Remember when you were a kid or even a teenager and your friends were the people you lived near or went to school with? You were pretty much guaranteed to see each other everyday either in class or lunch or on the bus.
Fast forward ten plus years (depending on how long it’s been since you got out of high school) and if you happen to still be friends with any of those people, you see them maybe a handful of times a year – birthdays, holidays, maybe the odd night out for drinks. And it seems to only get more complicated when you add spouses and kids in the mix.
Adult friendships can be hard to maintain. Between crazy work schedules, family functions, and any other extracurricular activities going on, finding time to get together can seem almost impossible. But it’s not. And it doesn’t even have to be difficult.
If you live close to your friends (within 30-45 minutes apart), find a meeting spot in the middle of where you each live and make a point to meet up once a week or every two weeks to catch up on life or just be around each other. If you live further, but still can meet up somewhere, maybe get together on a slightly less frequent basis (driving an extra 30 minutes one way can be hard) so you can keep it on a set schedule but still enjoy time together. If you live in separate states, maybe take turns visiting each other, but don’t forget to consider any major life changes they’re going through. It’s hard traveling with a new baby or having money for a vacation if they’ve just gotten married or bought a house, so maybe you make a trip to them even if it’s “their turn”.
The thing is, if you have been friends with someone for a long time, and you genuinely care about that person and want to have them in your life, make an effort. If you notice that they go to your events and your functions, go to theirs, even if you don’t always feel like it. Adulthood is filled with doing things we don’t always feel like doing and going to a dinner for a few hours is simple when it means being there for your friends. On the flip side of that, don’t beat yourself up if all you can do to maintain your friendship is meeting up for coffee once every few months. I have plenty of friends I can see every few months and when we get together, it’s like no time has passed. We catch up over text every now and then, but when we finally sit down together, we can spend hours talking.
Those are the kinds of friendships worth maintaining. If you’re lucky, you get to see your best friend at least once a week and their babies start to recognize you and let you hold them and play with them (when they cry for almost anyone else) or even once a month and the pictures on your phone that used to be of the two of you or selfies are now overtaken by pictures of their kids because you love them all so much.
Adult friendships can be hard. But they don’t have to be.