Friendships are interesting constructs that are often hard to explain. In relationships it is difficult, sometimes even for the parties involved to gauge just how close of a bond they have. In my opinion, the most accurate comparison to certain kinds of friendships can be compared to the Molecular Theory of Matter. Many parallels can be made between friendships and the molecules in solids, liquids and gases. The state of molecules in matter relate to each other the same way many people do in daily life.
On one hand there is the relationship that is equivalent to the particles in a gas. In this bond, the molecules or “friends” are in the same space but tend to only bump into one another occasionally. The natural reaction of these acquaintances is simply to bounce off each other. There is an abundance of air and other molecules amongst gas-types of friendships but they have a connection due to some level of common ground. This “gas type” of friendship applies to the people you would say hello to in passing or entertain with small talk, but not much else.
Throughout our lives we all at some point find ourselves in a particular environment where we make acquaintances. We make gas-like relationships at work, school or during other activities only because we see each other regularly. This kind of friendly interaction is often pleasant and from it can stem fond memories but like any gas these friendships usually disperse with time and change.
Next on the molecular ladder, the “liquid friendship”. People that have friendships similar to liquids usually have a large number of these bonds in their lives. Liquid structures involve a group of molecules or people that flow together at a safe distance. The molecules in a liquid relationship are far enough apart to not invade each other’s personal space but are close enough to have a genuine companionship.
A liquid friendship may occur when a considerable amount of time is dedicated to someone but you still would not be able to completely confide in them. People with liquid relationships usually have unspoken boundaries and don’t reveal deep emotions with one another. The molecules of a liquid friendship run next to each other at a comfortable pace.
Then there are relationships comparable to solids. In a solid matter molecules are tightly aligned forming a generally strong shape. It is rare to possess truly solid friendships but the people that do tend to have very few of them. Solid companions may rub each other the wrong way at times because they are so closely connected, but there is no wiggle room for other molecules to make waves between them.
Unlike liquid and gas friendships there are few to no boundaries in a solid relationship. With a solid friend there is not a single question that cannot be asked. There very little judgment between you. There is no need to hide any aspect of one’s self in a solid relationship because it is an unspoken truth that that person will be there for you in any situation because you are so tightly knit.
Any type of friendship can be developed at any point in time. Friendships are subjected to many factors such as distance, compatibility, communication and other social influences that effect how a friendship progresses. Like friendships, types of matter also depend on other factors to develop, such as temperature or pressure. Friendships and matter react alike when subject to natural elements. Acquaintances can turn into close friends the way liquids become solids. And liquids, like friends can evaporate quickly when heat and pressure is added to the situation.
Finding genuine relationships is difficult and maintaining them is even harder. Whether you are a person with many casual friends or a select few confidants it is important to devote oneself to these relationships because even solids crack. Friendships are delicate and need to be tended to in order to keep them from melting, disappearing or drifting away.