We’re ponying up and belting it out for our friends this time around!
There’s a big lovey-dovey holiday coming up tomorrow. Whatever. This year we’re choosing to loudly appreciate and celebrate the love in our friendships, and all the love we’ve got for, and feel from, our friends. Life can be rough, and friendship really is magic.
A few years ago I talked some here about why I think friendship is a mighty important topic in sex and relationships education:
Friendship is at the core of any and every deep, excellent, happy, healthy relationship, whether we’re talking about a friendship that doesn’t have any romance or sex in it at all, or we’re talking about romantic relationships, sexual relationships or both. We think friendship also has an awful lot to do with healthy family relationships, mentorships, and pretty much any ongoing human interaction we could possibly have.
Our relationships with people will tend to be fluid through our lives. Friends can become lovers, lovers can become friends or family. Our super-sexy-whoo-hoo booty call can wind up being someone we later call co-parent; someone we thought was only eye candy can turn out to be a person we ultimately consider our best friend in the world. Someone we thought was the great big love of our life can wind up a footnote; someone we thought was only a footnote can become the great big love of our life. While for some people, someone they eventually create a family with may be a romantic or sexual partner, for other folks, that person may be a best friend where those aspects of a relationship don’t come into play or aren’t even wanted by either party. And of course, while for some people, friends with benefits is a bullshit way of getting sex with no intention of ever being a friend, for other people, the “benefits” in an FWB truly do occur within the context of, and as part of, a bonafide friendship.
We know how vitally important it is for everyone to have a strong support network in their lives. Our friends are who we will tend to go to first when we need some good, outside perspective on our other relationships from someone we know cares about us, someone we know we can trust. Even if and when romantic or sexual relationships are something we want and something we have, those are never the only kind of relationships we all need. Just like when we have a meal, we need more than one kind of nutrition, when it comes to a healthy life, we all need way more than just one kind of relationship. We need our friends, and they need us.
Caring for other people isn’t always easy, nor is caring for ourselves in relationships. The first elective — by choice — relationships we’ll usually have are with friends, and so friendships are usually the first relationships where we learn about that, about how to treat others with respect and care and be treated that way in mind, where we learn about when to stick it out and when we need to get gone, about boundaries and the lack of them, about things we can do that earnestly help people, and things we can do which really aren’t helping anyone at all.
Learning how to be friends gives people some of the most important relationship skills any of us can have.
While we hear the phrase “just friends” a lot among our users, we really don’t think there is anything “just” about friendship. We think friendship is a big deal.
Truly. So, whether your friends are your boyfriend, your dog, your best friend from almost the minute you were born, your third cousin, your booty call, your Dad, your guitar teacher, your downstairs neighbor, your brother, your girlfriend, your iguana, your teammates, your band, your Mom, your gaming group, your sister, your cat, your uncle, your cool new friend from work, your lover, your secret crush, your guardian, your gerbil, your stepmom, the kid you mentor, your choir director, your sponsor, your lab partner, your co-author, that cool person you always talk to the whole way home on the bus, your training buddy, the lunch lady, your locker next-door neighbor, or anyone else, this one’s for them. And for you, friend.
This mix was created and curated by myself, Sam, Chanté, Al, Siân, and Alice O. You can go pal around with it over on Apple Music or Spotify.
- We’re Going to Be Friends – The White Stripes
- Freedom! ’90 (Remastered) – George Michael
- Us Against the World – Play
- You’re My Best Friend – Queen
- These Are Days – 10,000 Maniacs
- Not Alone – Matt and Kim
- Team – Lorde
- What About Your Friends – TLC
- Good Old Days (feat. Kesha) – Macklemore
- Color in Your Cheeks (Remastered) – The Mountain Goats
- If He Tries Anything – Ani DiFranco
- Grigio Girls – Lady Gaga
- Friends – Bette Midler
- With a Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles
- I Wanna Be Like You – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- Friendship Update – The Go! Team
- Don’t Wait (feat. Chance the Rapper) [Chance The Rapper & The Social Experiment Remix] – Mapei
- The Chariot – The Cat Empire
- I Hate Seagulls – Kate Nash
- Wherever You Are – Michael Franti & Spearhead
- Dear Old Friend – Patty Griffin
- Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Elton John
- Lean On Me – Bill Withers