From childhood through college we were lucky to be surrounded by people our age. That’s likely how we formed friendships. School was the driving force behind all of our friendships. Easily finding people who had the same interests, passions, and hobbies. Then all of a sudden, you graduated college and hit a wall. All your friends moved around the country, possibly the world. And immediately you found yourself struggling with keeping and even making friendships.
Bottom line- friendships get harder as we get older. Below are just a few ways that I’ve noticed various friendships change.
1. Marriage, babies, oh my.
Married couples don’t spend all their time together, but they spend a lot of time together. Guys can still go out for drinks and watch a game while girls can get together for brunch and mimosas. Time apart from your significant other is important and healthy. But kids, they completely shift the friendship dynamic.
When kids are young, they need attention 24/7. Oftentimes, moms befriend other moms. It’s easier. They understand their new lives better than the single girl whose still hooking up with the guy she met at the bar the night before.
2. Co-workers are not always lasting friends.
We spend most of our time at work. We see the same people everyday. And some of us are lucky enough to work with some people that we get along with. People that we can go to lunch with. That we can share personal stories with. Get advice from. It’s easy to become close with your co-workers. But what happens once one of you leaves the workplace? Those relationships inevitably drift apart. For instance, you may move to a new city leaving behind all your workplace friends. On the flip side, you leave and replace your old co-workers with a new set. And then all the crazy news of that old office drama fades, eventually you just stop caring about the old office and the people there.
3. Making friends as a couple beats making friends solo.
Being part of a couple is best when making friends as an adult. It can also add a lot to your relationship. And yet, it can also be very tricky. Just because you may get along with someone does not mean that your partner will see things the same way.
Basically, making friends as a couple requires both parties to say how they feel about potential friendships. It’s complicated, indeed. But the rewards of sharing couple stories, having someone who understands what it’s like to be a couple, is totally worth the effort.
On the flip side, being single and making new friends is hard. At a certain point in your 20’s, going to clubs and bars just isn’t fun anymore. After a long day of work the last thing single people want is to go out and put effort into making relationships. We just want to crawl into our comfiest jammies, cue the Netflix, and legit chill.
4. The longest of friendships may fade.
Those people you’ve been friends with since grade school, they move on with their lives. They may move to a different state or even a new city farther away. You may begin to feel like those people you’ve known for years, you no longer know them at all. You simply won’t feel as close to certain people as you once did. You will still love them and want to hang out with them, but life is likely to get in the way, distance becomes an evil fact that allows friendships to start fading away.
On the flip side, you may meet someone for ten minutes and feel like they just “get” you. A soulmate friendship of sorts.
5. Making friends becomes difficult.
Making new friends as an adult is hard work. It’s not as easy as it once was when we were in school. Honestly, think about the last time you made a new friend? Was it a co-worker? I know it was for me.
Calling or texting our friends becomes more of a priority to keep the friendship fresh. But, it’s very easy to forget. Life happens. Schedules are difficult to coordinate.
As life becomes increasingly hectic, it inevitably becomes more difficult to find time for our current friendships, to keep them alive and fresh. Even if you talk to your friends a few times a month or even a few times every few months, it’s okay. While these relationships will change and evolve, it’s the little effort that we put into them that keeps them fresh and alive. I know I have one friend who I can always count on to be there when I need to vent. Find what friendship means to you. Whatever is means, recognize that it may be different for others. And it’s most likely completely different than how it was in childhood. That’s the difference between friendships in childhood versus adulthood. You don’t see your friends as often. The dynamics inevitabley change. Just like we used to play with dolls as children with our friends. Now, we schedule dinner dates after work to squeeze in just an hour to chat with a girlfriend.
Now, I’d love to hear from all of you. Have you noticed your own friendships changing? If so, could you relate to any of the above? Please share all your comments and feedback below. As always, I love hearing from all of you dear readers!