“Friends are sometimes delineated by the ways we met or the things we do together—work friends, old college buddies, beer-league-softball teammates—but they’re all friends, and Rawlins thinks that’s for the best. “Living well isn’t some cloistered retreat with just a few folks,” he told me. “The way worlds are created is by people sharing with and recognizing each other.” Many different kinds of relationships are important, he says, and man does not thrive on close friendships alone.” The pandemic has removed our interactions with people we didn’t know that well, and it turns out those are essential categories of friendship.
There’s a reason you miss the people you didn’t even know that well. A few months ago, when millions of Americans were watching the Netflix series Emily in Paris because it was what we had been given that week, I cued up the first episode and was beset almost immediately by an intense longing.