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As the demands of adulthood mount, building and maintaining strong adult friendships can feel like a luxury – but they are a lifetime necessity.

Every day, we go through the motions of adult life, making it difficult to maintain friendships. With the impossible pressure from work, family, and other commitments, our social lives are forced to take a back seat. However, having strong adult friendships can be crucial in life, and a book about community and friendship highlights that fact.

While achieving stability in adult friendships can be challenging, that doesn’t mean we can’t have one. 

The Impossible Mountain Called ‘Adult Friendships’

Maintaining adult friendships is challenging for many reasons. People often find themselves in toxic friendships that they struggle to break away from. Sometimes, friendships that grow apart make you ask yourself the following questions:

In adult friendships, maintaining them is challenging for so many reasons. More often, people find themselves in toxic friendships that they struggle to break away from. Sometimes, friendships that grow apart make you ask yourself the following questions:

What happened?

Was it you? Were you the problem?

Was it the situation that triggered the end?

The truth is, nothing could’ve prepared us for the surprise inevitability of adult friendships drastically changing. After all, it’s part of a person’s life to not stay the same forever. Additionally, things happen for many reasons that are out of our control. 

Overcoming Friendship Loneliness

One day, you meet your friends, bonding over the same interests and views in life. Over time, you grew closer and became inseparable, two peas in a pod. However, when time was on your side, it was also the one that changed the friendship a whole lot. Eventually, we grow out of the people we were previously bonded with. What does that mean for us?

The growth at that point made us into people who no longer fit together like we used to. Moreover, it’s a cause for concern because the tensions don’t serve any purpose in the friendship. While everyone started off on a good note, there were impactful moments that created adversity and made such friendships unpleasant.

Furthermore, it can get lonely when your needs are not met as a friend. Perhaps you’ve realized this friend no longer has enough space to let you be a part of their lives and vice versa. Also, maybe your needs have changed with time, making your long-time friend incapable of playing the part for you. And as you meet new people who fulfill your current needs more than what your other friends used to, you’ll surely drift apart. 

So, when you feel it happening, you need to weigh in on the value you place on your adult friendships. Adjusting the dynamic is also part of meeting each friend’s needs; therefore, you should put a premium on them. 

Balancing Work and Friendship Circles

Photo by August de Richelieu

Moreover, time is not infinite; only some have the same 24 hours. When life changes and gets busier, it can affect adult friendships by a mile. For instance, you should make plans for about 10-15 business days before everyone can agree on anything. 

Sounds funny, isn’t it?

But ironically, it’s true for most adult friendships. The spontaneity your younger self once had is no longer part of your life. Furthermore, your adult friends have other commitments they can’t afford to set aside for leisure time. That’s why being part of adult friendships demands a huge load of understanding on each other’s part if some or none can make it. 

In our adult years, it’s common for our professional lives to take up a large portion of our time and energy. While having a fulfilling career is important, we shouldn’t let work completely crowd out our adult friendships. We can simultaneously have various social circles and still enjoy their company on our own terms. Moreover, shared interests and activities are what mostly bonds you with your work and personal friends.

Maintaining Strong Adult Friendships for All Time

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

Building strong adult friendships is one thing, but sustaining them over the years is another challenge entirely. The ebbs and flows of adulthood are unforgiving, causing our friendships to naturally evolve and change. Moreover, people’s lives, circumstances, priorities, and availability may shift without notice, so being an understanding friend helps. 

While you can’t always hang out with your friends in person, you can still be there for them by regularly checking in on them. You can even celebrate their successes with them from a distance. Additionally, small gestures like sending a thoughtful message can go a long way in keeping those adult friendships strong.

You and your adult friends must adapt as you move through different life stages. What worked in your teens might change as you enter your 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. With care, commitment, and a willingness to be present, you can still have normal and wholesome adult friendships that stand the test of time. 

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