How to make lifelong friends

BEST FRIENDS «Friends are more important than relationships»

It has long been proven that friends make us happier and more balanced. In an interview with, the therapist Eva Fischer explains why they are now also replacing family structures and are becoming more important than couple relationships Femelle.

"You stay with me for now," says Elli and takes her friend in her arms. Katharina stands in front of Ellis' door with sackcloth and baggage. Shortly afterwards she is sitting in front of a cup of tea and doesn't feel so lost anymore. "Everything will be fine," says Elli and Katharina can't help but believe her friend.

Good friends are priceless. And usually find the right words at the right moment. We feel stronger, happier in her presence and can be who we are. They know our quirks, mostly know what we think and laugh at even our worst jokes. Friends are balm for the soul! And let us live longer, as studies show. True friendship is therefore worthwhile, as the therapist Eva Fischer also knows and explains in a conversation with Femellewhy friendships are more important than relationships.

About Eva Fischer

Attention and awareness training are important and successful tools in modern psychotherapy. The experienced therapist with a practice in Zurich accompanies couples and individuals with competence, compassion and humor through difficult phases of life.

How would you define a friend?

A friend is someone you love and who is reliable. It's not a couple's love, but it's also a kind of love. And of course a friend is someone you trust. He's there when you need him.

What three qualities should a good friend have?

Loyalty, integrity and openness. These are all qualities that build trust and lead to love.

At the beginning, friends are still strangers. How do you choose your friends?

You look for similar people. Because if a person is similar to me, there are fewer communication difficulties. The other person knows what I'm talking about and I don't have to explain myself first. If I meet someone who fascinates me but is otherwise dissimilar to me, there is a risk that this fascination will quickly pass. Identity may seem boring at first glance, but it is more stable as a basis. Something that is similar now fits together better.

How important are friends?

Very important. Not just for mutual exchange; a friend takes you for who you are. Friendship is something unconditional.

What do you mean unreservedly?

A friend doesn't judge. He is listening. Even if the other does something that doesn't suit you or what you would do differently, that doesn't change the friendship. A friendship can take it.

Does friendship tolerate more than love?

Maybe yes. Because we don't have the same demands on a couple relationship as we do on a friendship. A couple relationship, in which a deep friendship cannot develop, is missing something essential.

How do these claims differ?

In the couple relationship, the partner has to bring in and cover more. For example, we don't expect our friends to have to make us happy - unfortunately this is often the case in couples.

Many maintain their couple relationships, but not your friendships.

That's true. Friendships also need to be cultivated. But in a different way than a couple relationship. There are friendships that last for years and you see each other twice a year. Friendship has less to do with frequent contact than with closeness. It is important that you meet with an open mind and that there is a connection that you can reconnect with. With friends, the frequency of contact is less important than the inner connection.

Are friendships less important, equally important or more important than couple relationships?

Friends are more important. It has to do with how love relationships are lived today. You rarely stay together for a lifetime, the partner is interchangeable. When you lose your partner, your good friends are there. Therefore, one shouldn't give up on friends because of one's partner. Even if the friend doesn't like the partner - or vice versa. Even if this is a difficult situation, one should continue to cultivate the friendship. You don't have to be three people at the same table.

So friends are becoming more and more important. So important that they replace family ties?

Most certainly. After all, in the small family there is no longer any choice. In the extended family there were always people to whom you were particularly close and whom you could choose to trust. Today friendships often replace missing family structures.

Women chat for hours, men sit side by side over a beer in silence. A cliché?

Male friendships cover male needs and female friendships cover female needs.

And how do they differ?

Men like to do something together. That doesn't mean that they don't talk to each other, but the focus is on common activities. Emotional exchange is more important to women. Men also behave differently in conflict situations. You share your opinion and everything is fine again. They are also less resentful than women. And if they are in competition with one another, then more professionally. Women often have personal competition.

Regardless of whether male or female friendship: How do you address sensitive topics?

The best thing to do is to ask questions. With it you say something about yourself. And questions are not criticism, but interest. For example, if you can't understand your girlfriend's choice of partner, you might ask: What do you see in the man I don't see?

But isn't the love affair an issue that does not concern friends?

Not in my understanding. I would like my girlfriend to speak to me and, if necessary, express her doubts. I trust her and maybe she brings in an aspect that I haven't even considered.

Are there any issues that you shouldn't interfere in?

It always depends on how you say something. But who should hold up the mirror to you if not your best friend? The person of trust? If there are topics in a friendship that remain unspoken, there is always a sector that is left out. And taboo zones are always something that separates them. You don't have to be of the same opinion. But if you know each other, you know how to reach the other. I think good friends already know how to get along with each other. And even if you trample in a faux pas but stay in conversation, wounds seldom develop so deep that the friendship falls apart.

What are the most common reasons a friendship breaks up?

Most of the time there is a breach of trust. When the foundations are broken or a friend is disloyal. When something happens that you don't understand and can't talk about. Maybe you just develop in a different direction. The reasons for the end of a friendship are very similar to those of a couple. A friendship is also a love affair.

Do you know the recipe for a lifelong friendship?

There really is no such thing. However, it is certainly important to be open to accepting changes in others. Circumstances are changing. People do not change fundamentally, the character and the innermost being remain. And I think you have to keep referring to what connects, not what separates.

Interview: Nina Grünberger

Image: iStock

Please enter a valid email address & accept terms and conditions.

Thank you very much! You have successfully registered for our weekly newsletter. We have sent you a confirmation email.