As human beings, we crave intimacy. While solitude is an important part of life, we are also social creatures by nature. When the world starts closing in and our reality is crumbling beneath our fingertips, we cannot always prevail alone. Friends lead us towards the glimmering light at the end of our darkest times and offer us companionship along the way.
How many success stories come from one person and one alone? 60 second Oscar acceptance speeches are hardly enough time to squeeze in each and every person who has helped along the way. A world without a friend, without a confidant, without someone who cares for you, is a world not worth living in at all.
As we grow older, the collection of faces and names that we know simultaneously expands while some drop off. We see people in passing every day; the classmate who brings you coffee to your late night study session, the roommate who asks you about your day, the sorority sister whose name escapes you that always smiles at you. There is a long list of people deserving of a smile, head nod, or wave in passing, but are those people our “friends?” Do we know anything about those individuals’ personal lives? Are we intimate with them? In times of crisis or during moments of reflection, it sometimes may feel as though your list of true, meaningful relationships are numbered or nonexistent. These superficial, “filler friends” make us feel good only temporarily, until we realize that they are no substitute for the real deal. True friendship is the realest love you’ve ever felt.
The most seemingly “popular” people can sometimes be the loneliest. Their hundreds of “friends” are all but mere acquaintances. Who will they call when they need a favor? Who will be their maid of honor? Who will be there to drive to their rescue at 3 a.m. when something has gone wrong?
Frivolous conversation is not enough. Tell me your biggest fear. Tell me what makes your heart melt. Tell me the moment you first realized what you wanted to do with your life. Tell me about your first love. Tell me about your first heartbreak. Tell me your biggest regret. I want to see your face light up with passion when you talk to me about things that excite you. Let me into your world.
Create meaningful relationships. Share the most vulnerable parts of yourself. Be true to who you are. Be loyal to others. Make sacrifices for others. Be selfless. Create laughter. We crave human intimacy because it is one of the most fulfilling and gratifying things in life. After all, to feel close to someone is the closest thing we have to magic.