The average American adult reports having only one real friend.[i]

I’ve recently been tuned in to “The Friend Blog” produced by Alia McKee and Tim Walker, founders of LIFEBOAT, a site dedicated to the art and science of adult friendships. They speak of the irony that in the day of Facebook and having hundreds of “friends” online, we now feel more isolated than ever before, and that we are currently in a state of friendship crisis. In May they published the State of Friendship in America Report, the first-ever study of its kind, which plainly reveals just what we really think of the friendships we have and what we really desire from our friendships.

The report reflects that 75% of Americans are not truly satisfied with their friendships and that 63% of us are not confident in our friendships[ii], heck, only 15% of the survey respondents said they would bail a close friend out of jail, and only 28% passed the kidney test[iii], so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised?

Every year I meet hundreds of event participants that tell me they are looking to get involved with a fundraising event to meet new people. Some have just relocated, others are recently separated or divorced, and some just come wanting to make new friends and are hoping that participating in a cause-related experience will connect them with the right people.

Well, according to The State of Friendship Report, they have come to the right place! The top five qualities women and men look for in a friendship are: loyalty, decency, dependability, reciprocated appreciation and someone fun. Those five qualities describe nearly every fundraising event participant that I’ve met while working on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.

Loyalty: whether loyal to a family member or friend who is struggling with the disease, or to the breast cancer cause, 3-Day participants are committed.

Decency: what could be more decent than committing to walking 60 miles and fundraising to save the lives of others?

Dependability: “We will never give up” is the 3-Day motto. We haven’t and we won’t.

Like: what’s not to like about someone who will throw their heart (and soles) into the goal of eradicating breast cancer and have fun doing it?

Fun: where else can you see grown men in tutus on motorcycles saving second base?

So what do you think, wanna be friends?

No, not Facebook friends, I mean real-life, let’s go for a walk, share our stories, make a difference in the world, give you a hug, friends.

Perfect, me too. See you at the 3-Day!


Senior Coordinator for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, Shawn Supers has recruited thousands of participants in the Greater Washington, DC area to take the 60-mile journey of a lifetime in the fight against breast cancer. Follow her on Google+ and LinkedIn.

[i] McPherson M., Smith-Lovin, L., & Brashears M. (2006). Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core

Discussion Networks over Two Decades. American Sociological Review, 71: 353.



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