Friendship is a relationship of between two persons who have mutual affection towards each other. Three important aspects lead to formation of friends. Firstly, there is the aspect of proximity, meaning that individuals have to be near one another or even share common activities. Secondly, meeting with an individual regularly without having made prior plans can lead to formation of friendships. Thirdly, friends can be formed when opportunities are presented to share experiences and ideas. Qualities that make friendship thrive include compassion, trustworthiness, loyalty, sympathy, empathy, and honesty. Evidently, at various stages in life, friendships are developed differently.
During childhood, the parental bonding is the most important relationship. However, children still create friends as they share toys and as they engage in different activities. Being able to experience proper friendships at a tender age helps people to become well integrated with the society later in life. Parents are therefore encouraged to help their children form better friendships and enhance their social skills.
At adolescence, forming friends is of paramount importance. Many people under this age group feel the need to have friends who can understand them and appreciate them. Often, peer pressure plays a big role in how friendship are created and maintained. As the adolescents mature into young adulthood, they may have fewer friends. Often, it becomes hard to maintain many of them during the transition. The adolescent friends pursue different courses in life as they become adults, thus have very few things in common. Further, as people transit to the middle adulthood, many things such as marriage, career development, and parenthood hinder maintenance of friendships. However, friends may be formed at the work place or within the neighborhood in such stages of life.
At old age, there are fewer responsibilities in terms of work or family. As such, it becomes very easy to create new friends and maintain them. Actually, friendships create a link to the wider community because movement may be very limited. The elderly may also want friends to improve their psychological well being especially because of ill-health. Additionally, they may want to spend more time engaging in group work as opposed to the middle aged group, whose focus is on individual pursuit of success.
Friendships can be ended because of distance or after arguments. Divorce also brings an end to many friendships. Further still, digital technology has led to the fading away of many friendships since people tend to limit their bonding time to phone calls, chats, and text messages. Clearly, friendships are formed, differentiated and ended based on the stages of life.