Girlfriend/Boyfriend or Friend,
which is more important?
You expect a realistic answer or an answer that you want to hear?
Undeniably friends are important, but not all friends should be treated equally, or at least I think so. Looking at friends around me I can generally group them into a few categories, from bros to assholes.
The BrosReal bros walk you through thick and thin, they are the first one to criticize your ideas your big dreams, just to test if you are really serious about those ideas. If you are really serious and you decided to pursue the dream they will be the first to support you. If you (*touch wood*) really failed in executing your ideas, they won't be the one who tell you, I told you so but instead they will be the one asking you to try harder. Of course if you succeeded, they will be the one who ask you what next, and not over congratulate you. It doesn't matter how much time you spend your time with your real bro, maybe a whole year without contacting each other, but once the conversation get started, there wouldn't be a full stop. You know at heart that they will care for you, and you will do the same for them. This are what I call real bros!
The OrganizerThey are the kind of friend who can single-handedly organize an event, they are the person who can put people together for parties or activities. They will send mass message, post online, send sms and call to look for participants and they feel good putting people together.
The Party BuddiesYour bros might not be a party kaki, so that's what party buddy are for. They will go out with you fool around and do stupid things together, calling each other brother, bradah, brah, bro, dudes, mang, man whatever 'cool' name. They are the few buddy that you will call when you have a sudden crave for alcohol. You scratch their back, they scratch your back, you share tabs with them, buy them drinks sometimes, they buy you sometimes. At the end of they day you try to be square with them and don't wan to owe them, nor let them owe you too much. Best of all, they will bring along their party buddies as well so you will get to know new party buddies or at least make you seems as if you're going out with a huge group of friends.
The "We can make some Money Together" FriendsThis are the friends who share your vision in terms of money making. Just by matching the right pitch to the right customer and source for the right friend with required skill is already a fantastic way to earn an extra income. They are usually friends with the right business mind, uprising entrepreneur who already take their steps towards success or like me a successor (which in my case not a good thing). You can share your business idea with them and expect some really useful feedback, due to their experience or at least their book based knowledge in that matter. It's great to keep more friends of this kind around,and closely, especially those who are trustworthy.
The Kang TaosThese are the friends who you see potential in them. Either with the potential of getting into a relationship or at least into their pants. At the very least, you should enjoy their companionship. You might know them from various channel, hooking up on bars, facebook, party buddies' friend, colleagues etc etc.
The "We keep in touch online" FriendWith the increasing convenience of online medium, keeping in touch with friends online are getting easier. You can virtually stalk a person online if they are active on facebook, and I've also seen a lot of relationship ruined by it. These are friends that you exchange comment with and doesn't really bother meeting up, at most you'll chat with them online, and those chats usually ends with connection problem kick in.
The HobbyistThe kind of friend who have specific common hobby with you, that you only meet them on the specific activity, futsal, in my case. Most of the topic will be related to the specific hobby and you wouldn't bother calling them for other activity.
The Co-WorkerIf you work in an office, they are the people you face for at least 8 hours a day, you guys might go lunch or dinner together, gossip about the in-office relationship/politics for hours after work but you wouldn't let them know about the skeleton in the closet. They are inevitably your direct competitor, unless they can be classified otherwise, else you really wouldn't want to let them know you too well but you would like to find out everything about them. It's never a bad idea to keep a few cards under the sleeves since you wouldn't know when you may need them.
The Ex-esPeople who were your ex-colleague, ex-class/college/house/room-mates or even lovers. Some of them which you will meet once in a while to talk about once upon the time silly stories/jokes, or they leave some behind their back story for your new friends. Does "Wah I had a colleague last time who did this and that blah blah blah" sound so much like a cliche?
The Hi-ByeAin't that self-explanatory? You always start with, "Hi how are you?" or "Hi, what are you up to lately?" or for those who were close to you before, "Oi, haven't die yet ah?". Then you'll end the conversation with "Eh call you out to catch up next time, kinda rush now." Which in fact you have nothing much to do later, and you wouldn't bother calling them anyway, or just a simple "Bye, see you around."
The AssholeThis is a subset that might exist in any category above, people who were friends and eventually turn sour, or people with job/past job/ex-class/college/house/room-mate relationship which you really hated or people who gave you the wrong first impression. These are the people who you couldn't stand being in the place with, people who you rather not talk about, or people who you'd still have to talk to but wish they're never born in the first place. Oh this also include people who frequently take advantage on you, or take you for granted that you should do something for them. Somehow you will have a few friends like this around, and you allow them to leech off you, and later on wonder why you befriended them at the first place.
So many way to categorize a friend and some fall under different category at different time, however for girlfriend/boyfriend though they bear the word friend in their title, they are more family then friend. As a family person (or at least I'd like to think so) I'd say that the significant others is more important than friends. However appropriate time should be allotted for closer friends because you might not know when you'll need their back up, and good friendship are hard to build so close friends should not be lost because of a new intimate relationship, especially now when intimate relationship are so fragile. Moreover, those who are really important and those who worth your time are usually those who welcome your partner into the circle, give that your partner is not a pain in the ass who only you see their plus point.
Seriously there's no certainty as to which is more important, some friends are better with some friends are better without, and there are some friends who you can't live without. True friend will always understand that the only constant is change and unless you yourself have a drastic change in characteristic else they will always be there.
4-11-09 Edit: added some extras into The Assholes
4-11-09 Edit: added some extras into The Assholes