{the life} What I’m Looking for in a Friend

by Rachel on March 29, 2012

It’s been about a month since my friend break-up, and I am happy to say I’m doing really well. Talking about it helped a lot; just acknowledging that it happened and allowing myself to feel the emotions and take the action that I would during any other break up has really helped me get over it.

Since it happened, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I stayed in such a toxic friendship for so long. Like I said right after it happened, I think I should give my female friendships as much thought, effort, and credit as I give my relationships. One thing I often think about with relationships is what I’m looking for in a mate; I consider a guy’s good and bad qualities and compare them to a list of what I’m looking for in a partner and what I see as red flags. Well, why not do the same for friends? So I decided that before I continue on in my quest for new friends (which is still going well — more updates soon!), I should think about what I’m looking for in a friend. And before I let any other friendships continue way past their expiration date, I should figure out what my dealbreakers are. So I thought about my best friends and and came up with this list.

New Friend Dealmakers

She’s talkative. I get really excited when I meet someone who likes to hear the sound of his or her own voice as much as I do. I really bond with people when we’re getting deep into a topic we both care about. When I meet someone I can go on for hours with about certain topics, who finished up a two-hour conversation on, say, women and social media, and says, “So what next?” I know we’re off to a great start.

She’s gracious. I struggled to come up with a word for what I’m about to describe, but I think gracious is sums it up. When I meet someone new, I want to know how she talks to or about people who are different than she is. To me, someone who is gracious is fair, open-minded, and non-judgmental of others. A lot of people don’t understand how I can be friends with people with very different political beliefs than I have, but I think that as long as they are gracious, we can still get along. (Actually I can have the same views as someone, but if they aren’t gracious, we probably won’t get along.)

She’s motivated. The people I connect with most are the people who are motivated to go for the things they want in life and to make the best of situations they can’t change. I love when I’m talking to someone and I can tell she’s just really excited about her life.

I’m sure what people are looking for in a friend is just as varied as what people are looking for in a significant other, so I’d love to hear what you’re looking for in a friend and what your dealbreakers are. (I’m sure they will make me think of a lot of my own too!) Please share!