I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships lately. A couple of weeks ago I started rewatching one of my favorite shows of ALL time, “Sex and the City.” Now that I’m older since watching it in high school and college, I have so much more respect for Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha. No matter what was going on in their lives, having kids, getting married, family issues, or crazy work schedules, they still always found time for one another. It was a priority to them to remain in each other’s lives. I admire that so much! It should’ve really been called “Friends and the City.” Am I right?! LOL
When you’re growing up, so much of life is centered around friends, from making friends in school and spending all day with them in class, to doing life with them through extracurriculars and spending your free time on the weekends with them. But unfortunately, friendship after college is hard.
As you get older, life only gets busier and time spent with friends becomes sporadic. Some friends become wives. Some friends become moms. Some friends move away. Some friends are consumed by their work schedules. I’m a total girls’ girl and need that special time with my friends to feel more myself. There’s no specific directions for staying in touch with your friends, but there are a few practices I like to do to let them know how much I love them and need them in my life.
Invite Friends Over, Just Because
In the world of Pinterest and Instagram, so many of us, including myself, feel like get-togethers have to be this huge deal. What’s the theme? Got to have the perfect spread of food and a banging playlist. Oh, did I mention decorations? Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE having a cute little themed get-together, but it shouldn’t hinder you from spending some quality time with your friends. Let’s get back to inviting friends over just because. Simply order a pizza, open a bottle of wine, and turn on Netflix. There doesn’t need to be a reason to get together, just to share time with the people you love, re-connecting.
Make A Phone Call
It seems like nobody calls anyone anymore. It’s like we’re scared to talk on the phone or something. But in my opinion, nothing says you’re a good friend like picking up the phone and actually calling someone with no ulterior motive, just to say, “Hi! How’s it going? I’ve been thinking about you.” My friend Maddie will literally just call me randomly to check in to see how my week is going. How thoughtful is that?! She takes time out of her busy day as a wife, mom, and nursing student to call me. But I get that we are all busy. If you don’t have a lot of time, then yes, a quick little sincere text will suffice. And yes, I text with my friends all week long. But really try and make time for an actual phone call! Hearing each other’s emotion in your voices will really show how much you care.
Mail Hand-Written Notes
Ever since I was little I loved receiving mail, and that’s still true today. But I love sending mail even more! Whether it’s a thank you note for a gift, a postcard while on vacation, a greeting card for a special occasion, or a simple hand-written note just because, I think there is something so beautiful about taking the time to send out snail mail, especially in the age of email. It is the oldest-fashion of staying connected, and is super thoughtful. Me and my friends send each other sweet cards all the time! You may be super busy and can’t make every get-together, but you can spare five minutes to drop a card in the mail and let a friend know you’re thinking of them. If you do this, the gesture will not be forgotten.
Plan a Girls’ Weekend
Family vacations are fun, and romantic getaways are vital to a healthy relationship. But sometimes, you’ve just gotta get away with the girls! Whether it’s a getaway over a three-day holiday weekend or a one-night staycation, a girls’ weekend is the perfect way to reconnect with your friends and spend some quality time together. Not to mention, getting to live it up without all of your responsibilities that you left at home. And make sure your girls’ weekend is filled with the essentials: heart-warming conversation and reminiscing, relaxation, and plenty of carbs and cocktails!
Send A Care Package
If one of your friends lives far away or hasn’t been having much of a social life due to their job, you can obviously stay in contact and check in via texts, phone calls, or emails. But why not take it up a notch?! Send them a thoughtful care package instead! I remember going to summer camp when I was little and receiving a care package from my mom made my week! I was so happy to know that she was thinking of me. Do the same for your friends! You can build out your own care package with items from different places, or there are companies nowadays where you can select different packages online and they ship it for you. Either way, your friend will be so surprised and feel so loved!
Pester Your Friends
Okay, I know this one sounds negative, but it works for me at least! I’m typically the type of girl to make the first move when it comes to making plans. But, on the occasions that I don’t initiate the plans, I really appreciate when my friends keep texting and calling to convince me to hangout if I’m unsure of going or even if I actually can’t make it. Yes, it can be annoying at times, but at the end of the day, the fact that they care enough to ask me multiple times shows how much they love me and want to hangout with me! Always invite your friends to everything. It means more than you know.
Be Present & Listen
In the oh so busy world we live in today, there are so many distractions, specifically technology. Most of our conversations are through text, phone call, email, or on social media. We’ve lost that personal connection of looking someone in the eye and speaking face to face. Be present with your friends and truly listen to them. It’s something so simple that goes a long way. Everyone wants to be heard and understood. Be intentional with the time you spend together and ask LOTS of questions. How are your parents? Got any big plans this summer? How’s work going? Do you need to vent about something? Listen to them go on and on about things that might not be that important to you. That’s what a good friend does! I know I feel so loved when people ask me how I’m doing and genuinely care about my answers.
Friendships Are Not Perfect
Now that I’ve shared how to stay connected with your friends, I feel it’s just as important to share how to handle friendships when you don’t stay connected. Sometimes you put effort in and it just doesn’t work out. You begin to lose touch with people. And that’s okay, too. Sometimes you outgrow people, and that’s not always a bad thing. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to have a friendship dissolve. What’s important is to not focus on the reason the friendship ended. The negativity, the coulda, shoulda, woulda, will eat you alive. Always remember the positive aspects of the friendship. What you learned from one another, all the fun times you had together, how you grew as a person from knowing one another. Maybe in the long run you will find your way back to each other, or maybe the relationship ran its course. Regardless, remember the positive and move on.
A wise Samanatha Jones once said, “ Men, babies, it doesn’t matter. We’re soulmates.” I think we get two soulmates in our lives. Our spouses we end up with AND our group of girlfriends. You’ve got to have both! It’s important, at any age, to value your friendships and make sure you’re putting time and effort into them, just like any other relationship you’ve been in. Love your friends, and they’ll love you right back.