We’re all busy people! From work and career goals to family and household obligations, chances are, your schedule is packed. And while this can be a wonderful thing, having such a full load makes it hard to keep your friendships strong.
At the end of the day, relationships are important—whether romantic, familial, or platonic. Although there is a misconception that adulthood and the transition to starting your ‘real’ life often comes with shedding old relationships, this doesn’t have to be the case! By being intentional, carving time, and investing in your relationships, you can keep your friendships strong over time, distance, or other obstacles.
The Importance of Platonic Friendships
Friends are more than just people you happen to spend time with. While childhood relationships are often focused on proximity, play, and similar interests, adult relationships are more profound and are often developed during specific stages of your life/journey. It may be true that as you get older your ‘number’ of friends drops. . . but this doesn’t mean that friendships are harder to come by or that you ‘lose’ people. It simply means that as your life is shifting, so are the people around you. (And this is a good thing!)
As you shift, your friends shift, too. You create new relationships based on your interests, your goals, and your stage in life. These intentional friendships can, in return, help you to sustain a positive lifestyle, strengthen your emotional wellbeing, and build your confidence.
Finding and Maintaining Friendships
So, how can you find and maintain these important social connections?
Finding Friendships: One way to find new friends is to be open to meeting new people. You can do this by finding local meetups of like-minded people (for example hiking groups, walking clubs, or even parenting Facebook groups!). Here, you can easily meet other people around your age or with similar interests to you.
Maintaining Friendships: Whether you’ve made new friends as an adult or you’re trying to hold on to an old friend, one of the best ways to keep your friendships strong is to make time. Carve out a block of time in your schedule and be intentional about what you’re doing together. If your friends don’t live in proximity, take steps to plan ahead for small trips or meetups throughout the year. Or, in the very least, schedule group calls/video chats to keep in touch.
Why Friendships Matter
Friendships (and relationships in general) are such a core component of our humanness. As we learn to work with one another, communicate, share our perspectives, and grow, finding people who are willing to grow alongside us is not only refreshing and empowering, it’s a reminder that despite our differences we are so very similar! (And we need each other!)