I’ve touched on the difficulty of making new friends before, but what about the friends you already have. One of my goals for this year was to put more effort into maintaining and cultivating stronger friendships. I’ve thought a lot about why it’s so easy to drift apart from the people you love so much. I finally realized for me, it’s because my friends and I are in all different stages of life.
I’m 27. Single – not actively looking, but open to a relationship. I’m focused on my career and perfectly happy being a fur parent. I love kids, but at this stage I can’t imagine trying to find a babysitter to watch my kid when I want to have a
wild night in Buckhead. I also don’t want to go out every weekend. I’m perfectly content with parking my body on the couch with Netflix or a good book, my pup, and sweatpants (wine is always included).
Some of my friends are married. Some of my friends are married with kid(s). Others are out every weekend, waking up with hangovers. I’ve got a few friends who are actively trying to lock down a significant others, while others are on every dating app – just looking for hookups. A few people have never left our hometown, while others are traveling every chance they have. Some are still doing what we were doing at 21 (how Sway? Is your liver okay?) others have started companies.
So what’s a girl to do to stay connected?
Friendships take work
Don’t forget about how your friends have been there for you. Likely, they’ve seen you through something – even if it was just a rough finals week. Then think about what connected you. Friendships take work, just like any other relationship. So you’ll have to put in a little effort. I’ve been lucky to hold on to a few of my friendships from high school. Oddly enough, I’ve also become very close with some people I went to high school with, but would not – at that time – even think to call them a friend.
It’s hard to stay connected to someone you were friends with when you were 14, but not impossible. One of my high school besties is married and a fantastic mom. Have I ever had a wedding? No, but we talked about all the wedding things. I even designed her Save the Dates. Have I ever had a baby? No, but we talked about all the baby things and I helped her sister-in-law through her baby shower.
My point is as long as you don’t forget about those who have been there for you – you will be able to find You won’t always have everything in common, but you will always have the common ground that your friendship was based on. Sometimes that is enough, if you both still want to be in each other’s lives.
This year, I’m determined to make more of an effort. I’m celebrating birthdays. I’m sending letters, cards, care packages – just because. Earlier this month, I sent Galentine’s Day packages to some of my favorite ladies – local and abroad. But it’s not just about gifts. I’m going to schedule regular phone dates and just check-in on people. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone ask you “Are you okay” and mean it.
I realize my friends are my friends because they support me in whatever I do. Sometimes they laugh at me, but I know they love me unconditionally.
So to my friends who may be reading this:
If you need a home cooked meal, to borrow my dog for some puppy snuggles, a hug, a ride, my Netflix password, someone to proofread your resume, occupy your little one while you wash your hair, a wing girl, someone to help you hide the body or someone just to do nothing with – I’m here. And I love you!
Anyone else struggling with maintaining friendships? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.