How They Met: The friends met three years ago while attending an event for the community service organization Jack and Jill. “We met at an ice-skating rink and neither of us can skate,” recalls Elaina. “We both thought that was funny and bonded right away.” Trips with the organization cemented their friendship, though as they got to know each other, they discovered they have many differences.
How They’re Different: Ryan loves sports. She’s a serious soccer player who’s played the game since she was 7 years old. Now her weeks are filled with practice and games. When she’s not playing soccer, she’s thinking about upcoming competitions. Elaina, meanwhile, is a self-described “indoor kid” who’d rather be playing cello, reading books, or coding than playing sports outside. As Elaina explains, “Ryan likes being outside. I hate it. I like being inside a lot.”
Why It Works: The friends go to different schools, and Ryan is often busy with soccer, but they say they have the kind of friendship where they can be out of touch for a while, then immediately pick up where they left off. “Ryan’s that one friend I have where if we don’t talk every day, we can still be really close,” says Elaina. Ryan, on the other hand, says she appreciates Elaina’s values. “Elaina has taught me how to be very humble and respect others, and also how to show compassion and empathy,” she says. The one area the girls agree to disagree on is soccer. Ryan taught Elaina a few basic moves but doesn’t expect to see her on the field anytime soon. “Elaina’s kind of stubborn,” Ryan says with a laugh. “So if she doesn’t want to learn how to play soccer, she’s not going to do it.”