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Friendship

  • ... at our age there's nothing better than conversation with someone who remembers the world you knew when you were a child—and the people in it. It's as good as taking your hair down.

  • Perhaps what makes friendship and love exciting is the continuing discovery of another personality.

  • Most people ask of their friends that they understand them, but, on balance, I think I prefer a friend who understands himself.

  • It's important to our friends to believe that we are unreservedly frank with them, and important to the friendship that we are not.

  • If you don't have children and you don't have a job, you have time for friendship ... People who have jobs are not the best friends to have. It's better to be friends with people who are unemployed ...

  • [Friendships] are easy to get out of compared to love affairs, but they are not easy to get out of compared to, say, jail.

  • Friendship is a mysterious and ocean-bottom thing. Who can know the outer ranges of it? Perhaps no human being has ever explored its limits.

  • When I gave myself a home permanent and left it on too long, she was the only one to sit with me in the bathroom until it grew out.

  • Friendships begin with liking or gratitude — roots that can be pulled up.

  • I am so grieved to hear that Sara does not get better. What a wretched lot of old shrivelled creatures we shall be bye-and-bye. Never mind, the uglier we get in the eyes of others the lovelier we shall be to each other — that has always been my firm faith about friendship, and now it is in a slight degree my experience.

    • George Eliot,
    • 1852, in Gordon S. Haight, ed., The George Eliot Letters, vol. 2 ()
  • You don't have to write to me if you don't feel like it. There's no real friendship without absolute freedom.

    • George Sand,
    • 1866, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • ... friendship is an art, and very few persons are born with a natural gift for it.

  • Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship.

    • Dorothy Parker,
    • "The Standard of Living," The Portable Dorothy Parker ()
  • Friendship is not possible between two women one of whom is very well dressed.

  • ... the longer I live the more am I convinced that connections formed in early childhood are the strongest, the most durable, and the most delightful of all.

    • Lucy Aiken,
    • 1803, in Ada M. Ingpen, ed., Women As Letter-Writers ()
  • Sometimes, with luck, we find the kind of true friend, male or female, that appears only two or three times in a lucky lifetime, one that will winter us and summer us, grieve, rejoice, and travel with us.

  • In the world of relationships, possibly the most complicated, uncommon, hard to find, hard to keep and most rewarding has got to be friendship.

  • Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying, but the never needing to say, is what counts.

  • Though friendship is not quick to burn, / It is explosive stuff ...

    • May Sarton,
    • "Friendship: The Storms," A Grain of Mustard Seed ()
  • I know you have much to bear with in me, and I really do sometimes in you, but I have never looked at friendship in a deep sense as easy or entirely comfortable.

    • May Sarton,
    • in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days ()
  • ... friendship is love made bearable.

  • Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but you want someone who'll help you catch the bus.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Jen Jones, Oprah Winfrey: Celebrity With Heart ()
  • ... time is as adhesive as love, and the more time you spend with someone the greater the likelihood of finding yourself with a permanent sort of thing to deal with that people casually refer to as 'friendship,' as if that were the end of the matter.

  • A good friendship is a conversation that never ends.

  • Friendship's a noble Name, 'tis Love refin'd ...

  • Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends.

  • ... one may be my very good friend, and yet not of my opinion ...

  • Women's propensity to share confidences is universal. We confirm our reality by sharing.

  • Kindness and intelligence don't always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps: there are always failures of love, of will, of imagination. There is no way to take the danger out of human relationships.

  • Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.

  • There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.

  • In real friendship the judgment, the genius, the prudence of each party become the common property of both.

  • It is the steady and merciless increase of occupations, the augmented speed at which we are always trying to live, the crowding of each day with more work and amusement than it can profitably hold, which has cost us, among other good things, the undisturbed enjoyment of friends. Friendship takes time, and we have no time to give it.

  • We know when we have had enough of a friend, and we know when a friend has had enough of us. The first truth is no more palatable than the second.

  • The pleasures of friendship are exquisite, / How pleasant to go to a friend on a visit!

    • Stevie Smith,
    • "The Pleasures of Friendship," Mother, What Is Man? ()
  • There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time.

  • ... what I cannot love, I overlook. Is that real friendship?

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1953, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 5 ()
  • I always feel that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.

  • I am treating you as my friend, asking you to share my present minuses in the hope that I can ask you to share my future pluses.

  • ... often intimacies between women go backwards, beginning with revelations and ending up in small talk without loss of esteem.

  • The heart may think it knows better: the senses know that absence blots people out. We have really no absent friends.

  • Yet friendship, I believe, is essential to intellectuals. It is probably the growth hormone the mind requires as it begins its activity of producing and exchanging ideas. You can date the evolving life of a mind, like the age of a tree, by the rings of friendship formed by the expanding central trunk. In the course of my history, not love or marriage so much as friendship has promoted growth.

  • Faithful are the wounds of a friend.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • to President Thomas Jefferson (1804), Letters of Mrs. Adams ()
  • Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded.

  • ... no person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended. Or who belittles in any fashion the gifts you labor so to bring into the world.

    • Alice Walker,
    • "A Talk: Convocation 1972," In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens ()
  • ... it is cold tonight, but the thought of you so warm, that I sit by it as a fireside, and am never cold any more. I love to write to you — it gives my heart a holiday and sets the bells to ringing.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Mabel Loomis Todd, ed., The Letters of Emily Dickinson 1845-1886 ()
  • ... do you not feel that sometimes in life one's friendships begin by antipathy — sometimes by indifference — and sometimes by that sudden magnetism of sympathy as if in some former life we had been very near and dear, and were only picking up the threads again, and to such two souls there is no feeling that they are strangers.

  • What I expect from my male friends is that they are polite and clean. What I expect from my female friends is unconditional love, the ability to finish my sentences for me when I am sobbing, a complete and total willingness to pour their hearts out to me, and the ability to tell me why the meat thermometer isn't supposed to touch the bone.

  • ... it is the greatest mistake, both in life and in literature, to suppose that love is the difficult, the complicated thing. It is not love, it is friendship, which is the great problem of civilized society. The other is quite elemental beside it.

  • Female friendships that work are relationships in which women help each other belong to themselves.

  • True friendship is never tranquil ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, in M. Monmerqué, ed., Lettres de Madame de Sévigné, de sa famille et de ses amis, vol. 2 ()
  • I want to touch you in real time / not find you on YouTube, / I want to walk next to you in the mountains / not friend you on Facebook. / Give me one thing I can believe in / that isn't a brand name.

  • Whenever someone says the words 'Our friendship is more important than this,' watch out, because it almost never is.

  • The more we seek exclusivity in friendship, the more it becomes obligatory and the less likely it is to fulfill the wonderful vision of what true friendship can be.

  • Friendship is a difficult, dangerous job. It is also (though we rarely admit it) extremely exhausting.

  • I haven't hurt you ... if I have, it's the faithful wound of a friend.

  • There are people whom one loves immediately and for ever. Even to know they are alive in the world with one is quite enough.

  • Nothing cements friendship like mutual admiration ...

  • The depth of a friendship — how much it means to us ... depends, at least in part, upon how many parts of ourselves a friend sees, shares and validates.

  • To sit together drinking the blue ocean / And eating the sun like a fruit.

  • Lovers and even some family members may come and go but the friendships that take root abide. Sometimes the best of what is true survives as if it had an independent will: The coals of friendship keep themselves alive until something happens to rekindle them.

    • Joan Frank,
    • "What Comes Around," in Utne Reader ()
  • It is wise to apply the oil of refined politeness to the mechanism of friendship.

  • In their friendship they were like two of a litter that can never play together without leaving traces of tooth and claw, wounding each other in the most sensitive places.

  • ... friendship, which is of its nature a delicate thing, fastidious, slow of growth, is easily checked, will hesitate, demur, recoil where love, good old blustering love, bowls ahead and blunders through every obstacle.

  • Love is like the wild rose-briar; / Friendship like the holly-tree. / The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms, / But which will bloom most constantly?

    • Emily Brontë,
    • "Love and Friendship," Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell ()
  • ... friendship is a virtue which comprehends all the rest; none being fit for this, who is not adorned with every other virtue.

  • But, alas! Misfortunes are too apt to wear out Friendship ...

  • I have a theory about why opposites attract. I think it's because we have a deep desire to get on each other's nerves.

  • When I was young I thought of friendship as a matter of total loyalty and unchanging preference and I was often disappointed. But as an adult I had come to see that it was more the refraction of some total faithfulness and joy of which we all had some primordial notion. The exchange of trust and the experience of understanding between two people was like a sign or witness to the possibilitity of eternal caring and understanding and communication.

  • I don't think life offers any greater experience than the joyful sense of recognition when one finds in a new acquaintance a real friend, or when an old relationship deepens into friendship, or when one finds an old friendship intact despite the passage of years and many absences.

  • Friend! It is a common word, often lightly used. Like other good and beautiful things, it may be tarnished by careless handling.

  • ... I have no other hope of happiness than in being with you, dearest!

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1858, in G.H. Needler, Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie Von Goethe ()
  • I confess to you, dear Ottilie, that I do not like the idea of going to you with my health so broken as it is now. You are also an invalid. Must we lie on two sophas and look at each other? — tho' this would be better than nothing, and better than to be separated for more years, till life ebbs away and leaves our best hopes stranded like wrecks on the shore.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1858, in G.H. Needler, Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie Von Goethe ()
  • You can't always be friendly. It's impossible, there isn't the time.

  • The only rose without thorns is friendship.

    • Madeleine de Scudéry,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • There had to be a sixth sense to deep friendship, and it was only in time of trouble that one had the opportunity to perceive the rarity of what was being offered.

  • ... one doesn't measure friendship by length of time only; depth of time is just as valuable.

  • Friendship is not linear. It moves in all directions, teaching us about ourselves and about each other.

  • But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

  • I feel to love you more and more every day, and you will laugh, but I feel towards you much more like a lover than a female friend! What would I give to see you for an hour!

    • Geraldine Jewsbury,
    • 1841, in Mrs. Alexander Ireland, ed., Selections From the Letters of Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury to Jane Welsh Carlyle ()
  • Friendship has splendors that love knows not. It grows stronger when crossed, whereas obstacles kill love. Friendship resists time, which wearies and severs couples. It has heights unknown to love.

  • Just as love is a decision, so is sisterhood. It is the result of many acts of love, large and small, performed for one another. Girls are brought together by circumstances, but it is love, laughter, forgiveness, shared joys and sorrows that make sisters.

    • Nancy Baker,
    • in Colleen Sell, ed., A Cup of Comfort for Sisters ()
  • I believe that friendship, like love, of which it is a particular kind, requires nearly as much art as a successful choreography.

  • Friendships, like geraniums, bloom in kitchens.

  • How different everything is when you are with the right people!

    • Kate Greenaway,
    • in Marion Harry Spielmann and George Somes Layard, Kate Greenaway ()
  • ... and I have learned that to have a good friend is the purest of all God's gifts, for it is a love that has no exchange of payment. It is not inherited, as with a family. It is not compelling, as with a child And it has no means of physical pleasure, as with a mate. It is, therefore, an indescribable bond that brings with it a far deeper devotion than all the others.

  • The loneliest woman in the world is a woman without a close woman friend.

  • Platonic friendship: — The interval between the introduction and the first kiss.

  • In a world more and more polluted by the lying of politicians and the illusions of the media, I occasionally crave to hear and tell the truth. To borrow a beautiful phrase from Friedrich Nietzche, I look upon my friend as 'the beautiful enemy' who alone is able to offer me total candor. Friendship is by its very nature freer of deceit than any other relationship we can know because it is the bond least affected by striving for power, physical pleasure, or material profit, most liberated from any oath of duty or of constancy.

  • The truth is that friendship is to me every bit as sacred and eternal as marriage.

  • Friendship is an occupation. I can be a good friend or I can be a writer. I can't do both.

    • Carol,
    • in Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Among Friends ()
  • Most people really don't expect marriages to last forever but they do expect their friendships will.

    • Phyllis Katz,
    • in Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Among Friends ()
  • ... in the last analysis, friendship is what you say it is.

  • The happiest business in all the world is that of making friends, / And no investment on the street pays larger dividends, / For life is more than stocks and bonds, and love than rate percent, / And he who gives in friendship's name shall reap what he has spent.

    • Anne S. Eaton,
    • "The Business of Friendship," in Seth Parker, Fireside Poems ()
  • Friendship was as much a matter of knowing when not to speak as when one should.

  • ... friendship is the bread of the heart.

    • Mary Russell Mitford,
    • 1853, in the Reverend A.G. L'Estrange, ed., The Life of Mary Russell Mitford, vol. 3 ()
  • Illness is friendship's proving ground, the uncharted territory where one's actions may be the least sure-footed but also the most indelible.

  • When friends ask for a second cup they are open to conversation ...

  • I find too there are few Friendships in the World Marriage-Proof; especially when the Person our Friend marries has not a Soul particularly capable of the Tenderness of that Endearment ... we may generally conclude the Marriage of a Friend to be the Funeral of a Friendship ...

  • The pleasures of intimacy in friendship depend far more on external circumstances than people of a sentimental turn of mind are willing to concede; and when constant companionship ceases to suit the convenience of both parties, the chances are that it will be dropped on the first favourable opportunity.

    • Hester Lynch Piozzi,
    • 1783, in A. Hayward, ed., Autobiography, Letters, and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale), vol. 1 ()
  • The finest kind of friendship is between people who expect a great deal of each other but never ask it.

  • Friendship is more important than truth.

    • Wanda Landowska,
    • 1953, in Katherine Anne Porter, The Collected Essays and Occasional Writings of Katherine Anne Porter ()
  • Real friends offer both hard truths and soft landings and realize that it's sometimes more important to be nice than to be honest.

  • Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must be bitchy, toxic, or competitive. This myth is like heels and purses — pretty but designed to slow women down.