• David Unger PhD

Old Friends



Friends come in and out of our lives. Some of us have people who we have known all our lives who have remained close to us. Some of us don’t have any friends from our early years that are a regular part of our life. Sometimes that can be because you no longer live close together. Other times it may be because interests change and the things that brought you together in one era of life no longer provide the glue.


I often tell students that high school and college are the easiest places to make friends because you see the same people over and over for years. You sit in classes with them and hang out with them at lunch and that familiarity makes building connections easier. You don’t have to seize a moment to make a move, because you have many moments. Once you move out of your parents home you also move away from some of your friends and keeping contact becomes an effort. In school you just show up and there are your friends. Later in life it takes greater effort to maintain friendships.


Most of us have people we know who we don’t see often but when we do see them we basically pick up right where we left off. The comfort of growing up with each other and having a basic understanding of the other, makes it easier to relax into being together. I have a friend (pictured above) who I have known since I was four. Our friendship peaked in 7th grade through the beginning of college, but he still is on my close friend list.


Somehow the bond of going through those formative years together has kept us close, but we rarely see or talk to each other. But back in the day we spent a lot of time at each other’s houses. He lived with us for a part of 8th grade while his parents were out of the country and I spent weeks with his family over the summer. His parents were my surrogate parents and vice versa. Over the years our time together has significantly decreased but we each have a deep understanding of each other that comes out of being by teach other’s side as we smoked our first cigarettes, learned to drive and lost our virginity. We each know one another in a way no one else will ever know.


There is a comfort we have with each other and a degree of insight into who we both really are at our core. Sure, people change and evolve, but sometimes we just share a look with each other that takes us right back to our origins. I don’t know if we would be friends if we met today as some of our interests have taken us in different directions. Yet, the comfort of being with each other is akin to taking off your work clothes when you come home and slipping into something less fashionable but more relaxing.


The picture of the two of us was taken right after our graduation from high school. We took a road trip to celebrate our passage. The picture is faded, as we both are, but when I see it, I am taken back to a more innocent time when the world was ahead of us and our friendship bonded us together. It warms my heart.

#Oldfriends #Friendship

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