Life happens so fast and it’s very common that relationships change in different stages. Friendships rank at the bottom of lifelong bonds, compared to the family and romantic ones but oddly enough, friendships are the hardest to maintain. These friendships we choose to enter lack a certain structure and as we grow older, maintaining these relationships become more and more complicated.
It’s no secret that people mature at different rates but your friendships shouldn’t be compromised because of this. Making childhood friends is easy because we’re less likely to judge the next person and more inclined to meet new people. As you reach a certain point in your life where you may relocate, change careers, get married or have children, it’s important to remember those who were there for you through each stage. Here’s a few tips on how to create and maintain lifelong friendships.
- Set time aside – A text or Instagram message takes 30 seconds to send, especially to someone who has crossed your mind. Our lives become so busy and some people don’t realize that time is something we can never get back. Let go of the narrative that everyone should reach out to you. A friendship is a two way street!
- Be generous – Celebrate the small and big wins of your friends, near and far. Mail a card with a hand written note, or if you’re in the same area as your friends, offer to take them for coffee or drinks. Generosity does not have to be expensive! But by all means, break the bank if you really love the person and they’d do the same for you.
- Always be intentional – Things happen where we can’t give ourselves to others 100%, instead of making empty promises, share your feelings with your friends and be transparent about where you are mentally in that moment. “I’ve had a long week, can we chat some other time?” or “I’d love to talk but right now I am in need of some alone time”. Ghosting friends or ignoring them ultimately leads to an imbalance in the friendship where now trust is questioned and they may not feel as though you value them the way they do you!
All is all, friendships are imperative in life. The other we get and the more things we acquire, the harder it is to find a balance with those who may not experiencing those things at the same time as you. Give your friends grace like you would want for you.