I have never made a friend that I have had a falling out with. Sure, I’ve drifted apart from a few in my lifetime, but there was never any ill will. I’m still best friends with my childhood best friends, and no matter how much time passes between phone calls and visits, the love is there all the same. When we’re young our friends are our lives, there’s nothing more we want to do than hang out with them daily and their opinions seem to be the only ones that matter. When we are young, the sun rises and sets on our friendships.
I think as adults, we tend to prioritize our immediate family and children while our friendships take a back seat. I have an issue with this because, unlike family, we choose our friendships and often they are our support and escape from stress and hardships of daily life, as well as a source of joy. I think in these social media ladden days, things become hazy. We have our amazing group of friends from Instagram, some that we have met, and others we have yet to meet; they tend to fill that friendship interaction void. Although I’ve made some wonderfully amazing friendships and connections on social media, there’s nothing more social than participating in an active, in the flesh friends as opposed to a virtual friendship. I say make sure you have both, but don’t rely solely on one.
It’s important to make time for our friends, and when I say make time, I mean really make time. I have dinner with a group of friends every Wednesday. We all pick a dinner spot and then throw them in a jar and draw weekly (I’m in charge of this). Not everyone makes it every week, but it’s always a good group (and the days we do all make it I feel sorry for our server). We also go on vacation every year (again not everyone makes it every year, but we try). We make an effort to celebrate birthdays with special events or weekend trips, sometimes with kids and sometimes without.
Some of these ideas might not seem realistic for more demanding families, but even starting group messages and checking in once a day with a, “how are you?”, or simply a meme can ensure that bond stays the same.
Friendships are important to our mental health as much as diet and exercise. We need to prioritize them, and obviously make sure those friendships are healthy. Toxic friendships are draining, and as adults we need to really learn to detach from them. Life is short, you don’t owe a toxic friendship anything. It’s as easy as saying, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can be your friend anymore because this is not working,” and if you value your energy, then this should be as easy as I’m claiming it is. Your best life isn’t going to happen with people that don’t want that for you. It’s important to recognize that and act accordingly.
So, make some lunch plans with your besties, start a game night with your group of friends, or start planning a trip, or even just start a group text. Friendship goals happen with intent!