"Friendship is capable of being formed between all manner of people types and love is never too far away when mutual need cements it.
Do we get on better with people who are like us and share the same interests or are we the kind of person who is attracted to their opposite type? Some people can understand that though a good friend may be unable to solve their problem, they are unlikely to let you face it alone.
I have known many social isolates in my time who find it hard to make friends easily. I have even known people who will go to all lengths to ingratiate themselves into another person's good will that they are even prepared to buy their friendship rather than be alone. It is well worth reminding oneself that a friend one has to buy is never worth what you pay for them. Indeed, a friend is more likely to save you money instead of unnecessarily costing you expense.
My ex-wife was a counsellor and it often amused me in part that she was able to charge strangers who needed to talk about their problems £30 an hour simply to 'listen to them being aired.' No disrespect to my ex-wife or the profession of counselling, but I often felt that a good friend could possibly have given her as good a service for the mere price of a cup of tea, more often than not, and at the very least she should only have gone to a professional after a friend. This reminded me that whereas some people with problems go to therapists, some to counsellors, some turn to poetry and books and some to priests; far better I say to go to a friend first. The reason is simple: whereas many of such contacts will talk over your problems in their free time, it is more likely to be a friend who will free up their time for you to listen and empathise when you most need them.
How many times have we heard the expressed promise, 'If you want me, I'm there for you!' only to discover when you do, they aren't! It is a sad fact of life, but often words are loosely spoken when they're not really meant ever to be put into practice. All sacrifices promised in friendship appear beautiful in one's eyes until the day comes when one is asked to make them.
While I've had many good acquaintances throughout my life, true friends are much fewer. Like the paintings on my wall that I admire so much, a good friend will always place me in the best light and mirror my feelings. I have also found that when it is frightening to look back or scary to look ahead, it is far better to look to one's side where one's friend is stood and look together. And far better still, when one's best friend happens to be one's spouse!
Whereas love can sometimes be blind, where friendship outside marriage has the edge, is that it often closes its eyes and still sees the problem ahead. Some even feel that the silence of a friend often carries more significance and has a greater effect than the words of one's enemies. None of us needs a friend who changes when we change and who nods their head when we nod or echoes our words; our shadows do that much better!
So, whether your friends be like chalk or cheese to you, the most beautiful discovery of their friendship you will ever make is that you can each grow separately without living in each other's pockets or living apart. As my dear mum often said, 'If you make friends with yourself, Billy, you'll always have someone to talk to!' And she, like my wife Sheila had one thing in common; I never met any other person who didn't like them or had a bad word to say about them." William Forde: March 18th, 2017.