Remember when friendships were easy and all you had to do was show up at school to see them? Well now you’re an adult and have sailed beyond that point. You’ve entered a space where seeing someone requires meticulous planning and routine upkeep like your car. The good news is that there are a few tips to help you in maintaining friendships as an adult.
Communicate When Possible
For some reason there are times when we feel like we can only talk to someone in person. There will be gaps where no messages will be shared until someone sends that do you want to hang out text. This results in having weeks maybe months of information to catch up which can initially seem exciting, but it gets exhausting after a while. You’ll forget important things you wanted to share and will remember after the fact. An easy fix would be to talk when you can! Maybe you come across something that reminds you of them or you just tell them about the important thing when it happens. There is no rule that says you must put off talking until you’re face to face. This is one of the best ways of maintaining friendships.
Schedules Will Be A Nightmare
It is best to accept this fact upfront. Maybe you’ve both graduated and are living in different locations or attending different colleges. No matter what the case is, there are going to be times when your schedules just do not match up and that’s okay! Consider planning very far in advance or if you tend to be more available, leave options open for your friend and have them contact you when they’re free. If both of you give and take, it will make getting together a smooth reality. Both of you are trying to reach your goals and a busy schedule should not halt a friendship.
Acknowledge Those Milestones
Birthdays, holidays, and everything in between should be key parts of your adult friendship! Think back to when you would bring cupcakes to school for your best friend on their birthday just to make them feel special and bring that same enthusiasm to your adult accomplishments. Maybe your friend made it through a tough work meeting without breaking down or they aced that difficult final, celebrate them all! You may not be able to bring them cupcakes on all these occasions, but a meaningful message can be just as heartfelt.
Share the Ups and the Downs
In adult friendships there is a certain pressure to portray our lives in a positive only light. We feel like we’re supposed to be thriving and killing it in every aspect of our lives when this is not always the case. If you are trying to keep up this façade, your friend is going to pick up on it eventually. In these times of feeling overwhelmed or just stressed out, consider sharing them with your friend. It may even open a door to them feeling okay sharing their struggles and you will be able to support each other. It’s a great feeling to be able to share our accomplishments but it important to share the low points as well that way you can make it out to the other side. You want your adult friendship to be transparent on all sides.
Be Mindful of Budgets
If you are like me, you have friends in various professions. Some may be able to frequent fancy restaurants on a regular basis while others are using their entire paychecks to pay rent. With so many possibilities, it is important to be mindful of each other’s budget. If you want to go to an extravagant birthday dinner and your friend has been vocal about their current financial situation, consider adjusting your plans. Nothing is worse than feeling forced into spending money you don’t have to make your friend happy. We all come from different circumstances and this should always be considered.
Don’t Complicate Things
There will be days when it feels like making time for anyone is too much work, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Remember that you are friends and that you want each other to succeed! Maybe you won’t get to see each other every month but that doesn’t make the friendship any weaker. As an adult it is important to be honest about your current situation, whatever it may be, and if you do this your friendship will stay afloat.
May your schedules match up soon and your friendship bracelets be plentiful. What are your tips for maintaining friendships as an adult? How do you go about maintaining friendships? Tell us in the comments!
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Rebecca was born in Hayward, CA and still resides there today. She received her BA in English Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is the first in her family to graduate from university. She is a Poetry student in the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College of California and is furthering her involvement in the literary community. In her spare time, she likes to lose her voice at Giants games, read Young Adult novels, make lists, and aims to cross become a writer off it.