My husband has friends he’s known since preschool. Real friends. A couple of them are friends on Facebook, too. But most of them say things like, “I don’t have time for Facebook.” They don’t really care about Twitter or Instagram, and don’t even mention Pinterest to them.
They stare blankly and listen politely when it comes to social media, because they prefer a phone call to a status update any day.
Last weekend, my husband and I drove 800 miles each way to spend the weekend with the crew. That’s what these guys do. Whenever one of them has a life event, the rest of them move mountains to be right by their side. This time around, one of the guys was celebrating the graduation of his youngest child from high school. Not everyone makes it every time. But if one of the guys can’t be there in person, he makes a phone call to let his presence be known. (Maybe someone should tell these guys about Skype.)
At the party, I hung out with the wives and girlfriends of these men who’ve known each other so long. We took pictures of the guys and we listened (again) as they exchanged their most-loved and best-told stories from days spent together as kids, and then adolescents, and then teens, and adults. No matter how many times we get together, the stories never grow old. We laugh until our cheeks hurt and I have to walk away to catch my breath.
“They’ve really got something special.” I heard it a lot that evening. Complete strangers watched this group of men, now pushing (or clinging tightly to) fifty, and we all knew their friendships were for real and for life.
I leaned my elbows on the table top and took a minute to really see them. I wanted to figure out their secret, because friendship like theirs is more than sharing a common history. It’s more than driving 800 miles for milestones like weddings and babies and graduations.
You probably already know their secret. It’s simple, really. “I love you.” That’s it. I listened to these men say it over and over again. Unashamed. Heartfelt. Sincere. True.
It’s the reason they treasure their common history. It’s the reason they drive for miles, or catch the 6 AM flight from the east coast, or tell the same stories and laugh until their sides ache. This is the secret to friendships that last a lifetime: loving someone – really loving them – and not being afraid to let them know.
By: Deidra, Jumping Tandem
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Friends For Life (What I Learned About Friendship From A Bunch Of Guys) says
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Amy Hunt says
huh! real, true feelings expressed without shame, fear or pride. I think there’s a lot to learn from these gentlemen.
Yep. These guys have it figured out, Amy!
I think this is amazingly beautiful!
It was really cool to see it first hand.
I think you ‘ve got it right, how many times do we love someone and not ever tell them?
I used to have a very hard time saying “I love you” to people. It didn’t matter who it was – the words seemed to get stuck in my throat. The online community has helped me with that, though. Isn’t that weird? It took people I’ve never met in real life to teach me how to open up in real life.
Amy Hunt says
This same thing happened to me. It’s so neat!
Love this. I’m also learning from my husbands friends… The secret of just being together and having fun! No expectations, no need for deep conversation all the time… Just sharing life, sacrificing for each other, loving each other. 🙂
Oh, what a great point, Amanda! There is value in just being together, isn’t there? Spending time with no expectations. Yes. Thanks!
Shelly Miller says
What a gift, this friendship among men. And I love YOU and the way you can tell a story,
Love you back!
See you soon!
miss honey says
i’ve been blessed to be part of such a group of men since 1975..my husband’s college friends. we were the first married, so our farm was a haven for the city boys. i’m amazed at the sense of brotherhood they share. and the stories…..!!
Brotherhood. That’s the perfect word! I’d love to hear a few of those stories from your farm.
Michelle DeRusha says
This story made me smile so much.
Being there was very smile-worthy. 🙂
Such a great post! I love deep friendships and what they mean to EVERY PERSON in a family! Men & women need genuine loving relationships outside of home. Dr. Dobson says– it fills a spot that spouses and children cannot fill. It emboldens us to be better people!
For women–we are emotional. Husbands aren’t equipped to meet emotional needs. We often just need someone to listen to us (not FIX the problem). That’s what other women can do for one another. Freeing husbands up for the role they are best at, leading & loving!
Just thinking outloud here…. 😉
“It emboldens us to be better people.” That right there? So true! That’s what I’ve found in the online community, and it has transferred over to my friendships and relationships in real life. I love reading your thinking. 🙂
What a great-looking bunch of friends. I can tell just by those smiles how much fun they have together. I’m wondering about that cord of three strands…I’m thinking how it sure is strong. A beautiful telling, Deidra.
Those guys are some of the best looking guys I know. With the biggest hearts.
Vanessa Tachenko says
Simple and inspiring! Thank you for sharing such a blessed gift!!! God is love, Vanessa
That one evening, watching those guys? It has inspired me, too.
Kerry @ Made For Real says
So heart-warming and inspiring. And from the guys’ example! Love it – we can learn a lot from this simple loving.
It really is simple loving, isn’t it? I guess those guys could just assume they all love each other, but there is so much value in actually hearing those three words. And what an example they set for those of us who watch…
How incredibly special! The joy just radiates out of them all. And THIS is what makes life so special, isn’t it……..
Amen to that! This is exactly what makes life so special!
What a gift to have friends like that!! And I bet that weekend was great fun for all of you.
As always…beautifully written Deidra!
Wow! This is really beautiful. I wish I had made friends like that. I don’t even have 1 friend that I can share my heart to. I was always too busy taking care of my dad who was ill (he has gone home to the Lord) I was always busy with work and with ministry that I never had time for friends. These men are trully blessed to have this friendship.
Simply Darlene says
Ah, the rest of the story…
Real love. That’s it. That’s the difference.
Beth Williams says
I wish my husband & I could have true blue friends like that. Oh we have some friends from church that we would do anything with & for. Not the kind of friendship that drives hundreds of miles to talk, laugh & share a good/sad moment in life.
Blessings to the men for teaching us women what true friendship is@!
Nancy Franson says
I hear so many men, and many of them from within the church, say that guys don’t need friends–as though there’s some kind of merit in being independent and strong. I’m so thankful when I read stories like this and see examples of men demonstrating this kind of love and care for one another. Men need other men to have their backs.
My father-in-law continues a friendship with a guy he’s known since grade school–a relationship that has endured for over sixty years. These two have walked through much joy and loss together. During my recent hiking trip, I watched my husband and his friend of over thirty years walk, talk, and laugh together. The sight of the two of them together added a layer of beauty beyond everything else that was on display.
This reminds me of my brother and his friends! My brother was married this past weekend outside in 111 degree heat! His 3 best friends and their wives made the trek to see him – the last of the “quad” tie the know. All weekend they kept talking about how their “love square” was finally complete!
imperfect prose says
wow. it is SO encouraging to see men bonding this way. to see men of integrity bonding in this way. i always wished my dad had more friends. it does a person such good… and what smiles on those faces! incredible. truly.