Difference Between Real Friends and Acquaintances


Yesterday I was out for dinner with my wife when I was approached by someone, as it turned out it was someone I hadn’t seen for nearly 30 years, it was my old friend Andy Fletcher, we spent 3 years together at University, playing for the same rugby team.

He was the scrum half and I was the hooker, and both being from West Yorkshire, we hit it off pretty much immediately.  It was strange to meet him after all these years in a restaurant in Scottsdale, nearly 5000 miles from our home towns. I plan to go for a beer or two with him in the next couple of days to reminisce about the good old days.

After the surprise meeting it got me to thinking about friends, and the difference between friends and acquaintances.

In the last 2 years I have caught up with four friends Micky, Simon, Gregor and Andy, whom I hadn’t seen for 27, 28, 20 and 30 years respectively, and when we met up it was like we had only seen each other the day before, the conversation was easy, we just picked up where we had left off.

My wife was with me each time and she said it was very hard to believe that we hadn’t seen each others for so long, yet we just picked up right where we left off.

You’re probably thinking that, its easy to do that for a beer or two, but we spent much more time together than that, with Gregor for instance we stayed for 10 days with him over Christmas, having not seen each other for 20 years.

You’re also wondering why I hadn’t seen them in all that time, well Micky moved to Singapore, Gregor to Australia and Simon and Andy to the US. We had kept in touch a little via email, and then Facebook, but the opportunity to meet up hadn’t presented itself.

Last year we celebrated my wife’s 50th and we arranged a celebration party in Belgium and it was the same for her, she re-found friends that she hadn’t seen for 30 years, mostly because she had moved away and then we had lived abroad. But it was the same for her, with her real friends she just picked up where she had left off, and many of them we have continued to see as we live close by now.

I also find it true with new people that we meet, with some of them it feels like we have known them for years, and we create an immediate long lasting bond, and we have made some great friend is Germany, many of whom it feel like I have known all my life.

With acquaintances even though I might see them every day, there is just no real connection, for sure we may have things in common, but there is no long term bond.

If you have friends where if you see them and even if it was 20 years ago, it just feel like yesterday, then why not give them a call, look them up.

You know they will be happy to see you, re-live some old times, and even maybe create some new ones.

Happy Holidays

Gordon Tredgold

Leadership Principles