Sunday at our Mass, the priest gave a great homily on friendship. He talked about the three main friendship types, which triggered reflection for me on the friendships I have made over the years. I will talk about his three categories for friends. (Thank you Father Patrick).

The lowest level of friendship is one of utility. In other words, you are more than aquiantances you say hi to in the grocery store, but you aren’t close friends. You are friends because you individually  have a commodity that serves the other. For example, one of you may have good tickets to a favorite sport game and the other may have a couple of unused concert tickets. So, from time to time, you go to these events together, but there is no real sharing of lives.

The second level is pleasure friendship. This friendship is filled with pleasurable activities that you do together on a regular basis, such as golfing, fishing, hunting, shopping etc. You both derive great pleasure from doing these activities together, but this is what drives the bond. However, when this friendship is not nurtured on a continual basis, it can easily slip back to the level of utility friendship.

The highest level of friendship is full of fun and pleasure you experience together, but also much more. The bond is one built on trust, confidentiality, respect, generosity,   and a real investment in each other’s lives. This friendship is one that will bolster your PURPOSE on this journey, comfort you in your sorrows, and celebrate your JOYS!

It is never about the number of friends in your life, but rather it is about the type of friends. Most likely, we all have a few utility friends and a few more pleasure friends. The goal I believe is to have a few true friends that fall in the highest category, ones who will be there from the beginning to the end and to say “yes, my life was definitely enhanced with this person in my life”.

One of my favorite quotes is from William Shakespeare: “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

How do you define your friendships?

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