Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

"We were really just acquaintances until"--what pulled you over the line into friendship?

Asked by Jeruba (52234points) January 5th, 2011

Some friendships develop gradually over time and you can never say exactly when you knew “we’re friends.” For others, there may have been a moment, or some particular event, that suddenly drew you together and sealed a bond.

When was it, or what happened, to pull that person out of the crowd of people you just happened to know and turn that person into a real friend?

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22 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Now, that’s unusual: 4 GQs awarded (thank you) before a single answer is posted.

Earthgirl's avatar

I can answer this one…I had a longtime acquaintance known through business contact. We went to lunch one day and our conversation turned personal. I confided in him one of my deepest secrets, why I don’t know. He seemed to really want to know me. He drew me out and I trusted him. Later, walking to my bus at the end of the day I started thinking about him and in a flash realized that we had crossed that threshold and were no longer just casual acquaintences but true friends. Our friendship has only deepened and grown in the 14 years since that day. There is only one other friend of mine that knows this secret to this day!

Jude's avatar

We had something in common, that for me, was personal/emotional. That did it.

Jeruba's avatar

(So for you, @Jude, the moment or event was when you discovered it—?)

chyna's avatar

We had to go out of town on business together. Working in the same room for 10 hours a day left us plenty of time to talk and get to know each other. We became close friends 10 years ago and I’m also good friends with his wife.

Blackberry's avatar

When you fuck…. : )

When you happen to get time alone and get to know each other. The person isn’t just a co worker, but ‘John, the guy with the sick grandmother who loves his family’ etc. You get to know them on a more profound, intrinsic level.

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Jude's avatar

With most of my friends, it is a personal/intimate moment (of the platonic variety) that seals the deal.

Earthgirl's avatar

Jude…......can you give an example of one of those personal moments? I love specificity!!
I still won’t tell my secret though!

etignotasanimum's avatar

I knew my best friend and I would be close when he laughed at the same Harry Potter joke that I did, and he had the most catching laugh I’ve ever heard. That’s what sealed it, I think. :) It was random though, because we just happened to know someone in common who we were hanging out with when the joke was delivered.

Seelix's avatar

A classmate became a friend a couple of months ago when I texted her to let her know that I’d be skipping class due to a migraine, and asked if I’d be able to borrow her notes next time I saw her. She immediately asked if I needed anything from the drugstore or grocery store and offered to stop by if I did. Then when I had a cold just before Christmas, she called on the night before she left for Italy, just to see if I was feeling better.

Love this girl.

Jude's avatar

@Jude We both lost someone close to us. We were there for each other, comisserated together and bonded.

sliceswiththings's avatar

I think cracking up together seals the deal; laughter is a strong thing.

I met my teenage best friend in seventh grade. We had had a few “play dates,” but weren’t BFFs yet. Then she was at my house and we were on the couch facing each other, and decided to duct tape our feet together. We did. Then the phone rang. Together we had to roll off the couch and crawl across the floor to get it. We were in hysterics, and were best friends ever since.

sliceswiththings's avatar

I also think getting drunk with someone or living with them seals the deal. Other good friends of mine were acquaintances, then we became roommates, then we became good friends. Maybe it’s the pajamas.

This is a truly Great Question, @Jeruba. I’m thinking about all my friendships now, and I look forward to reading more answers!

bob_'s avatar

We were already close friends, but I knew we were going to be best friends forever (however girly that might sound) when he told me about a job posting for one single position—despite the fact that it was his dream job.

Neither of us ended up getting it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Sometimes, like @Seelix , it happens when someone performs an act of kindness that I didn’t expect, showing me an aspect of themselves I might not have seen otherwise. With others, it’s often that moment of cracking up at the obscure joke or reference I had no idea they knew about. Ah, @Jeruba , I’m embarrassed to have such an awkwardly worded sentence in one of your Qs…I’m still sick, is that a good enough excuse?

Jeruba's avatar

No apology needed, @JilltheTooth. I’m not grading responses (and I know you’re functioning below par at present). Thank you for responding. Do you have a specific story to tell?—because that’s what this question is really looking for.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Well, when my duaghter was 13 she had a close friend who was 16 and her mom kind of wondered if the friendship was appropriate because of the age difference. We went out to dinner with her and her mom, and I was on my best behavior. It was slightly awkward until I tried to explain to K the Samurai code of honor. (her friend was into all things Japanese). As a point of reference, I mentioned that the Klingons were fashioned after Samurai, then could have bitten my tongue, what a geeky thing to say! The mom was quiet for just a moment, then laughed and admitted that she and her family were serious Trekkers, even had their Christmas tree decked out with Star Trek ornaments and everything! K and I still laugh about that moment. Unfortuneately, I don’t get to spend much time with her, our lives are on different schedules, but the connect was a great moment…

etignotasanimum's avatar

@JilltheTooth I love that story, it’s so great!
I became really close with another friend of mine during high school. It all started when I was called to the counselor’s office during class, because someone had told this counselor that I had an eating disorder, which I didn’t. She said that since I was an over-achiever it meant that I wanted to control other aspects in my life as well, including my body.
When I started to cry because I was so angry, she took it to mean that I felt cornered but wouldn’t confess. She later called in some of my friends and my sister to vouch for me, and called my parents about the incident as well to let them know about my “eating disorder”/ self-esteem issues. The fact that I had told her this rumor was untrue was ignored. The situation basically got out of hand until the whole school knew about it by the next day.

Anyway, I went back to class shaking because I was so upset and my soon-to-be friend could tell that something was wrong so stepped outside with me to ask me if I was okay. To make a long story short, I ended up crying on her shoulder and telling her everything, and she was also super pissed at the school for ignoring the fact that I’d said I didn’t have an eating disorder.

We later became best friends and I found out after she graduated that because of her and the actions of a few of my other friends, as well as the actions of my parents, the matter was dropped. Apparently a few days after the first meeting with this woman, a large scale intervention was supposed to have taken place, but thanks to my friend vouching for me and having my back, she never hassled me again.

It still means a lot to me that my friend was willing to stand up for me and help me when I was feeling at my most vulnerable.

Jeruba's avatar

I became close to the best friend I ever had basically because I was the only one who hadn’t idolized her.

In our freshman year of college, we were in the same dorm. I was put off by her looks from the first moment, and her accent only doubled my aversion. (I was 17; I’ve learned a lot since then.) So I barely spoke to her all year. I was revolted by the way the other girls clung to her. They told her all their troubles and went to her for advice. They even called her “Mama.” I wasn’t envious of her—I certainly didn’t want to be called “Mama.” I just thought it was ridiculous that a couple dozen college women were such big babies that they had to have a surrogate mother in the dorm, and that she went along with it.

Well, I went home for the summer, but most of them stayed on campus, right in the same dorm, and kept on letting her mother-hen them day in and day out.

When the new school year began in the fall, I went back. And just then she had a million-megaton blowout breakup with her boyfriend. She was devastated and heartbroken. And guess what! All those girls who’d been crying on her shoulder for a year suddenly disappeared. They couldn’t handle it when she was the weak one who needed to cry. It was a one-way street.

So there I was, the only one who wasn’t avoiding her because I wasn’t involved one way or the other. While she was being shunned by everyone else, I was there. So she talked to me. And I began to see who she really was, and we became close and remained so for many years over long separations. I’ve never had a closer friend. She died 5 years ago.

After a time, the other girls started coming back around and wanting to snuggle under her wings again, but by then she and I were really tight and she had lost interest in being Mama. So they then proceeded to ostracize her and badmouth me for stealing her away from them. It wasn’t a bit nice, but we did not care.

beccalynnx's avatar

Hmm. I was always the kid who hod one best friend, and no other friends. It started i guess in 1st grade, she and i just becam friends, yaknow? nthing inparticular, we both decided to play onthe tire swing. She actually left school and came back three years later after not seeing eachother, and Immediately bestfriends again.

Most of my friends now are through my boyfriend and his buddies. They know I don’t put out effort to make friends, so they set me up with people who they think i’d get along with, lol. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. shrug

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