When you grow up, friendships become complicated. No more walking up to someone in the playground, sharing your cheese string and being BFF’s forever. Oh no. When you grow up, things get complicated.
Keeping up and maintaining friendships in your 20’s (or older) takes work. Your 20’s are when you truly realise who you real friends are, and who was only along for the ride when it was easy. It can be difficult, it can be heart-breaking and it can be a bloody big wake up call. So to help you out a little, I thought that I would share the things that I have learnt about friendships from growing up.
Quality over Quantity
I think we can all agree that growing up, we cared about how MANY friends we had more than how DEEP the friendship was. At least I know I did. I didn’t necessarily want to be popular, but I did want to have a lot of friends. 13-year-old me was obsessed with getting that ‘friend’ number on Facebook up, yet here I am now as a 20-year-old with 1300 Facebook friends who I couldn’t even tell you who they are. The amount of times someone pops up on my feed and I think ‘urm okay who is this?’
My point is, when you grow up your priorities change. I wouldn’t be bothered now if I only had 3 friends on Facebook, as long as I know they are deep, legitimate and strong friendships.
When you get older you realise how important it is to have people you can rely on, people who will stand by your side and people who would do absolutely anything for you. Those kind of friendships are much better than having 1000 people who barely know your last name, don’t you think?
Fall Outs Happen
It sounds odd but I always thought that when I got older, I wouldn’t have fallings out. I thought that we would all be these cool adults, drinking gin and tonics and forever getting on. But that really is not a reality.
In truth, fall outs happen and they can be pretty ugly. The main thing to remember is that you are probably fighting because you love each other and feel so passionately about it. So give yourself some time and kiss and make up- sometimes a fight makes the relationship stronger.
Just because you haven’t seen on another in 6 months, doesn’t mean you’re not still friends.
I see soooo many comments about how ‘if you aint seen me in 6 months we aint friends’ and I couldn’t disagree with that thought process anymore! Being an adult is a lot of work. You have a lot of plates spinning in the air, heck you may have even moved away from your old friends. Just because its been a while since you last saw each other/ spoke/ check in, doesn’t mean they are your foe. It doesn’t mean that they don’t value your friendship and it doesn’t mean that they haven’t thought about you in that whole time.
My best friends I sometimes don’t see for months on end, but when I do see them, nothing has changed. We laugh and catch up and talk as if we saw each other only yesterday.
There is such a misconception that you have to speak every day to consider yourself friends, which couldn’t be more false.
Spending time or distance apart should make no difference to your friendship, it’s what happens when you come back together again that shows you how much you both care for each other.
One Sided Friendships Suck
It has taken me so unbelievably long to figure out how one-sided some of my friendships were. I would always be going to visit them, arranging plans and checking in… only to be met with a brick wall. It’s hard when you care about someone to acknowledge the fact that they just don’t care about you in the same way.
For me, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when I travelled 4 hours (and a hella expensive train ticket) for a friend for her birthday, and she wouldn’t even come out for a drink for mine. It stung, it really stung. But it was quite a wakeup call and made me realise the important things about friendships, you know like showing up for someone’s birthday.
Breaking up Sucks
Sometimes friendship break ups are harder than romantic ones. You shared so many moments and so many amazing memories with that person. You invested so much time into them that it feels like it was all for nothing.
But if the relationship is not giving you anything positive, or any form of happiness then a breakup in inevitable. Give yourself time to mourn, and treat it like any other breakup- cry, eat a tonne of ice cream and phone your mamma crying. Do whatever it is you have to do to make yourself feel better. I promise it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Adult friendships are hard work. They require effort and time and money and a hell of a lot of investment. But hey, if they are the right friend for you then it’ll be all the more worth it!