I’m not going to sugarcoat it.  Making and maintaining friends as an adult is hard.  Very hard.

With that, I’m going to put it all out there and be a little vulnerable with today’s post.  I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately given that we have yet another big move on the horizon.

Let’s put childhood friendships on the back burner today and fast forward to our early to mid-twenties.  Personally, I found it fairly easy to make and maintain friends at this age.  A lot of this can be attributed to similar interests/life situations and constant contact with specific groups of people.  The odds of finding/being surrounded by good people were always in your favor.

Here’s my story.  Seven months after graduating college, I moved 50 miles south to the big city of Atlanta.  I lived with one of my best friends, lived near lots of other close friends, and met awesome people quite often.  We would go out to eat together, go out dancing together together, and generally, spend a lot of time together.  It was so simple.

Now that I’m in my 30s, I find that making friends is much harder.  Putting our moves aside, meeting people who share similar interests and who are in the same phase of life is a difficult task.  And to make things just a tad trickier, I’m also throwing a need for similar values on the table.

Maybe it’s just me, but everything feels like a balancing act right now – husband, work, family, personal time, and friends.  On top of that, with our time being so limited,  I want to ensure we are spending it with the “right” people (not saying this is the best approach but I look for that instant spark/connection when meeting people now!).  With every year that passes, I’m becoming pickier and pickier about who gets my time.

Jane Austen friendship quote

As I already mentioned, maintaining friendships in my early to mid-twenties was easier too.  Not only did I live near most of my friends, but my responsibilities at that time could be summed up in one short sentence – pay rent and bills on time.  Time just wasn’t an issue back then.

Nowadays, maintaining old friendship as well as new ones takes a lot of effort.  Specifically in the case of old friends, it’s hard because we now live all over the country. In some cases, the effort is well worth it (phone calls, texts, FaceTime, emails, visits), and in others…not so much! This piece of the puzzle brings me lot angst because in the past few years I’ve actually phase out some friendships that meant a lot to me at one point. The main reason for this is that I didn’t feel like the other person was putting in as much effort as I was.  Or in some cases, we both stopped putting in the effort and the relationship just fizzled out. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that not all friendships are built to last and that’s ok.

What I’m having an even harder time coming to terms with are the friendships that are put on hold because of uncontrollable life changes/events.  This one often brings me to tears, but I’m hoping that with time these people come back into my life…and soon.

Over the years, and more so recently, I’ve learned that just because you were very close to people in the past doesn’t mean you will stay or have to stay just as close in the future.  People change and so do friendships, and again, that’s normal…and ok.  Another hard lesson for me because I want to stay close with everyone.  On the flip side, I have a couple of close friends now who weren’t a huge part of my life in the past but now they’re very important to me!

Three type of friends friendship quote

And don’t get me wrong.  I still have lots of friends in my life that I’ve known for 10+ years.  I never feel disconnected from them regardless of how busy and crazy life gets.  With these select people, I always pick up where I left off.  Even if a whole year has passed.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Once in a lifetime kind of people friendship quote

I’m not quite sure I ended up where I wanted to with this post.  All I know is that at the end of my adult day, I want people in my life who get me – the real me.  The me who loves deep conversations.  The me who loves fancy meals out but would equally be as happy with take-out pizza.  The me who, above all else, loves shared laughter.

With that, have a wonderful Friday and an even better Saturday and Sunday!  And thanks for reading my rambles!  🙂

By Parita

24 thoughts on “Making and Maintaining Friends as an Adult”
  1. I could relate to every word of yours 🙂 I moved ten thousand miles away and my friends are all over the world with each doing their own thing. Yes I still have friends with whom I pick up where I left off but very few close (in distance).But maintaining is certainly an effort that puts us through various emotions. It is so hard to find friends after a certain point and partly because even we evolve/grow up and have our own priorities and preferences. I do find blogging as a way to make new friends because we get to know a person through their writing and connect with like minded people.

    1. Your story reminds me of my parents. They left everything behind in India when they came to the US. My mom was saying how it’s much easier now to keep up with friends now, especially since my sister and I are on our own. And you’re right, blogging is a wonderful way to make new friends with similar interests. MIS has definitely helped me over the years in this regards!!

  2. I feel you. I made peace with the fact that I will have fewer friends moving forward and there is nothing I can do about it. What seems worse (for me) tho’ is that even my family lives miles away which means I have to be my best friend and sometimes my only confidant. However I have come to love like as it is now though. I will tweet you this article that I read some months back and really liked.

    P.S. I will come visit you in Chicago someday 😉

    ∞ © tanvii.com ∞
    Tanvi recently posted…Sweet ConfessionsMy Profile

    1. Loved the article you tweeted! So true.

      I think we should all learn to be our own best friend…it’s so important because you never know what curve ball life is going to throw your way. And the only person who will be there with you/for you is YOU. 🙂

      And you MUST come visit us in Chicago!

  3. Hi Parita, I just stumbled upon your blog and I have to say that I really resonate with this post. I just got married 4 months ago and moved to a new state and making new friends has been so touch. In fact, I still haven’t made new friends of my own here. In the beginning, I felt hopeless, but now I realize that I just don’t have those networks that I had when I was a student so I will have to be a little creative. Then, there’s the fact of how to best maintain my old friendships. It’s weird to reflect on which friendships lasted and which ones didn’t… some of my closest friends at the moment are actually some of my newest friends. I guess it goes to show how much we change and that’s okay. It was great to hear from someone else who feels the same way! 🙂

    1. I totally get it! When we got married four years ago, I moved to S. Florida and knew no one! It was really tough because my husband was still in school at the time and always studying. Our first year of marriage really taught me how to love my own company! Something that helped me was joining volunteer organisations…maybe look into ones in your city and see if you can get involved.

      And thank you for your comment! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. 🙂

  4. So true! Once college and grad school was over, and you get a few years into your career, it’s really tough! I was just talking to a friend the other day about this and we ere like “How do you make friends now?!”. I meet people in the gym and they seem cool, like one girl I talk to, she seems to be very similar and would be a good friend, but how in the world do you ask someone to hang out. It just seems awkward… oh well, I need to get over that :).

    1. Exactly! I often don’t know how to take it from that casual relationship to the next level where you actually make plans. What’s helped me in the past is thinking, “What do I have to lose?”

  5. This rings so true for me too! I have also found that being pickier about who I spend my time (and energy) with makes that time so much more meaningful and precious. And rewarding! I loved all the relationships I had in my twenties but think I have a deeper appreciation for, and need of, people who really get me and love me 🙂

    1. Exactly! I don’t regret any of the relationships I’ve had, but I definitely feel more strongly about those where I felt understood. Also, I’m definitely okay with only having a few people who get me now versus the herd I needed in the past. Makes the time/energy thing a lot easier!

  6. You’re in a very transitional time in your life. It will definitely get easier once the two of you settle down in a more permanent way. I’ve met quite a few amazing people as we went through a similar stage in life. Some of them your heart immediately feels at home with (you are one of them) and it is hard when you leave. Just enjoy the adventure and try to enjoy your own company too. Nobody else gets your jokes like you do and nobody else is always in the mood for whatever you feel like doing.

    1. Thanks for always sharing your thoughts with me! It helps to hear from people who’ve been there and know exactly what it’s like. I plan to enjoy this season in our life to the fullest!

  7. I completely and totally agree- it is very difficult to maintain long distance friendships or even local ones at times and when the other person does not put in as much effort- it becomes more difficult and fades. But I do agree that it doesn’t mean that they didn’t have a significant impact on your life at one point!

    1. You’re so right! Every relationship we’ve had has shaped us to some degree, so we should be thankful for each one!

    1. I really enjoyed this article, Gayathri! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      I think the city you live in determines to what degree you can take the actions the author outlines. With Chicago being our next home, I plan to use some of her tips, especially the one about joining a Facebook/Meet Up group.

  8. Parita you’re so right! I often think about how my friendships have changed over the years and this post of yours captures the reasons so well!

  9. Spot on Parita! I completely resonate with this article. Friendships are such an important part of our lives. Wait until you have kids and you have to make friends with ur kids friends parents!!
    For a long time and I think even now at times, I can’t make peace with why some friendships didn’t last or why they fizzled out..i guess we move on and welcome other friends into our lives..
    Gia recently posted…5 Steps to Set Yourself Up For Success At A New JobMy Profile

  10. Yes to all of this! I often get really frustrated because I feel misunderstood by certain friends, but those few who really “get” me and who I can go deep with make me so happy. Those are the relationships I’ve been focusing on the past couple of years and while I don’t have a ton of close friendships, the ones I have are the best. Great post, girl!
    Kacy recently posted…New Spring Creations at Dolci GelatiMy Profile

  11. This is a completely relatable post! I am at the point where I need to seriously consider whether or not I want to maintain certain friendships from my past mainly for the same reasons you pointed out above (i.e. the effort is only one-sided). It doesn’t mean that they aren’t good people, but our time as “close friends” has finally came to an end. I am still a better person for having met them earlier in my life, though.

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