“A woman can only become a man’s friend in three stages: first, she’s an agreeable acquaintance, then a mistress, and only after that a friend.” – Uncle Vanya (Anton Chekhov)
Admittedly, I don’t have too many friends. I know a lot of people, spend time with a bunch of them, or talk to them on a regular basis but I would say it’s more of a “barkada” relationship. What’s the diff? Let’s see. With barkada, you may be spending considerable time with each other, share similar interests and activities, and generally enjoy each others’ company. But there is not much intimacy, or sharing of oneself, among one another.At times, there are some barkadas that you only get to spend good times with, but hesitate to share with them the darker days. Or you see them on a regular basis but when a crisis hits you, you turn to someone else.
Friendship, on the other hand (and this is just by my standards), involves an unspoken commitment to be faithful to each other especially in times of need, encouraging each other to become better people through shared intimacy, and ultimately, love. It does not entail that you see each other often (although it is highly desirable), and yet, you are assured that you can count on each other no matter what happens. And I don’t think it’s possible to share this friendship with a lot of people because you might risk the possibility of spreading yourself too thin!
Perhaps, this is the also the basis for my earlier discussion on opposite sex relationships. I said it depends. I say it depends on how you define your own terms when it comes to friendship. And with my definition, I suppose it’s a thousand times harder not to cross over the boundaries of platonic relationships and take a chance on becoming so much more, or to some, “friendship with benefits.”
In this line, another interesting point to address is the question: can you be friends with your ex? My take on this one is — probably not. Let me quote somebody I know, “kung pwede pa pala kayong maging friends eh bakit pa kayo nagbreak?” Interesting point. I don’t think I have heard anybody say that great relationships usually end with friendships. Maybe you could be part of a barkada before and you struggle to bring back the friendship you once had but I honestly think it’s not going to be possible. You could be barkadas again. But you can never save the friendship when a romantic relationship ends. After all, if it could, it would’ve been enough to save the relationship from ending.