I think we have all been in this situation: you graduate from university, move for your job, you are the only single girl in your group or the first one to get married. It can be isolating and feel lonely, right? I have been through all of this as well. I have maintained friendships with my friends from Kindergarten, I have made new friends, but I also had to let some friendships go. Let me share my experience with you.
Real friendships survive
Just because things are changing, it does not mean that your friendship is over. Maybe your best friend is in a relationship now and does not have time every weekend to party like crazy with you. However, the real friends will make times for each other and if that means only partying together every three weeks, you can still enjoy a great time together. I realized that I do not have to see my real friends every day. Even if you have not seen each other in months, it will feel as if you have never been apart.
It is easy to get caught up in our daily lives and jobs and forget to text or call our friends. Sometimes, a brief text asking how your friend is and what is going on in their life works wonders. It is so simple but probably also your friend is really busy and just needed a brief reminder that you are still there for her/him.
Agree on a “jour fixe”
“Jour fixe” means that you agree on certain days where you meet up with your friends. One of my friends and I have a monthly jour fixe and meet every second Monday of the month. It makes planning much easier and ensures that you are not getting lost in your daily life and forget about your friends. I often pair this with an activity such as gym dates.
It is really easy to keep in touch
Even if you move to the other side of the world, it does not mean that your friendships are over. There are so many services – Whatsapp, Skype, Facetime and many more which allow you to keep in touch for free. Make use of them! When I am in a different time zone, I usually plan telephone dates ahead for the weekends. Another thing I do is call from Asia to Europe when I have my lunch break and my friend is on her way to work in the morning.
Be open for new friends
I have moved a lot the past couple of years. Therefore, I learned to be open and go out to events on my own and give new friends a chance too. Whether you are moving or you just feel that some of your old friends have developed in a different direction, be open-minded and join some clubs and be proactive. I have met people where it immediately clicked and made very good friends – even though they might not be the oldest friends.
Be ready to let some friendships go
It is very tough, but sometimes it is better to let some friendships go. I have held on to a few of what I thought were friends and I realized that they were not anymore – we did not share the same interests anymore, we just drifted apart and sometimes I had the feeling that they only shared negative energy with me. If this really happens, you need to be pragmatic and honest with yourself – is this person really a friend? Do they only go through a bad phase or is it a permanent change? If it is the latter, you should reconsider this relationship.
How did you maintain your friendships and what did you do in more difficult phases? Let me know, I look forward to hear about your experience!