Friendship should be one of the pinnacles of our existence, yet too often, people overlook its importance. It is unfortunate that people as a whole are becoming increasingly more self-involved as a result of our evolving world with technology, fast-paced living, and work that consumes way too much of our lives. Society has generally grown to be an introverted entity, and in some ways, the idea of friendship has become more about convenience as opposed to mutual, personal enrichment.

Friendship is a precious part of life that should be treated as such. A close friendship allows us to be open and honest. This precious gift deserves, and demands, respect. If you want a friendship to succeed, you must exhibit honor, loyalty, and communication. To honor someone is to treat them with admiration and respect, which includes becoming a beacon of positive influence and encouragement throughout all aspects of their life. Sometimes, we all need to be reminded that we are on the right path, or even redirected off the wrong one. Of course, this aspect of responsible love must be mutual in order to nurture the friendship into the powerful connection that it should be. In good friendships, this feeling will exhibit itself naturally, and enhance life in unimaginable ways. Whether you are releasing your inhibitions or having a tough conversation, having someone to reveal your whole self to, and vice versa, is the ultimate food for the soul. The truest of friends are able to healthily agree to disagree, free of judgement, and are able to come out stronger on the other side. And that is what it means to love someone for all that they are.

Sometimes, sustaining true friendships is not as convenient as we would like, especially in adulthood. This is why loyalty to all friendships is so important. But, what does loyalty look like in this type of relationship? Loyal friends are honest and impartial, and their commitment comes without conditions. When you have a loyal friend, you know you can call them any time and they will be there for you. It is also important to remember that you must be a friend in order to have a friend. Meaningful relationships should never be underestimated, and should not be consumed without reciprocation.

Maintaining friendships is not always easy. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to grow apart from people as you grow older. Studies show that friends who see each other face-to-face are more likely to remain connected, but such in-person contact becomes more and more difficult to sustain as we attempt to navigate our busy lives. That is why treasuring existing friendships and appreciating them for all that they are is essential. Life is wildly erratic and time may slip away leaving us wishing we gave a little bit more to the relationships we may have lost. Friendship is a beautiful, complicated, wonderful, and nuanced relationship. While friendship does require constant work, attention, and time, the positive benefits reaped from that connection exceeds such burdens twenty times over. Take a close look as the relationships you have with the people around you, and remember to cherish those you love in every way that you can. True friendship is far too precious to take for granted.