One of the biggest mistakes that we can make in friendships is believing that they will stay the same forever. Life, especially in our 20s, brings constant change and evolution.
We land dream jobs that take us to new cities, fall in love and enter into committed relationships, and sometimes just grow out of our old selves.
And with all of this change comes possible change in our friendships. Even if we’ve had the same best friends since middle school, it’s important to understand that as we evolve in our lives, we can evolve in our friendships too.
Sometimes we try to resist this. We try to force our friends into what they used to be, into what our friendships used to look like. This struggle, although totally common and understandable, is usually caused by a fear of change within us.
In high school and college, it was so easy to maintain friendships. We saw our friends every day, had classes with them, did homework together, participated in the same activities. But as we get older, life sometimes takes us separate ways. And that can be scary!
If one of our friends gets married and settles down with their spouse, we might panic that we see them less often. If a friend moves to another city to start a new career, we might freak out at the thought of a long-distance friendship.
But what if we could embrace these changes? What if we could let go of the tight grip we have on our friendships and allow them to grow and evolve?
If these are some of the questions you want to try applying to your life, we’ve put together a few tips on how to embrace your changing friendships.
Acknowledge your fears
Okay, so you find yourself with a best friend who just got married to the love of her life. You couldn’t be happier for the two of them, but it hits you one night that you guys won’t be able to spend as much time together as you’re used to.
You start to panic, thinking “what if we drift apart, what if she forgets about me?” But it’s important to stop and think for a second. Your friendship is going to look different from now on, but it doesn’t have to be of any lesser value than it was before, and it definitely doesn’t have to end.
Communicate in an open and honest way
Once you’ve acknowledged your fears to yourself (and acknowledged that they’re exactly that and nothing more), try being honest with your friend. Make sure she knows how much you love and value her, and always make sure you don’t put any blame on her for her situation.
After all, you’re extremely happy for her, you just want to have open dialogue about the ways in which your friendship can move forward and evolve.
Embrace the change and make a plan!
This is the fun part. Once you’ve acknowledged to yourself AND to your friend that you’d like your friendship to continue growing and changing, make some fun plans for adapting!
If your friendship is newly long distance, set up FaceTime dates on a weekly basis. For example, you can make it even more fun by planning a “coffee FaceTime” date on Tuesday mornings where you both make coffee and sip on it during your convo. You’ll feel like you’re basically in the same town, meeting at your favorite spot!
Is your friend settling down with a loved one or a newborn baby, and you’re worried you’ll have less time together? That is okay, and totally normal! Try different apps like Voxer. Voxer is a free walkie talkie app for your phone that allows you to leave up to 15 minutes of voice memos to your friends! They can listen, pause, or rewind anytime they want!
Another fun app for busy gals is Marco Polo. This is also set up walkie talkie style, but with videos instead! You guys can even add funny voices, messages, and cool backgrounds to your videos.
So let’s face it: change can be terrifying, and life is always going to throw change our way. But when it comes to the friendships you care about, change doesn’t have to get in the way.
Do you have any extra tips for evolving friendships? Let us know in the comments section below!