Whoever takes it upon themselves to give a definition to friendship, I assume they will automatically lose one or a few of them, or it can happen the other way around, for someone the definition of friendship can be so broad that in the next second they might make a friend waiting even in the supermarket line, some it can take a lifetime, depending on what is to be invested in the relationship, depending on the expectations we have of other people, to understand us, to pity us, to gossip with us half the town, to plan and live unforgettable experiences, or even to have children. Who really knows? Who really controls?
In an article published in December 2021, the Association for Psychological Science, talks about the chemistry between people, and before I quote them, I want to make an introduction to the idea that brings chemistry to mind.
For me friendships have always played a more indispensable role than finding a lover. I realized this after a very long time of feeling almost desperate because I was having difficulty connecting with people who were eventually to become my lovers, my life partners by definition, at the same time as all the hopelessness and diminishing self-confidence was taking hold, I had my best friend by my side, with whom I not only shared the most negative, pessimistic, romantic and crazy thoughts, but with whom I had a special relationship much more prolific than a normal relationship between lovers. A reality that had been going on for some years, one that consumed a great amount of energy, time, one in which we were inducing ourselves into unpleasant situations and traumatic experiences, but also one in which we were planning our future and taking all the necessary steps for it together. Sometimes this is a lot like a relationship between a newly married couple, when they're just moving into a newly bought house, and they're arguing with each other about what color the kitchen carpet should be, and a lot of other habit stuff.
So I quote the article: Have you ever felt a special “spark” with someone—an intense bond with a potential partner, friend, or colleague? If so, you probably thought you experienced “chemistry.” Literary references to interpersonal chemistry appeared as early as 1590, when English poet John Donne wrote about “love alchemy” in his eighth elegy, The Comparison:
“Then like the Chymicks masculine equall fire,
Which in the Lymbecks warm wombe doth inspire
Into th’earths worthlesse durt a soule of gold,
Such cherishing heat her best lov’d part doth hold.”
Since then, countless books, films, and TV shows have referred to interpersonal chemistry between characters. But the term doesn’t refer exclusively to romantic chemistry.
"Experiencing chemistry "
Reis and colleagues’ Interpersonal Chemistry Model stipulates that chemistry encompasses behaviors (i.e., what chemistry “looks like”) and perceptions (i.e., what it “feels like”). According to the model, the behavioral component involves a series of interactions in which two (or more) people express feelings, needs, desires, or goals that are met with understanding, appreciation, and support. Those behaviors, in turn, lead to the perception of chemistry, with cognitive (shared identity), affective (positive affect and attraction), and behavioral (perceived goal-relevant coordination) components.
Experiencing chemistry thus requires actual interactions. Reis and colleagues excluded from consideration the idea that people may experience chemistry at “zero acquaintance,” or solely through awareness of other person’s qualities. Instead, they proposed that chemistry involves repeated back-and-forth exchanges.
“As the interaction cycle unfolds, partners will often develop a substantial level of behavioral synchrony (e.g., linguistic matching, nonverbal synchrony, voicing similar thoughts and ideas),” Reis and colleagues wrote. The researchers propose that this sequence of expressive and responsive behaviors often unfolds quickly and spontaneously, and thus chemistry can be felt in the first interactions. However, they believe that moments of connection must accumulate before enduring chemistry is felt and observed.
Although chemistry goes beyond individual characteristics, certain traits and goals influence its development. For instance, people high in attractiveness, warmth, and perspective-taking tend to be more likable, which can foster chemistry. Personal goals might also influence the experience of chemistry (e.g., desiring a new relationship or recruiting a fellow musician).
In that vein, I want to point out that our friendships, they extend far beyond what we understand by that, whether it's chemistry or effort over time, that's why I think it's very important to be vigilant, to cherish every gesture, because sometimes that's the only strength. and the only resource we have left when we have nothing else.