Friends, Family, Both?


When do friends become family? When do family members become friends? I’ve heard many times that you choose your friends, but are born into your family. Is there ever a time you choose your family as your friends? Do you ‘adopt’ friends as family?

All deep questions, to which I have very few answers. I know how I feel about some family, and some friends. But that can’t be the same for everyone, can it?

I was born into a large family. When I came into this world, I had 1 brother and 3 sisters. A younger sister came along just a few months later (22.5 or so). I liked to think I could be friends with all of them. At times I was, at other times we were just siblings. I married into a family and got 2 more brothers, and 1 more sister. Yes, this is the way I thought of them. Time and distance prevented a normal ‘friendship’ but I felt it could be that way if distance wasn’t an issue. My sisters married and I got more brothers. My brother married and I had another sister. Marriages came and went, so did some of the new siblings.

Now I have four daughters. Two of them have husbands, so I now have sons. I don’t know how they think of me, I tend not to pry, but it doesn’t really matter. As long as they treat my daughters well, they will continue to be sons to me. It will be this way for all my girls and their spouses. I don’t buy the in-law route. You’re either family or not. And I’m beginning to think my family are also my friends. Different from my chosen friends, but to me they are friends on some level. This allows me to give that quality of concern that should be expected of family.

Now for friends I choose. Yes, some of them are very much like family. The brothers/sisters/cousins/strange-aunt or uncle 😉 that I found instead of being born into the family. Friends are the family I choose.

And when the weather turns cold (figuratively or realistically), it is good to have friends and family, or both.

5 thoughts on “Friends, Family, Both?”

  1. Sometimes I consider myself “stuck” with certain members of my family – those who have been attached to me by a marriage or two especially. But they are still family, and over the years, I have learned to tolerate it… And I consider many of our family friends like an extention of family, especially since we don’t have any local family… it helps to think of people this way and I would hope others feel the same way 🙂

  2. Sure do… 😀 . I think every person has at least one family member they feel “stuck” with. Sometimes the old adage you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family seems true.

  3. That’s a really nice way to think about in-laws. The golden rule comes to mind here. Treat others as you would like to be treated, and you will catch many off guard! Well, I added that last part myself, but if you have a nasty family member and follow this rule you will catch him or her off guard and probably improve your relationship. If only I followed this proverb more myself.

  4. I love my family; but they are not my friends – except for my immediate family (my wife is my BESTEST FRIEND). I would do anything I could to help my family in need and the same stands true for my friends. I guess the only difference really becomes who I would choose to “hang-out” with… My friends and I have much more in common, so they win that every time. But I do consider many of my friends to be family. Heck, I am adopted so I feel strongly that family are those who love you and those whom you love. So I have a VERY big family and it is ever growing.

  5. Bestest friends are the best ones to be married to. It works out well that way. I found that I have a very big family too.

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