Friendship - Types of Friendships

Types of Friendships

Friends are people we know and trust, and who are special to us socially and emotionally. Friends are usually chosen among people who are considered the same as us. The people adults select as friends tend to be those who:

  • have grown up together
  • have similar occupations
  • have children the same age
  • have similar interests
  • are the same general age and the same gender

The majority of adults have three or more close friends and more than half of adults have ten or more friends. Men and women have the same number of friends, however, women are likely to confide more in friendships than men. Men tend to enjoy activities or discuss and practice special skills. Adults also often make friends based on who their children are friends with. Many times, parents within a neighborhood are all friends because they are around each other so much because of their children. Parents will also often make friends with other parents on their children’s sports teams for the same reason. Not all adult acquaintances will end up in the friendship stage, however, it is likely that some will share commonalities and form a deeper relationship (Newman & Newman, 2012).

With life events such as marriage, parenthood, and accelerated career development, young adulthood merges into middle adulthood. Following marriage, both women and men report having fewer cross-gender friends. This may be due to suspicion and jealousy, and spouses spend most of their free time together rather than separately in social situations that might lead to cross-sex friendship formation. Also, when people marry they generally become more dependent on spouses and less so on friends for meeting social needs (Friendships, 2012).

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