This is the first out of 3-4 blogs about friendships
Friendships are underrated and not taken as seriously as they should, in my view. My book (work in progress and yet to be named) is dedicated to the two forms of relationships a majority of people have throughout life; the romantic relationship with a partner and the friendships with 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 so are good friends generally treated like "buddies." The regular Swedish male does not attend his good friend's parent's funeral. Neither does he invite his good friends to his daughter's wedding. Furthermore, workmates are not invited to a colleague's wedding. These examples are not empirically validated, just what I experienced knowing the Swedish mentality very well. Why is it like this? It has to do with obviously treating and categorize people differently and being politically correct. In Sweden, there are family and relatives 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. This occurs 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, after knowing them for only a short time, behaved like really good friends. I thought I had good friends for years to come. All three, in different ways, didn't keep the 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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