What Makes a “Real” Friend?


Recently, I came across a conversation questioning whether or not online friends can be considered true friends.  Can you really be friends with someone you never met in person?  At the time, I wasn’t too sure what my opinion was on the topic.

Last night, however, I discovered many reasons to say yes: online friends can truly be friends, whether you have met them in person or not.

I had a pretty rough night last night.  Being a single mom is hard.  Even though I live with my friend of twenty something years, along with her husband and elderly mother (my adopted family), much of the time I feel very alone in a crowded house.  I know my adopted little family loves my girls and me.  What they don’t really understand is the scar left over from my divorce; how hard it is to live with a happily married couple.  They love being hands on with the kids when it comes to the fun stuff, but aren’t necessarily sure when to jump in for the hard stuff.  That’s okay.  I don’t really know when to tell them to jump in either. 

My point is that I feel alone most of the time.  Raising three teenage girls is incredibly rewarding, but also terrifying.  Add in the fact my oldest child is Autistic, and well, I could spend hours telling you everything I’m afraid of moving toward the future.

Last night my oldest had a pretty decent meltdown.  I didn’t handle things the way I feel I should have, and so while she cried in her room, I went and cried in mine.  Everyone in the house had to have heard the meltdown.  No one came to check on me.  I wasn’t angry they didn’t check.  I mean, meltdowns are pretty regular around here.  I did feel all alone and sad though.  I wanted to talk to somebody, but didn’t have the strength to start the conversation on my own. 

So I went on Twitter, where no one knows me in my every day life.  I made a simple post about feeling like I was failing as a mom.  How I would never change my kiddo, but some days I wish I understood things better so I could help her better.  Simple.

Over the next two hours I had so many great conversations with people who simply took the time to comment on my post.  Some were parents with kids who also have special needs.  We were able to swap stories and encourage each other.  Others just left a simple “Hang in there!”  A couple even messaged directly to lend their thoughts and support.

No one had to say anything.  Certainly they didn’t have to have a back and forth conversation with me.  But many of them did anyway.  Instead of going to bed depressed and feeling hopeless last night, I went to sleep feeling encouraged by my friends. 

My online friends. 

Sure, I have never seen their faces in person, but when I needed someone to talk to, they were there for me.  They talked me through a rough spot. 

If you ask me, that’s what friends do. 

I’m thankful for the people I have met online and have conversations with each day.  They make me laugh and cheer me up when the week is rough.  There’s really no difference between these friends and the ones I see in person each week.  

So the next time someone asks me if I think online friends can be real friends, I know I won’t hesitate to answer “YES!”

16 thoughts on “What Makes a “Real” Friend?

  1. The Eclectic Contrarian June 1, 2019 — 9:17 pm

    I have a couple friends on here who have claimed me as their brother. And that means a LOT to me!! And there’s some on here that have excellent compatibility with. And I wouldn’t have met them any other way.. so I’d say that online friends are an important support system!

    I know what it’s like to feel alone. And I hate you and your children know the feeling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s great you’ve found the kindred spirits online as well! I think online friends are definitely as special as face to face friends. Thanks for chiming in!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian June 2, 2019 — 5:39 am

        Tired of me yet? Lol! I feel like I’ve been talking to you almost nonstop..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nope! Not tired! It’s been refreshing to carry on new conversations!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Eclectic Contrarian June 2, 2019 — 11:09 am

        Awesome! I’m full of refreshing and new stuff lol!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never been an admirer of online friendship but your peculiar story makes me think otherwise. Stay Blessed:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s the thing, I never really considered it either. So it was kind of surreal for me the other night to feel so connected to these people I’ve never met. And it’s been ongoing since Friday night. I’ve got new comments waiting for me on Twitter this morning in regards to my post from Friday.
      I think for me it’s just kind of nice to know there are people out there who genuinely care about others, even if they can’t meet up with you in person.
      Thanks for stopping by again!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. There’s something about the anonymity of being online that allow us to talk about things that we might not ordinarliy feel comfortable talking about “in real life.” For that reason alone I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having online friends.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You bring up a very valid point! I agree. Thank you so much for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been a role player since I was 17 on various sites with essentially the same group of people between each site. I very much understand the power of online friendship. I’ve had a pretty solid circle of people see me through me quite a bit of life-changing events in the last 10 plus years and I’m very grateful for it.

    Sorry to hear about your daughter’s meltdown! Things happen and sometimes they aren’t in our control. I hope it all evens out for you soon. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing your story! I think that’s awesome! The older I get the more I realize how unique friendship can be.

      Thanks for you kind words. We survived this meltdown and we will survive the next. It’s just tough sometimes. So I’m grateful for those who have helped me get through it!

      Thanks again for dropping by and sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful post 💕 You are so right. I love my real life friends and online friend. They are both real friends. Just because you don’t see someone doesn’t mean they can’t support you or love you. Real friends are there for you in good and bad times. I’m glad you could sleep better that day. You are so strong for going through that💪 I’m also always here for you 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are the sweetest! I appreciate your thoughts and completely agree!! 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think for some people they are real, for others it stays virtual. I know a few online people who eventually met in real life.
    Love light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

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