This is the first out of 3-4 blogs about friendships
In my view, friendships are underrated, and many do not take them as seriously as they should. My book (work in progress and yet to be named) is about the two forms of relationships a majority of people have throughout life; romantic relationships with partners and good friends. As mentioned, in my opinion, the latter isn't taken seriously enough. It differs from culture to culture. For example, if I talk about the culture, I'm most familiar with, the Swedish regarding friendships which is a "bit cold." For example, not to attend a friend's parent's funeral. Neither invites good friends to their child's wedding.
Furthermore, workmates are usually not on the guestlist for a colleague's wedding. These examples are not empirically validated, just what I experienced and know about the Swedish mentality. Why is it like this? It has to do with treating and categorizing people differently and being politically correct. There are family and relatives in Sweden and then further down the list friends and colleagues. I have a problem with this, or I wouldn't write about it. For me, a good friend isn't just a "mate" I always try to treat my good friends like a sister or brother.
Israel has a different "friendship culture" compared with Sweden. Due to the mandatory military service after high school, boys do three and girls two years. It forms deep, many times lifelong relationships. You have friends for life, even after the service you meet (if you are a male) every year for about three weeks to do reserve service, into the late thirties depending on your civil status. In Israeli society, people rely on their army buddies; they call them up if they need help. Israel is a small country. Even though one doesn't know everyone, society is built on connections and favors (which contributes to a high level of back-scratching and corruption). As an outsider coming to Israel at age 46 with no Israeli military service, I have a different experience. I have had three friends in the past who behaved like really good friends after knowing them for only a short time. I thought I had good friends for years to come. All three, in different ways, didn't keep the (my) unwritten rules of friendship. We aren't friends anymore because I became deeply insulted, and when confronted, I was only met with a "blank stare" and defensive B.S. Of course, this could be culturally related, and from my side, having high standards on how a friend should behave.
The bottom line is what I write extensively in my book is about commitment and effort, which differ tremendously between the romantic and the friendship relationship for most people.
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