At the beginning of this year, I started this series titled, New Year; New Types of Friends that suggested every man should periodically evaluate their friendships. I wrote subsequent posts about The Philosophy, The History, The Psychology, and The Physiology (physical aspects) of friendships. I then described The Friendships Throughout a Man’s Life and How Much Time Men Need to Become Friends. After those introductory posts, I began with examples of real-life friendships in politics and sports. This next set is examples of friendships in the entertainment world.
But first, here’s a quick recap.
Friendships in Politics
The subset of posts with examples of friendships in politics included the friendships of Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed, The Frenemies of Our Founding Fathers, along with Alexander Hamilton’s Challenging Friendships. Each friendship showed how differing ideologies and political differences were set-aside when there was a need to support each other.
Friendships in Sports
The subset from sports included the Unlikely Friendship of Jesse Owens and Luz Long and The Paradoxical Friendship of Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, both of which overcame racial barriers for the greater good. The post, Arnie’s Army of Friends showed how a great golfer developed a personal board of directors to help widen the appeal of his sport while using the fruits of his success to support charitable interests. The Opposing Personalities of Magic and Bird showed how –despite different backgrounds and styles, two fierce competitors can become a long-term friends. Lastly, the Grand Slam Friendship in Tennis explained how Martina Navratilova and Chrissy Evert put aside their rivalry to help each other through health issues.
Friendships in Entertainment
This next subset will show examples of good friends in the world of entertainment. As you likely know, there are many forms of entertainment: movies, TV shows, music, and the theater.
There is even a category of entertainment for literature. Derived from the Latin word meaning “writing formed with letters,” literature most commonly refers to works of the creative imagination such as poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and in some instances, journalism, and song.
In most cases, those friendships in entertainment that reflect the traits of real people. But some of us are also entertained by watching animated cartoons or reading books that contain fictional characters. So some posts will include recognizable made-up characters from movies, TV shows, cartoons or books that also make my point.
What Makes These Friendships Unique?
As I thought about this series early this year, I began compiling a list of “best friends” to look for any common traits. While my earlier posts with examples in politics and sports explained what these friendships have in common, I’m going to pivot a bit and attempt to answer the question: “What’s unique about this friendship?”
In an earlier post, Traits of a GodBuddy Relationship: Finding Commonality, I made the case that a friendship begins once you find that you have something in common with another person. I also used a quote by C.S. Lewis, who famously said, “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…”
“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…”–C.S. Lewis from his book The Four Loves
In that post, I also gave a formula for friendship that looked like this:
- First Commonality + Second Commonality = Potential Friendship
Most of my examples o friendships from politics, sports, and in the upcoming subset from the entertainment world, started once they bonded over a common interest. For most men, the easiest way to find commonality is through a shared interest like a particular sport or team, or a mutual interest in a hobby. It also can come from volunteer work or through being a member of a fraternal organization like the VFW, Lions Club, or ballroom dance or shooting club.
Friendships Develop Chemistry
Oftentimes, simply finding that first thing you have in common leads to discovering a second commonality. Two things with your new acquaintance begin developing chemistry. It’s that unexplained spark that unites two people.
But having two things in common is not enough.
In How Much Time Do Men Need to Become Friends? I explained that men typically do relationships side-by-side so watching your favorite team together, working on a hobby together, or doing volunteer work together are ways to develop chemistry.
The Greek philosopher, Aristotle once said, “Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.”
“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.”–Aristotle
I agree with Aristotle that male friendships need time. Men more so than women need time to establish a much-needed level of trust.
Friendships Take Time
In a 2018 report in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Jeffrey Hall found that it takes roughly 50 hours of time for a mere acquaintance to move from a casual friend. He found that it takes 90 hours to go from that acquaintance stage to a “friend” status and more than 200 hours –over many weeks, to become good, even best friends!
Professor Hall’s study shows there is usually a relatively rapid assessment of the desirability and likability before friends will spend extra time together. He says a friendship can develop usually within 3–9 weeks if enough hours are spent together. The key is making the time for your friendship.
In the case of a sports team, hours and hours of practice (if teammates) or competing (if rivals) help develop chemistry (or a distaste at times). In politics, time debating and negotiating often reveals the person’s ideology or interest in the end goal. Sometimes, they may not overcome their differences until there is a tragedy. A serious injury or illness, a shared “goal for the good” to avoid a world war, or the loss of a loved one brings people together and helps their chemistry grow.
In the world of entertainment, the hours practicing for their show is similar to teammates taking time to work on their skills or politicians making the time to build relationships that support their cause.
Turning Good Friends into GodBuddies
So while two things in common often leads to developing chemistry, I believe men are at their best when their friendship includes relational depth. This is when when good friends becomes what I call “GodBuddies.” This depth comes from adding a third factor of the common pursuit of living to God’s standards. So my version of the previously mentioned formula looks like this:
- First Commonality (Common Interest or Hobby) + Second Commonality (Chemistry) + Third Commonality (Living According to God’s Standards) = GodBuddy Relationship
Not every relationship wants to add this spiritual or fath-based factor based on personal ideologies. But I believe that men are at their very best when they have deeper, more authentic friendships. Men are at their very best when they help other men become better men. We are at our best when we support, encourage, and pray for each other. We are at our best when we celebrate our accomplishments together. Men are the best when they become godly men who pursue a life with purpose and live according to God’s standards.
Finding “Good” Friendships in Entertainment
Many people feel today’s entertainment has no redeeming value. Some also feel much of what we consume with our eyes and our minds is of questionable quality and demonstrates low morality.
But there are some very good qualities in most of the friendships I’ve provided so I will not judge whether any of these examples also reflect God’s standards.
That said, my point is that each of these friendships have qualities of being good — and often very good, friends. So while the roles portrayed may not always reflect the best moral traits, look for their redeeming value. Hopefully, you will find some of the best traits to apply to your friendships to help turn your good friends into GodBuddies.
My next post will begin the examples from the entertainment world with friendships coming from the motion pictures.