When friends become friends

Some time ago, a friend and I were talking about when we realize our friends have become friends — you know, when your colleague with whom you chat with after a meeting becomes the person you call just because, and then go have pizza. And my friend said something I’d never given much thought to: you become a friend when you feel you can mess with them and they’ll take it as a joke.

It felt particularly meaningful because he – my friend – messed with me the very first day we met. He made fun of my hair, and suddenly I was part of the group. It was such a silly thing, but it worked as a social trigger. And thinking back, it was like that with every other group I’ve been in, and every newcomer that joined us. Like a rite of passage of sorts.

But what happens when this intimacy that allows for (and maybe even encourages) these sort of comments and jokes is lost?

I’m in that tricky path of seeing which highschool friends survive the test of time, distance, different new interests and blablabla. I’m heading to my 4th year of uni. We still have a facebook group. I still know what they look like, in which city they are living, what courses they are taking… But we are not that close any more. Or I’m not that close any more. Different cliques have developed for those who live close by or still don’t forego when that singer they love comes into town, like expected. But when we meet, they don’t seem aware of the lack of intimacy with the entire group — and then messing with becomes actual messing with.

And it’s annoying.

And I was just wondering, how far should one go to keep friends from the past? Is it really worth it? Are they really friends still?Has this happened to anyone else or am I just too sensitive?