There’s this quote going around social media that says, “If a friendship lasts longer than 7 years, it will last a lifetime.” I’m not sure if this is true (I even have some past friendships that would prove it false), but there are few in my life that I know will always be there.
The fact is that it has nothing to do with how long lasting your friendship may be. Quality is always more important than quantity. I’ve had plenty of friendships that have lasted longer than 7 years, and I no longer speak to some of those people. I think that the reason this quote is getting so much attention has nothing to do with this magic seventh year that makes friendships eternal, but more to do with the fact that, in most cases, there is usually a reason that this person has stayed by your side for so long. For us, it has nothing to do with the amount of time we’ve known one another, and everything to do with who we are.
The friends we make and the ones we keep are more likely to be determined by opportunity rather than personal preferences. Many relationships fall apart because people no longer have the opportunity to be together in the same context, e.g. a school, an office or a neighborhood.
Over that time, the size of an individual’s social network remained strikingly stable (in terms of numbers) but there was a lot of turnover: New friends replaced old ones and only thirty percent of the original friendships remained. The influence of social context (where they met) on longevity was remarkably similar for friends and acquaintances — irrespective of the closeness of the relationship.👬👭
One implication: If a friendship is meaningful, it needs to be nurtured.