Struggling to pencil in that catch up with a friend? You’re not alone.
When it comes to keeping up with our friends, we all have the best intentions, but life just gets in the way sometimes. Life is busy and the weeks fly by but it’s important to take time and make the time for friends.
Spending time with friends, especially old friends, can make you feel rejuvenated and lifted - they feel like family.
This is the beauty of long-standing friendships, the closeness you get with a long standing friendship is a rarity. When familial relationships get tangled and messy, escaping to the embrace of your chosen family can be a saviour. And indeed, having a strong social network is imperative for both our physical and mental health.
Our friends can really lift us when we’re feeling low. The power of talking things over with a friend, should never be underestimated. Friends can show us light when everything around us feels dark. They give us space to talk, hopefully without judgement.
Sometimes a hug out and a talk with your friends is exactly what you need
Even with the best of intentions, obstacles can pop up. Life can get in the way and make relationships trickier to maintain.
Friends move away further and further from each other and it gets harder to maintain friendships, especially as lives change over time. Marriages, children, career changes, they can all change friendships. When people first move away, people stay in touch, but sometimes it’s easy to take some friendships for granted.
How many times do you say, ‘Oh we must meet up’ and then you don’t actually meet up?
There are some friendship who are quietly in the background, no drama, always there, liking Facebook posts, liking Instagram posts but how often do you actually speak to those friends? How long before they become past friends? Is following a friend on Instagram really a replacement for actually seeing your friends?
There’s nothing quite like a conversation with a friend to feel nourished by that friendship, you actually find out what’s really going on in their lives. Instagram and Facebook only give you a snippet of a life, they don’t tell the full story. You would never know if someone was suffering real trauma from their Social media feed.
All friendships need attention and it’s easy to see why friendships can become neglected. When there’s a lot going on in life, making time for friends can feel low on our priority list. Especially when those friendships have been around for years.
So how can we maintain our friendships?
If a friend lives in this country then it’s fairly easy, you can visit or if that’s not possible, pick up the phone and actually talk to them.
If a friend lives abroad then it’s not so easy to pop over but you can use the internet to maintain long distance friendships. How about Google Hangout once a week to catch up? You’ll be amazed how much you can talk about and it’s can feel like you’re in the same room, talking. And depending on how far apart you live, you can try to fix up a real life meet up once a year. Fix a date and commit to it.
WhatsApp chat groups can also be great for keeping in touch between visits and it’s important to talk about the history of your friendship. A bit of nostalgia can be great for friendships, it takes us all back to a carefree time in our lives and there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as we come back to the present.
When you nurture your friendships, you nurture yourself.
Social Studies have found that there is a definitive link between people’s happiness and the happiness of their social networks – it pays to take care of each other.
As we all continue to grow and evolve as people, life will throw challenges at us all. Unfortunately, life has its up’s and its downs, for all of us.
Long term friendships should always be about including one another at every stage of life. When your friends have children or get married, it’s great to include your friends at those stages in life, even if you yourself won’t go through that stage. We won’t all get married, we won’t all have children, but that doesn’t mean people can’t be friends. Always lean on each other, that’s what friends do for each other.
A key point to remember here is this: don’t forget to nurture your friendships. Your long-standing friendships may be tough, they may withstand more than some new friendships, but they still need attention and we should never forget that