What is life without friends? Especially those whom we have known forever. The friends you grow up with are for life. But life itself can get so hectic and messy at times that maintaining contact with them can be a task.
There was once a time when you were inseparable from them. Now the same group of friends finds it tricky to arrange a meet-up. Such are the pains of adulthood, but that is no reason not to give your best efforts to stay in touch.
Even though social media has made it easier to keep track of what’s happening in your friends’ lives and stay connected, nothing can replace those good old days when you hung out so often. But, life moves on, and our priorities tend to shift. From hanging out with our friends all the time to struggling to plan one meet-up, adulthood sneaks up on us. But our friends are an integral part of our life, and maintaining connection is our responsibility. Besides, having some solid friendships in your life is more beneficial than you can imagine. So many new people will come and go, but the old bonds remain.
There are mental benefits to having friends who knew you before you became a mature adult. They are the ones that bring out the child in you, making your life a tad less stressful. They helped you shape who you are, and now they assist you to maintain that stability. Childhood friends are experts at knowing when you are exhausted with life and need some cheering up. Did you know, according to some pieces of research, that people who tend to spend more time with their friends have fewer physical and mental health issues?
Maybe the physical distance between you two, or just the daily chore of life, has put some space between you and your friend, but that is definitely not the end of this remarkable bond. We have curated a list of measures you can take to preserve these relationships in life.
#1 Meet Up As Frequently As Possible
This one is a no-brainer, but sometimes people need a reminder. And this is possibly the most arduous measure for an adult to keep in touch with friends. This is where you will have to put in the effort. If you are within reasonable traveling distance, try to meet up at least once a month. They are just as important as the other relationships in your life.
If you live in different cities, it’s high time you start saving up and looking into cheaper travel options. If you don’t make a conscious effort to save your friendship, one fine day, you will find yourself sans one childhood friend. Meeting them at least twice a year should be on your list of mandatory things. Yes, you two text and video call all the time, but there is no substitute for spending time in person.
#2 Plan Occasional Getaway
With all the milestones you have been achieving, and the crazy schedules, it is okay to fall off the friendship wagon once in a while. But getting back on the saddle is also your job. It has been a common trend among people to start losing friends from the age of 25. Life creeps in.
There is nothing wrong with losing touch, but if you want to maintain the bond taking proactive steps is the only way to go. One such action would be to plan occasional getaways with your buddies. You must have some holidays. Instead of spending them at home, mostly sleeping in or cleaning up, take the time to rekindle old friendships. Coordinate the dates, the place you both would like to visit, and some like activities you will enjoy, and confirm all of the bookings right away.
A trip together will ensure that you spend as much time possible with your friend, just like in the old days. While you could not give them time or attention for so long, this is your chance to redeem yourself. Make the trip all about friendship; that means no work or family talks. Relive the childhood that we all crave. Catch up on the time that you two have missed out.
#3 A text can do the trick
While it is encouraged to make time to meet in person, life and work do not always permit the same. In times like these, a simple text can suffice. The goal is to make your childhood friend feel wanted and involved in the life which had once created a distance between the two of you. The idea is to bury the fallouts under the rug and move past them to build a better bond.
The first step of reconnecting or staying in touch is to press the send button. Even if you are giving them a simple life update or asking them about theirs, it helps make them feel like a part of your life, even though you guys stay far away or don’t get to catch up so often.
If you are wondering what to text your friend, there are a few fool-proof messages that will get the conversation flowing. Do you have a crush on someone? Tell your friend about it. Nothing gets a conversation rolling more than discussing your Lady Love or Prince Charming. How about telling them the recent life updates? Did you have a promotion or commotion at work, break up or patch up, got hit on recently, or maybe thinking of shifting houses? These all seem like perfect topics to discuss with a childhood friend. And perhaps you can also use their insight into the matter.
#4 Nostalgia Helps with Stronger Bonds
Remember the first day of school and how you met your best friend in the world during lunch break? The first heartbreak when you cried on their shoulders? Or the time you both lied to your parents to watch a movie? Those memories you shared have defined your friendship and shaped it into what it is today. Lean on to it, and let it help you boost your relationship.
From flipping through your old photo albums to finding out those junk from the days gone, there are a lot of activities two friends can do together that will bring them even closer, and all are based on shared nostalgia. You’ll notice that the things you did together in the past are not as cool as you once thought, but they still remain the undefeated champion of the best days of your life. You will find yourself marveling at the level of stupidity you and your friend exhibited at one point in time and how good that felt.
#5 Address the Issues
Maintaining the bonds of friendship even when the odds are against the two of you requires you to be unafraid of having tricky conversations and addressing the real issues. The reason for the fallout or why you can’t give your friend as much time as they deserve is not always as simple as a hectic schedule. It might as well be because of your shift in priorities. And addressing that truth can be a tough pickle.
Or maybe there was a certain harmless discussion that led to a harmless argument, but that changed the dynamics of your relationship. You still hang out with and talk to them almost every day, but that friendship you once shared is just missing. The only way to get back to it is by addressing the problems causing this barrier. Having an open conversation is the only way to clear up any misunderstanding or unresolved issues. Harboring resentment in a friendship can do more harm than you can imagine today.
Of course, we understand the dilemmas of having such a conversation. It can be tricky, but if you tread lightly and have a kind and calm discussion, a lot of things can be resolved without further aggravating the matter at hand. And remember to keep the judgments aside!
Having said all of that, it is absolutely necessary to keep in mind that a friend that you are trying to hold on to might not want the same. It is okay to let go, and quite normal for some childhood friendships to not work out once you are a grown adults. Sometimes the reason can be the change in priorities, or maybe the two of you grew up to be much different. In that case, maintaining the same friendship you shared as a kid is not in their scheme of things; it is alright!
Accept that your feelings don’t need to be reciprocated at all times. Give them the space they need and expand your circle. As important as it is to keep in touch with your old friends, meeting new people should also be on your list.
There is no single special stunt to maintaining a friendship or getting back with a friend. You have to show up, put yourself out there and try to stay in touch. The friendships that have lasted through the test of time are to be treasured and saved at all costs!
Note : Image credit to unsplash.com