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.
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!
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.
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! 🙂