Here is a great secret of adulthood: maintaining friendships sure is a lot harder when you don’t have school together every day and church activities together every week. But here is another great secret of adulthood: we all need friends beyond our spouses (and our coworkers).
Admittedly, I’ve realized over the past two and a half years of being married that I’m not the best at maintaining old friendships. Maybe it’s partly because I consider my husband my best friend, and maybe it’s partly because we’re living pretty far away from many of my old high school friends (with the exception of one), but I have definitely realized that unless I make concerted efforts real soon to continually strengthen those bonds, they will, over time, dissipate more and more until I’m barely seeing my so-called “close friends” once or twice every couple years.
I’ve been lucky enough to have maintained mostly the same friend group since elementary school—even though recent years have found many of us married, starting families, buying homes, and moving away from our hometown of Bountiful, I still consider my childhood friends to be among the best I’ve ever had. I’m thankful for the efforts of some of them to really make sure we all stay in touch, even if it’s just holding a little get-together once or twice a year.
But as I get further along in my marriage, I realize that I still really need girlfriends in my life. My husband fulfills many of my emotional needs, but there is something that only female companionship can bring—something only a friend who’s known me for years can spark within me. And lately, I’ve really grown to miss that feeling.
So, with that in mind, I guess I unconsciously kind of made another new year’s resolution (although I’m not calling it that)–even though I despise talking on the phone (I pretty much always have, with the exception of when I would talk to my first boyfriend for hours by phone because he was forbidden to see me), I know that in the end, it will be way more meaningful to call up an old friend and chat for half an hour rather than just catch up through text or Facebook.
And so that’s what I’ve been trying to do—every Sunday afternoon this year so far, I’ve picked a different person I want to connect with, whether it’s one of my parents, siblings, or a friend I haven’t spoken to in awhile. At first, the phone conversations always seem to be a little awkward (mostly because I’m just SO awkward when it comes to talking on the phone), but then, five minutes in, the most magical thing happens—we start connecting again, and I realize why I’ve kept these people in my life for so long (and I’m reminded of how well they really know me).
So even though I’d usually prefer to scrub the toilets AND do the dishes rather than make a phone call, I’ve made a firm decision to give a higher priority to my relationships this year.
And I’ll say this—
I’ve already noticed a difference.
What about you? Have you discovered that it’s harder to maintain friendships once you’re older?