Has your relationship changed at all throughout the years? It’s fairly typical to see best friends spend the vast majority of their time together as children, teens, and even college students. As time wears on, people get much busier with work, family, and adult responsibilities. People move to new cities, different states, and even across the globe, often making friendships difficult to maintain and easy to lose track of.
Apparently, that isn’t the case for everyone, as exemplified by some best friends who went to great lengths to maintain their friendship. They built their own tiny town so they would be able to grow old together. (1,2)
These four couples have all been best friends with each other for 20 years, but like many adult friendships, they soon found it was difficult to see each other as much as they wanted. They decided they wanted to live closer to each other in a more environmentally friendly way. To accomplish this, they all pooled their money together and built their own tiny town near the Llano River just outside of Austin, Texas. (1,2)
Each of the four cabins in their tiny settlement, the Llano Exit Strategy, cost approximately $40,000. They were uniquely designed by an expert architect, Matt Garcia, to be as sustainable as possible for their size. They each have slanted roofs, reflective walls to keep out heat in the summer, insulated windows, and water barrels that can hold up to 5,000 gallons of rainwater. This group of best friends all plan on retiring to the property when the time comes. (1, 2)
Friendships are good for your health. Few things are quite as comforting as solid companionship for a variety of moods, events, experiences, and life hardships. Friendship is beneficial for your physical and mental health. In fact, an Australian study suggested that strong social networks could lengthen survival rates in elderly men and women, meaning that good friends are better equipped and increasing longevity than even close family members. (3, 4)
Any kind of relationship that’s built on falsehood is only set up to fail. Be honest about yourself, your past, your opinions, and your expectations. This doesn’t mean you must give each new person you meet a list of who you are, what you like, and what you want, but don’t pretend to be anyone else in order to gain approval. Don’t say you’re okay with something (or not okay with it) to fit in. Just be honest about things! Ask honest questions, be clear about your morals, and don’t be afraid to make your opinion known when it’s required. This will help prevent misunderstandings and avoid building up resentment or bitterness over time.
If you’re hoping to make a good, long-lasting friendship, then just know you’ll have your fair share of disagreements. People who know each other well understand their strengths and weaknesses. That means they know how to encourage them, but they also probably know exactly how to discourage them. The latter of these can happen unknowingly or deliberately in the heat of the moment. To make a friendship work, you’ll have to get used to saying you’re sorry and forgiving someone else for how they hurt you.
Part of being a good friend is showing grace. This might mean altering your own expectations to allow your friend to feel less pressure, doing a nice thing even when the other person doesn’t deserve it, or forgiving someone before they’re even sorry. Give your friend the kind of compassion you’d want them to show you.
While not all friendships are the same and not everyone enjoys the same things, good, healthy friendships can withstand plenty of challenges. What does your relationship with your best friend look like? Would you consider moving into a tiny town with them one day? . . .
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