Friendship Truths: Surviving Adulthood

Hi, my name is Samantha V. Richards and today we’re going to talk about friendship!

That intro was cheesy as hell, but this conversation won’t be so let’s dive deep.

Romantically, I’ve been single now for seven years. The first three years were healing times and the last four have been intentional. What I’ve never been without in these seven years and prior are friends. I am often busy and a pretty social person who initiates conversation with many different people (when I feel like it or to get a room going), but as I continue to get older I appreciate my alone time and silence much more.

Over the years, I have reflected on relationships quite a bit. Mine, my friends, families, and even ones depicted on social media and TV. What do we often do when we watch external relationships play out? Many of us try to emulate or apply some of those same principles to our own relationships. This can be a good thing if we’re truly willing to be introspective, acknowledge our faults, and make better choices moving forward. But the truth of the matter is, TV won’t fix our relationships or make them last longer. No, that result depends on the work we put in.

Below are some truths I’ve had to come to terms with as I am continually navigating friendships (lifelong and new):

1) Like romantic relationships, friendships take time, effort, and work.

2) Over the years friendships will change as the individuals involved do, but they only grow according to the work you put in.

3) No one person will provide everything you need (and vice versa), and that’s okay. Expand your network.

4) Every friend you have won’t be on the same level or have the same access to you (and vice versa).

5) Every friendship isn’t lifelong, some are seasonal, but they’re important for that time. Be open to the lesson, find gratefulness, and move forward.

6) We’ll go on different paths of life, so it’s important if you are committed that you know you will navigate new territory often in a familiar friendship. For example: When your best friend moves away, gets married, has kids, etc.

Whatever the change it can be navigated if you both are honest, open/consistently communicating, respecting boundaries, supportive, and most importantly, dedicated to surviving.

7) Be present for your friend at every stage. Wins, losses, lessons, discoveries, etc.

8) Distance doesn’t mean distant. I came up with this in college because I was the friend away at school, but committed to being present in any way I could for my friends at home and to this day I feel the same way. Sometimes distance means location and sometimes it means space (while someone navigates marriage, parenthood, prioritizing mental health, recovery, etc.). In these times we don’t have to grow apart, we can and should still be present.

9) With that being said, sometimes space does save relationships. Space gives everyone time to think, reflect, and actually make a conscious decision about whether they are in this or not.

10) Whether you have five close friends or one cherish them the same.

Do any of these hit home? What are some truths you’ve found in maintaining friendships?