Relationships are amazing. They are a source of comfort, laughter, and trust.
We all feel confident in knowing that someone will always be there to spend time with us, and lend a listening ear when need be.
And who’s to argue with the exceptional bonds that result from relationships?
But wait, there’s an argument that friends are closer than family. Is that weird or normal?
We all know the saying, “Blood is thicker than water.” What most people don’t know is that the actual saying states, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”
Simply put, while family bonds are tight, they are chosen for us, and we have no say in it. But the bonds we create for ourselves, the friendships we choose, are far greater and stronger.
Do you feel closer to your friends than family? Don’t worry. Many people feel that way, I included.
Speaking from personal experience, friends can support you in ways family members won’t.
Real‐Life Experience on How Family and Friends Compare
There is this family I used to know. A woman, Rose, divorces her husband following irreconcilable differences.
Just when she’s about to start her life afresh, her blood‐brother, Paul, who is quite wealthy, comes to her and is like, “I have given our mother the house I first built. Instead of renting out an apartment, why not come live with her so she doesn’t feel lonely as you educate your daughter?”
That’s a love gesture right there, or so it appeared at first.
Time goes by, and now their elderly mother is in need of more care and attention.
Since Rose has lived with her mother for over a decade, instead of leaving and employing someone to take care of her sick‐elderly mother, she takes time off work to give her the care she needs.
This means neglecting her business and making countless sacrifices.
In appreciation of the daughter’s efforts, the elderly grandma says that Rose is to stay on that piece of land until she’s able to build her own house and move out.
Afraid that this might be their mother’s last dying wish, Paul and his wife move to relocate their mother to her eldest son’s home, and kick Rose out, just when she has no business to bounce back on.
Now that’s family.
Let’s now talk about Rose’s daughter, Nancy. For years she has had this friend who had always been there for her.
They first met when she was only 13, and their friendship blossomed especially the moment she hit adulthood.
Mars was still struggling career‐wise, barely covering his own bills with his salary.
Now Nancy, an unemployed college graduate, and her mother have no way forward.
But Mars, with all his struggles, walks up to Nancy and says, “Anything you and your mom need, I’m here for you.”
And he sure stayed true to his words. He took a loan to care to all their financial needs, without Rose’s knowledge, and expected nothing in return.
This is a case close to my heart and is similar to what happens around, where family members will send you to your grave in a heartbeat.
Some will actually pretend to help you because they’ll be benefiting in some way.
Paul asked Rose to live with their mother because selfishly he didn’t want to have to pay a house manager to take care of her.
But when he realized his mother was about to die, what did he do? Ask her to leave with nowhere to run to.
I for one have friends with whom I share everything, my strengths, weaknesses, fails, and deep dark things in my life that I would never share with family.
Since we want our families to be proud of us and our accomplishments, we tend to portray perfection when dealing with them. We let out the ‘fake’ us. This is because we do not want to be judged.
True, our families want what’s best for us, and are aware of our potential from a tender age. But the pressure to be better can be overwhelming at times.
Even when they don’t intend to hurt us, comments such as ‘your cousin has done this and that’, ‘your brother owns his own business,’ ‘your sisters and female cousins are all married except you,’ are always flying around.
And let’s not forget the aunties and uncles always controlling our lives, from what to pursue in college, to career choices, even down to when and who to marry.
Again, in most cases, they mean us well, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take a toll on us, depressing us every time we see them at social gatherings and during holiday seasons.
And what’s worse, you can’t just break off a blood bond and say you’ll avoid such relatives forever.
What of friends? First, you chose them, right?
Meaning there was something you saw in them. It could be you share the same interests, you met at a social group, they are trustworthy, easy to talk to, and fun to be around.
Whatever the reason, you have a common ground for interactions and conversations, and in case of irreconcilable differences, you can always choose to call it quits.
This is the beauty of friendship.
You stay friends by choice, you cultivate that friendship because you want it to grow, and you want to remain close to that other person.
And so whenever a friend takes time off his/her schedule to come to see you, it’s simply because they value you the most.
Another thing about friendship is that there is no judgement passed around.
Yes, they will push you really hard to be the best version of yourself especially those who truly care for you.
But they will never compare you to someone else. And their support is not only emotional but also financial.
So, is having friends who are closer than family weird or normal?
I would say it is totally normal.
Let’s not forget, friends can be more than family…they can be a part of us.
But we can also have family members who are real friends.
The bottom‐line is to look for genuine unconditional love in any kind of relationship we might have.
After all, what else have we got, if not for love?