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It is a very individual issue, true friendship requires work, not to the same degree as a marriage, but there is maintenance to be done as with all relationships that are worthwhile. I think that the number of friends that you can actively keep depends on what stage of life you are at. When you are starting out in life, your friendships are mostly your bedrock after your immediate family. They are there for your ups, downs and challenges. As you start to evolve, your friendships evolve and sometimes they don’t. Once you start your own family, keeping friendships can become a little more difficult because your immediate family, especially in the beginning, command quite a bit your immediate attention. As the family grows and evolves, friendships also stretch and the good ones are elastic and both parties are there for each other.

That being said, I don’t know how many friends one can have. One can have as many as they can handle. I do know that for women, friendships are so important and the presence of those friendships keep many marriages healthy. Women are a very vocal lot and often husbands do not offer the emotional availability and accessibility. The girlfriends provide that to each other and the husbands have their own place within the woman’s world. I suppose that with all the social media out there, it is easier to stay connected but, unless you, constantly, are mindful of maintaining that connection, you can have all the gadgets in the world, if your mind isn’t engaged, your friendships will still be neglected.

I, myself, have a best friend that I’ve had since forever. I’m so lucky to have her, someone who knows me since before I was a teenager. We might not speak often, but just knowing that you have that connection keeps your heart in a good place. I have a few very special friends who I know that I can always turn to and confide in and vice-versa, my shoulder and ear are always open and available to them and they know it.