As we continue navigating adulthood, it can feel challenging to maintain adult friendships. With the focus centering on our family, careers and self-care, it’s easy for friendships to take a backseat. However, these connections are essential for our wellbeing and for our mental health. Friendships provide support, comfort, and joy. In this blog, I’m sharing 6 keys to maintaining adult relationships.
As I’ve been meeting new people this year, one thing I’ve heard multiple times is how hard it is to make friends as an adult. From a curious space, as I asked more questions I’ve found that they weren’t even putting much effort into it to begin with. I’m learning that typically people who find it to be difficult are the ones that are afraid of putting themselves out there. It takes effort and courage to make new friends…and to maintain friendships too.
Last year, I’ve realized how important friendships are to me. During my long term relationship I unintentionally allowed my friendships to decline. By the time I ended the relationship, I felt the loneliest ever and that was due to a lack of friends. So the realization of the importance of community and friendships hit me hard after the breakup.
One of my intentions for this year was to create a network of likeminded amigas in my city. As the year is coming to an end, I’m humbled and happy to say that I’ve created my circle. It took intention but also effort. I put myself out there not just by attending in person meetups and networking events but also by being open and vulnerable online. All of this created the beautiful friendships I have today. Now I’m here to share some ways to maintain adult friendships.
Quality over quantity
One of the first keys to maintaining adult friendships is focusing on having quality over quantity. Life happens and everyone gets wrapped up in their daily routines. Therefore, having a smaller amount of deep friendships goes a long way. Having one on one connections with friends is healing to the soul. You don’t need a large amount of friendships to fill this need. If anything, having too many friends can be harder to manage with the quality diminishing from the lack of attention.
Another key to maintaining adult friendships is to embrace vulnerability. It is safe to be seen and heard by others. When you meet other adults you resonate with, it’s okay to open up and be your true self with them. This doesn’t mean to just share the happy and positive moments. Friendships thrive on authenticity so make sure to share your struggles too. Chances are, they’ll be able to relate in one way or another and it will feel like a relief to let out your thoughts. Vulnerability strengthens relationships so be yourself around your friends.
Make the time
The next key is to make the time for your adult friendships. It is easy to get wrapped up with life’s demands while time continues passing by. Therefore, it is essential to be intentional about making time for your friends. Some ways to do this are by scheduling regular check-ins. Dedicate some time out of your busy schedule to call or message a friend as often as you see fit.
If calling or messaging is difficult for you, then schedule a monthly meet up in person, if possible. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, although you could go that route but a simple coffee catchup works just as well. Other ideas are to create shared events or sync calendars if that makes it easier. Communication is key when it comes to cultivating friendships so make the time to speak and/or see your friends as much as you can.
As mentioned previously, “life happens” so it’s important to embrace flexibility in friendships, especially as circumstances change. New romantic relationships, career changes, and family responsibilities are some reasons for friends’ priorities. The best thing you can do is to be as understanding as possible throughout these changes.
Adapting to changing circumstances simply evolves the friendships which can in turn strengthen it too. By simply acknowledging the change and being willing to adapt, it can preserve and deepen your adult relationships. I know for me, I’ve moved around throughout my life yet still have managed to maintain friendships from my childhood. I attribute it to being understanding and flexible of our life paths.
Explore shared interests
Another key to maintaining adult friendships is to explore shared hobbies and interests. You can have friends you share different interests with. For instance, you can have hiking buddies that you go on trips with every so often. You can have book club friends that you read and discuss books with, etc. Sharing a shared passion can foster an ongoing connection.
This is a great way to make new friends as an adult btw. Consider trying new activities such as joining a book club, going to fitness classes, attending meetups, etc. That is how I’ve met most of my friends this past year. You then have the opportunity to introduce friends to each other, creating a friend group if you feel they have common interests too.
Prioritize long distance friendships too
As mentioned previously, friendships can evolve due to life’s demands and changing circumstances. Chances are, some friends can move away but that doesn’t mean the friendship needs to end. You can maintain your connections using technology. Similar to making time for friends in person, you can do this virtually as well. Schedule virtual coffee catch ups or video chats. You can also have virtual game nights. What matters most is being intentional about maintaining the friendship regardless of geographical boundaries.
One final thought I have about maintaining adult friendships is that it doesn’t have to be difficult. It comes down to your mindset around it. I’ve heard clients and acquaintances complain about how hard it is to make friends as adults but after going deeper, I find out they don’t put any effort into making or maintaining friends at all. So if the desire to have meaningful friendships is there, then you’ll have them with the right intentions and effort.
If you’re looking for support with any of this, I have space for 2 private coaching clients so book your consultation call here. Feel free to DM me on Instagram at any time with questions or feedback. And finally, make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you never miss a blog post or other things I’m up to! Thank you for reading!
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