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How to Maintain a Life-Long Friendship

It is asserted by a prominent saying that good friendship revives the spirit - and in the case of Kathleen Saville and Olive Woodward, two 89-year-olds from Nottingham, England, this is certainly the case. How else can one account for the fact that they have been rarely apart for almost eight decades? They became acquainted in 1941 when they were 11 years old, and they have always been neighbors; even their jobs were in the same place. Now, after almost 80 years of an unwavering bond in which they faced all of life's difficulties and contentment side by side, the two elderly friends have decided to move into the same nursing home! Kathleen Saville and Olive Woodward offer an example of a lasting friendship.

Kathleen Sabil and Olive Woodward

Olive Woodward expressed her reasoning for relocating to the same nursing home as her friend Kathleen by saying, "I was missing her a lot so I thought, why don't I just move to the same place? We had already been neighbors for our whole lives, so it seemed like the natural thing to do. I'm fortunate to be living with my best buddy. We have already built so many memories and we make more of them every day." Kathleen Saville then added, "We may be 89 years old but we look like we are 63... When I first met Olive, I knew she would be my friend forever, she is very important to me."

Even while they were in the nursing home, Kathleen Saville and Olive Woodward still found ways to stay close. Kathleen joked that they "ran one of the managers down the hall here, just for fun," and the two of them still took the time to put on makeup and dress up together. They had a motto of their own: "If you've got it, flaunt it!" The two have offered 7 tips for keeping long-term friendships alive.

Kathleen Sabil and Olive Woodward


7 Tips for Long-Term Friendship

If the story of Woodward and Saville inspired you to strive for a similar lasting connection with your closest friends, there are a few strategies to make this possible. It's not only about holding no secrets, continuously communicating, and never quarreling. There are other useful steps to establish such a brave and enduring relationship. Here, we have compiled seven useful tips based on the advice of people who have been companions for a long time, and we hope they will assist you in keeping the bond with those most important to you.

1. View the distinctions between you and your friend as a way of finding balance in yourself

It's often during our youth that we make the closest of friends, whether it be through school, the military, college, or our first job. However, eventually, we all tend to go in our own different directions, making it difficult to maintain a long-term relationship with our best friend. Max Zaslavsky, who has a best friend of 21 years, believes that embracing the differences between them is what keeps them balanced and connected.

Max emphasized that the key to their long-term bond was the deep connection and support for one another, similar to that of siblings. "He is the only individual who can call my mother 'Mama' other than myself. When my guardians nearly passed away in a car mishap in 1998, he and his previous wife raced to the medical clinic to be with me and help me take care of my folks. At my dental graduation ceremony in 2004, he lifted up and settled my dad - who was 83 years of age and had cancer - in his wheelchair so he could watch me get the certificate."

two male friends


2. Do good together

One of the most beneficial and appealing methods of sustaining a friendship for many years is shared, recurrent, and constant participation in doing and promoting good in the world. This technique not only reinforces the link between you but also sets it on constructive foundations that may continue for a long period. This is the situation of Lisa Goins, who, although one of her closest friends passed away at a young age, discovered a beautiful way to stay in contact with the remainder of her childhood companions.

This is what she states: "I have a group of 5 very close friends since high school. One of them died of leukemia in her freshman year of college. Since then, every year we friends have given a scholarship in her name. This is the way for us to remember her and communicate at least once a year. We are certainly a group of friends that when they come together, they make up for all the lost time from the last time they saw each other."

3. Always remember your common roots, even if very old

It's essential to maintain an awareness of the foundation of any long-term friendship. Your memory of the past may be the key to strengthening and preserving the bond between you and your friend. This is especially true for the writer Avi Kozulczyk and her friend Katlan Conlon, who have been close since the day they were born, more than fifty years ago.

Kozulchik recounts how she and her friend's mother shared a maternity ward and were born in the same year, connecting them from birth. Ever since then, they have been close, even if they haven't been in the same city. They still plan trips together, and Kozulchik believes that they may end up like the elderly people who chase after the cute janitors at the nursing home. Kozulchik advises that in order to maintain a long-term friendship, one must be realistic and keep in touch in ways that fit their individual situation.

two grandmas


4. Be realistic about how you remain in touch

When we are youthful, we usually go out and socialize with our buddies in many different locations and "do not do math" too much. When you get older, the scenario changes, and you can no longer anticipate being able to get together with your friends wherever you wish because it doesn't always jibe with the new reality. For instance, Stacey Paintuch - part of a group of 4 friends since childhood - tells that all gatherings they had at a restaurant became chaotic since they became parents.

To prevent the relationship from deteriorating and encounters from becoming out of the question, a practical alternative needs to be located. Pintouch remarked that they “resolved to alter the status quo” and now, once a year, each person organizes a meal at home, either a brunch or a pizza dinner. The host is responsible for setting up a long email chain to decide on the date for the gathering and preparing the food, but each member contributes something to ease the burden. This manner guarantees that all individuals meet up at least 4 times a year.

5. Use technology in your favor

There are some who argue that new technology has not been helpful when it comes to fostering relationships - because it encourages people to stay indoors, glued to their devices instead of socializing face-to-face. However, this does not need to be the case, since it all comes down to how it is used: just as it can be damaging, technology can also be an asset when it comes to keeping up with long-term friends, despite the physical distance and lack of time.

As an example, the narrative of Lauren Schwartz Gamesy can be considered: "It's said that technology has obliterated friendships, but there are not many things better than staying connected to the same people since elementary school due to a shared chat group. We are seven hard-working, occupied moms living in three distinct countries and can exchange our everyday thoughts, the significant updates, and our trivial stories as if we had never been apart." Even with the aid of social media such as Facebook and Instagram, it is doable to maintain intimate friendships for many years, regardless of the fact that you live far away from each other.



6. Don't be afraid to put some work into your friendship

Connections between two people that are based on emotion and feeling are the foundation of friendship. However, a meaningful and long-lasting relationship requires effort. That's why it's important not to be too hard on yourself when making plans or worrying about being spontaneous, since without that your relationship could fall apart. Stacey Letty, who has been experiencing friendships for three decades, recognizes this: "Friendship takes work and planning, but real friendship allows us to stay on the same track, no matter how long the course is. One of our most beloved customs is that we bring all the families together every New Year's Eve since 1998. We cook a grand feast and everyone stays up until midnight, singing karaoke or playing other interesting games. Every family sleeps at the other's house, and every year we do it in a different house."

7. Adopt Complete honesty as a policy

It is evident that developing a trustworthy relationship is dependent on being honest. To have a durable relationship for many years, it is sensible to make honesty a priority. In some friendships, we can be anxious about being honest with our friends for fear of upsetting them or coming across as impolite, however, when it comes to long-term friendships, frankness, and candor are essential.

Heather Hopkins, who has had numerous friendships which have endured for many years, observes: "Never be scared to share your true opinion with your dearest friend. A real friend will always respect honesty and be thankful for it, even in the most complicated situations. If your actual friends are not open and straightforward with you, why would you suppose that your acquaintances and those who are temporary in your life would be?"

Photo sources: Bored Panda, SharedRodrigo ParedesBasile Morin

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