I think friendships can survive the kids/no kids along as you have enough in common. A friendship can't make it if one person has totally focused her energies on being a mom to the loss of everything else. I am a mom (though my kids are older now) and I always tried to have more interests than just my kids for my own sanity.
My friends love me for me. There is no question about kids or no. I guess I am just lucky.My friends with kids totally "understand the choice not to have kids", however there is still an element of divide: if you don't have kids, you can't possibly understand them anymore.
No matter how much time spent, or loving the relationship, it seems there is more than an element of "you childless women can not understand those of us with kids", an exclusionary factor, if you will.
Just an observation....
I think anyone with a brain can understand life. I totally get my twin sister's life (she has two kids - ramping to three). She lives in glorious NYC in a swank neighborhood and yet the kids still cause stress. And my best friend from Houston - oh her kids cause stress also. My other friend from Houston - well the baby was with us at Rock and Bowl and she managed to integrate the other child into our friendships.... It is all about the Mom. Some can't handle it and become recluses. Some can and maintain a life.Oh I agree.
My friends with kids love me for me too. I have several friendships that have more than survived my choice not to have kids, but a dozen years or more.
But I still think that they believe I simply can not relate to their lives as Mommies. That the opinion of any childless woman relating to child issues is invalidated.
No bearing on understanding the time kids require, but an underlying assumption that those without kids can not truly understand those with kids.
Which may be true LOL
But I wonder if any of the many mothers that have commented about maintaining childess friendships can relate to at some deep level???