many types of relationships?

Perhaps God is fulfilling a need in your life. If you had too many stranger friends, you would never find meaning in relationships.

If you had too many lifetime friends, you wouldn't have time for your family or your job. Taking care of everyone else would leave you little time for yourself.

What brings you the most joy in life? Is it your family, your children, your job?

What you’re most passionate about is where you will devote most of your time. If relationships are important to you, then friendships will be meaningful. At the same time, rejection will be miserable. For the more you care, the more you will hurt.

A lifetime friend

In life a person may only have one or two lifetime friendships.

The deep meaningful relationship that lasts a lifetime is such a gift. Those relationships should be cared for, tenderly with great sincerity.

For when one of them leaves through death or some other unfortunate circumstance, the pain is deeply heart-wrenching. These are the friends we call our lifetime friend.

What about strangers?

Stranger friends serve a purpose in your life during seasons of change and growth. They are there to support you when you need a helping hand.

Sometimes these are the angels God puts in your life right when you need them. They provide comfort, sympathy, and support, physically and mentally when you can’t do it alone.

Many times they are in your life just for the simple joy of laughter. Their connection rarely moves to the next stage.

Friends for a season

Seasonal friends are different than stranger friends because they have knowledge. You reveal more to these friends than you would a stranger. They know a little bit of your history, perhaps you share common friends.

These friendships are seasonal in nature because they last longer than others. Their season could last for years even decades. Yet for these friends there are still barriers; broken down communication, mistrust and sometimes bitterness creeps in destroying these friendships.

At the same time these relationships can provide deep growth. Through these friendships your character is stretched. In them you gain mature wisdom and much experience.

Some of these friendships have the potential to develop into lifetime friendships.

Think about it. Who are the people in your life?

What type of friend are you? Are there friendships you would like to change? Reflecting on these answers may lead you to understand the isolations you felt or the rejections you’ve experienced.

Friends for a season, a reason or a lifetime


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    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thank you MsDora for your insight. That's interesting. Sometimes the type of friend we need has been there all along, perhaps we didn't recognize that friendship while we had it and lost it. Or perhaps they've been quietly waiting in the wings of our life to be the friend we need, but we don't see it.

      Your thoughts open up a whole new set of ideas to be considered. Thanks for sharing your comments.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Good hub! Thanks for sharing! Sometimes also the type of friend we need has been there all along while we keep waiting for someone else to fill that spot. It's not having what we want; its wanting what we have.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 6 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thank you Heart4theword. Your encouraging words are inspiring. I agree, that no matter how much we want to do for others and be there, we need Him the most to guide us.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments. God Bless You.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

      There has been such a shift in this area of my life. I've come to the understanding that I can only do so much, and I can't be there for everyone all the time. Like you mentioned in this beautiful hub:), that we only have so much time. Our families are first and foremost important on this earth. With God's help, we are able to do more and be more for others. I am thankful God knows, that no matter how much I want to do, and be there for others...that I need Him the most, to guide me in my personal relationships with others. I truly thank you, for an awesome heartfelt read:) God Bless You, my hubber friend!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

      This was really eye-opening and interesting. It never occurred to me that there were this many types of friendships, but when I stop and analyze my relationships with friends they do fall into these categories. Very nicely presented - rated UP.

    • profile image

      Eddie-Perkins 6 years ago

      You have thought out this subject and presented it very well FaithDream. I do appreciate it. I try to be a friend to everyone, but it seems that most meaningful friendships come and go. Life happens. I may feel rejected and hurt, but do I pray for my friend? Am I seeking to find out what is going on in their lives or am I just concerned about my hurt? We are often more concerned with our heart than the heart of the one we call friend. I'm afraid there have been too many times when I did not help carry their burden or even try to find out if they had a burden they needed help with. Thank you so much for your insight on this subject. Vote up and helpful.

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia

      We can not find inner peace without meaningful connections, we can only connect with true friends and they are not so easy to find, are they?...happy I have found you my dear fellow hubber:)

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 6 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Thank you all for your wonderful comments.

      Hyphenbird, you said it all. You made the difference in the lives of those people who have helped along the way. That is a gift and a blessing. Thanks for sharing your inspiring words.

      Rev, yes you are a dear friend. God blessed me with your friendship. He plans all things for His purpose and our friendship is no coincidence. Another HubPages blessing. :) Thanks for commenting.

      Movie Master, thank you for sharing your comments. Appreciate your thoughts.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi FaithDream, what an interesting article on friendship.

      I agree a lifetime friend is not only rare, they are a true gift.

      Thank you for sharing a wonderful hub.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Wonderful article about the 3 types of friendships in life. I am glad to be considered your friend.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Hello Faith Dream. This is an interesting Hub. The people that flow into and out of our lives create such joy and/or pain. When one finds that another is a lifelong friend, the gift boggles the mind and softens the heart.

      I have been rejected by family, friends and people that I gave my last dollar. I have taken people into my home, sheltered, clothed, fed and loved them only to see them walk away and never look back. However that is negligible to the love I receive and feel for those that come and stay in their special niche in my heart.

      What a lovely and inspiring Hub you have here.