It’s all too easy to say, “I don’t have time.” Maybe work is more important, maybe school is taking all of your time, or maybe it’s everything else.
Responsibilities may be used as an excuse to not make time for friends. Some say that, “Adults don’t have friendships.” It may sound extreme, but there are people that truly believe this, and there are reasons why it seems true.
Life can pull us away from our friends, for multitudinous reasons. So, here are a few ways to overcome the challenges of maintaining and caring for adult friendships.
1. Take advantage of technology.
Technology always seems to have both positive and negative connotations. However, gone are the days of having to wait days (maybe months) as your letters were transported by land in a train or car.
Some of us can take advantage of the numerous apps and devices that are accessible to us 24/7. We can send texts, make phone calls, Skype or FaceTime. With all of this technology available, the excuse that there is no time becomes a bit invalidated.
Sending a text to a friend can take mere seconds, and sometimes, even a simple message can show your friend that not only are you there for them, but that the friendship is still important to you.
2. Accept that sometimes, there is no time available.
Yes, it can be an excuse to simply say that there is no time for friendships, but in this scenario, the key is to understand that everyone leads different lives. In order to maintain a friendship, it is important to accept this.
There will be instances when plans with a friend will simply not pan out or you may not be able to see one another for some time. However, this does not mean that you should give up on each another, or that either of you are just trying to get out of spending time together. When this happens, it is important to simply take a step back and look forward to the next time you will see your friend and do not feel slighted that your plans had not come into fruition.
Remember, everyone has likely had a time where they had to cancel on a friend, with no ill-meaning. Things happen, and it is not the end of the friendship.
3. Plan efficiently.
This goes hand in hand with the previous advice. Everyone leads different lives, so plan efficiently instead of planning ahead, because it is important not to plan too far ahead as unforeseen circumstances may present themselves.
In order to avoid last minute cancellations, plan efficiently. Plan for a time where you know you will all be free and that everyone can make sure their schedule is clear. Do not plan in advance where anything else can pop up (unless it is a sort of destination get-together, then of course, plan accordingly). But if you want to make time for friends, I suggest that you plan as efficiently as you can.
4. Quality time.
Speaking of a destination get-together, the type of time you spend with your friends can make a world of difference. Not to say that you need to have some type of extravagant get-togethers—unless that’s what you’re used to.
You can think about what brought you and your friends together. Spending time together doing what you love or celebrating something that had initially helped you to bond can help keep a friendship strong. Of course, any time spent with a dear one is to be treasured.
Easier said than done, but this by far is the most important in maintaining any type of relationship. It is an easy component to forget and ignore, but an open and understanding line of communication is needed to keep any relationship strong.
Things happen and it is easy to forget to contact your friends. Most understand that “adulting” can be difficult, and it isn’t hard to just put friendships on the sidelines. But when life can get too difficult, it’s nice to have that open line and a friend on the other side to help you through it.