Maintaining Adult Friendships

November 2nd, 2016 | Jennifer Hackmann 

Every day when I log onto Facebook, I see at least one status that says something like, “OMG!, I need a girls’ night, I’m so bored but all my friends are busy /I have no friends. ” pop up on my newsfeed. I must say, I totally understand where you ladies are coming from. I’ve been there, we’ve ALL been there.

(NOTE: for some reason, men are different they don’t seem to need to hang with male friends as much as women need “girl time”.)

A few years ago, I was going through the same season of life when It seemed like I didn’t have any friends anymore . Everyone was busy with their own life; work, significant other, kids, other friends, hobbies and it seemed like with all that going on,they didn’t have the time or space to add having a friendship with me into their hectic routine that makes up their life.

girlfriends-drinking-wine

Then I began to remember how easy it was to begin new friendships and maintain than when we were younger. Most likely, you wouldn’t have to look very far at all to find a friend because as children we are usually social butterflies. You are around peers every day during school,  after school activities, sports, church, college and so on. You don’t have to worry too much about staying in touch because you have a pretty good idea of the next time you will get together because your schedules are linked together in one of those common activities or places I’ve listed above.

When you become an adult you realize that maintaining a friendship is not as easy as it once was. You learn that friendships are just like relationships and marriages without the romantic feelings and attractions. Believe it or not, keeping a friendship alive is work. It takes a lot of effort on both people involved. Adult friendships don’t just fall into your lap like they did before. I’m pretty sure that’s why most people tend to say things like “well I’m married/in a relationship now, I don’t need friends. My boyfriend/girlfriend husband/wife is my best friend.” Personally, I love my fiancé with all my heart and he is one of my best friends, BUT I NEED my girl friendships. Sometimes I just don’t care to hear about “how much he farted today ” and I bet he doesn’t want to hear about how much “I love my new makeup either. ”

friends

It’s completely healthy and natural for us as human beings to want, need, and value friendships outside of our romantic relationships.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to keep adult friendships alive and thriving while still dealing with your personal everyday stressors and hardships and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’m not saying I’m an expert, I just know what works  here are something’s I have learned:

If having friendships are important to you , you need to make time.

It’s simple really. I get it, we’re adults, we’re busy but if you want a friendship to last you need to make time. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a whole day that’s devoted to the other person, just a simple  phone call or text will do. Take the time to let your friend know that amidst your crazy busy life you thought about them.

Also, become familiar with their schedule. I know it’s super annoying when you call/text someone and they never answer you back or they are always busy. I have one friend who works has multiple jobs, has a child, and goes to school to get her masters degree. She’s always super busy and it’s really hard to get ahold of her . I figured out that if I wait until around midnight to talk to her she will almost always be free to talk. Doing things like that may not be ideal but it’s what works and just like in a romantic relationship you do what works .

Schedule friend date days: It may sound silly but my best friend and I actually schedule days to hang out. We hang out once a week in the summer and once a month during the school year. Doing this helps us have an idea as to when we might see each other again, just like college did  in the friendship we had when we were younger.  She’s a working mom of 3 and her house is always full of people and she’s always has a million things to do but, honestly when I go over to visit her and her family I don’t care what we do I’m happy just sitting with her while she feeds her baby or does the laundry. At least we’re spending time together; that’s all that matters.

I am a part of this amazing group of  six (including me, one of them has gone up to heaven) ladies whom I met in college and even though we all lead very different lives these days we schedule a time to all get together twice a year once in November and then again in May. During those days we get together to honor our friend Kristen who passed away and we also use that time to catch up with each other’s lives.

Now that most of us are approaching thirty. We need to accept that friendships are harder to create and much harder to keep than they were growing up but if you really value and appreciate them you must put in an effort and work into them . If you do, I promise it will be totally worth it in the end.

 

[Featured Image Courtesy Of http://www.womenonthefence.com]

 

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