Flove—that intersection of a great and dear friend and your friendly love for them. Perhaps a silly new word/concept, or perhaps that something that we can all admit to and strive for.
Of course I remember each of the times that I’ve fallen in flove. There was my best friend in high school, Liz, who was everything my parents aspired for me to be, but wasn’t. Then there was a gal named Joan, also from high school, absolutely nothing that my parents wanted for me, but a ton of fun and even better memories over 30+ years.
My next was Deb—Deborah professionally, Debbie to acquaintances, and then Deb—that’s what you got to call her if you were really, really good friends. (I suppose when she marries, her husband will just call her D.) Honest to God, she is the best person to talk to about anything—cause she loves to talk, and seems to attract every wacko within 50 miles of her so she’s heard it all. If she is judging you, she’ll never let on, and regardless, she’ll have you laughing at yourself soon enough anyhow.
And finally Trisha—sweet, soulful Trisha. Trish is the kind of woman who would literally take the shirt off of her back if you needed it (and it isn’t only because she owns a terrific second-hand clothing store). She takes in stray dogs, stray people, and me … and puts them right into that big old heart of hers. Got a pimple on your tush, Trish will take care of it. Got your heart broken by a bum, Trish will take care of him too!
Yep, that isn’t a typo—it’s a new word that I invented. It is a sniglet of friend and love … flove. (okay it is also a portmanteau for you grammar geeks).
What is flove, and why in the world do we need another word when we already have so many that we don’t use anymore? Well, flove is a very simple concept to grasp and to apply. It is friendly love, the love that you feel for your dear, dear friends. You “flove” them.
Silly ... perhaps (okay, yes), but it does provide the language and classification system that our society seems to so desperately want since we don’t have enough words to describe all of the levels of friendship/acquaintance that we encounter/enjoy.
I mean, we have BFFs, acquaintances, new friends, old friends, good friends, frenemies, cliques, posses and sidekicks. And none of us knows exactly how to define any of these terms or ideas or relationships. Heck, some of us are even seeking out friendship contracts to extract formal definitions and expectations.
But the label and nomenclature that you use is really unimportant. Rather it is the feeling that comes from these relationships that makes the difference. And to me, that difference is flove.
I save this expression for only my dearest of friends—those who have stood the test of loyalty, laughter and longevity. These are the women for whom I have only the deepest affection. I want for them, as I want for myself—truly and always. I seek out their guidance and perspective just as often for important, as for mundane matters. And I’m just as likely to seek out their shoulders for my troubles and my accomplishments—they are there for both.
But I think the biggest reason that I flove them is because they allow me to be completely honest and open with them about who I am, yes some pretty nasty warts and all … and they still care. Hence, it is the intimacy, sharing and support that leads to friendship love.
Save Your Flove for the Special Few
Some say (a little too perkily in my opinion) that “everyone is a friend.” Maya Angelou—with whom I agree about almost everything—said that most people we know are really just hovering at different depths of acquaintances.
And this is what I think too. That except for a very special 3 to 5 people, most people that I know and call friends are really just acquaintances—some really, really good acquaintances, but acquaintances none the less. To earn the title of “friend” from me—and for me from you (it is a two-way street after all)—we need to flove each other (share, support, care, be available).
Now, don’t get me wrong—there are definitely some people whom I flove but sorta don’t see very much. These are the longtime friends whom I’ve moved on from, but our history is such that I still care greatly. And there are people whom I have a blast with who I don’t yet flove—they are great candidates for this affection, but we haven’t gotten to that level as of yet.
And I’m sure there are some gals whom I consider extremely close friends, who just think me “special,” and honestly, have other friends in their own “flove” category which currently doesn’t have any vacancies.
And none of that really matters. What does matter is that when you find a really great, warm, supportive, open, fun, honest and secure woman willing and able to be a great friend, snap her up, and give her a big dose of your flove. :)
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So what do you think, is the idea of Flove silly, or something that we should all strive to embrace? We'd love to hear from you.