Growing up comes with a lot of different challenges. One of which being once you’re out of college and it’s time to learn how to juggle your new career, family time, relationships, friendships, having a social life, and still sneaking in the “me” time you should have every now and then.
Through these changes you may find that some relationships will drift and others will be tested…all the while having some never change. This is one of the hardest things to cope with because growing up, friends are such a major part of your life that you almost can’t picture it without them. You try new styles together, share your deepest secrets and dreams together and you support each other through it all. These are the people you talk to when you don’t know how to handle your parents or siblings, when you have relationship problems with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and the people that never judge you because they love you faults and all. So when you start to run in to a little thing called adult “life”, you find yourself reminiscing on how things used to be. When your friends were just a short distance away and you could count on them for anything. It’s then that you start to realize what friendships will stay and what friendships will go. It’s a sad process to go through to feel like you might lose a friend that has been such a major part of your life for so many years. So how do you deal with this? First, there’s a few things you have to think of. Is this person still a positive person to have in your life? Are they still uplifting and supportive? If not, you might have to reevaluate the friendship and if it’s even healthy to still be connected to this person. You also have to think about whether or not this person is trying to keep the friendship alive…do you both want to keep the relationship going? You see… most people maintain their family relationships due to just that…being family & you love them and everyone wants to take care of their personal romantic relationships because you love the person. So why not take care of your friendships? The people need attention and support just like your other relationships.
When you run in to a time where you might have that first fall out because of all the changes going on, don’t jump right in and start fighting with your friend. Sit back and think about what’s going on first. Decide between the two descriptions we talked about above & move forward from there. Consult a family member or your significant other if you feel you need extra support. Once you feel ready to confront your friend, do it in a neutral environment. If you can meet, make sure you are both ready and willing to talk things through. If you don’t have the ability to meet face to face, write out an email first. Yes…we’re back to writing things out again! This will give you the opportunity to clearly state your point of view without interruptions. This will also allow your friend to respond the way they need to. Once you both have received the emails, make a time to talk on the phone or meet face to face. This will be the next step in the process of mending the relationship. You both need to understand where the other one is coming from and realize that although things may be different, you still want to have that friendship you’ve cherished for so long.
Another part in the process of growing up and accepting change..is accepting your friends new life. As you get older, you start to form your own family and your own life in general and that may be different from that of you friends. This is OK… you do not need to be on the exact same path as each other. Let your friend know you support him/her and that you want nothing but the best for them. This is important because you want to let your friends know you are still there for them no matter what… even if you’re not living the same life or even living in the same city. Another thing that is KEY is keeping the relationship alive is making sure you BOTH contact each other on a regular basis. People get busy and consumed in their own lives and one person is always expecting the other to call or email and then it ends up that no one does. Don’t always wait to hear from your friend…call or email them first. Text just to say hi, I was thinking about you! Something as simple as that will let your friend know that you’re still there.
Nothing is worse than losing a good friend, and as we all know good friends are hard to come by just as most good things are in life. So cherish the times you have with the ones you love and treat all your relationships with as much importance as you would want someone to treat you.