Remember when we were kids and we couldn’t wait to grow up? We so badly wanted to be grown, only to become adults, and wish we could turn back time. Ironic, isn’t it?
Seriously though… adulting comes with plenty of pressures and responsibilities. Too many pressures and responsibilities, you could argue. Naturally, these things can change a person’s perspective on different things in life, including friendships. Gone are the days of befriending every person you meet on the playground!
As we face “the real world” we often forget how things used to be. But as different as it might be to navigate friendships as an adult, those friendships are still super important. With that in mind, we’re dedicating this post to discussing what adults forget about friendship. Let’s dive in!
What Adults Forget About Friendship
It’s supposed to be fun.
In Rhaina Cohen’s article for The Atlantic on what adults forget about friendship, she writes, “Just catching up can feel stale. Playing and wasting time together like kids do is how you make memories.”
The point of her article is that we tend to forget that the whole point of having a friend is having a good f*cking time. Where did the fun go!?
Just getting coffee to chat can feel like a chore, especially when it’s been a while since you last saw someone. That doesn’t exactly make getting together memorable, does it? Think about it… when have you ever seen children spend the first few minutes of their time together going over everything that’s happened since their last playdate? Probably never.
Why not try things their way and spend time together like kids? Focus on the FUN! Go explore downtown. Attend a concert. Put together a puzzle. Binge every season of Gossip Girl. Jump out of an airplane. WHATEVER just have a blast.
Your friend isn’t your therapist.
Even if they’re your ride-or-die friend, your time with them shouldn’t feel like a therapy session. Sure, it can leave you with similar feelings of optimism and stress relief, but as discussed on The Nicole Walters Podcast, your friend is NOT your therapist!
No, we’re not saying you can’t talk to your BFF about what’s on your mind. But that shouldn’t be the ONLY thing you do when you’re with them. If you’re constantly unloading your problems onto them, they’re not exactly gonna be thrilled to hang out at the next opportunity. You’ll get emotional exhausted at some point too!
Save your heaviest venting sessions and pleas for solutions for your therapist (or maybe an good ol’ fashioned adult sleepover).
There shouldn’t be any pressure.
Walking into any situation with high expectations is an easy way to set yourself up for failure. You should feel comfortable canceling at the last minute with a true friend. They should feel comfortable telling you they couldn’t swing a birthday present this year. No one should get butt-hurt if they didn’t get a “Merry Christmas” text. Seriously, friendships aren’t supposed to be transactional!
You guys should always be chill and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Leave the pressure at the door and take advantage of the present time you have with your friend. Oh, and be sure to listen to The Ultimate Adult Friendship Episode episode of House Guest With Kenzie Elizabeth for more tips on making the most of your time with your friends.
You’ve gotta put yourself out there.
Making Friends in Your Twenties (and beyond) is hard. But if you’re not willing to take a risk by stepping outside of your comfort zone, it’s practically impossible. Just listen to this episode of Twenty Whatever about picking up those friendship green and red flags, so you can attract the right people to your social circle.
Putting yourself out there and being open to new friends and different experiences can literally change your life for the better. Just like when you were a kid making friends on the playground! Friendships are just as important in adulthood as they were when we were little.
As you navigate adulthood, don’t forget what true friendship should look like.
As they explain in this episode of Twenty Whatever, making and maintaining adult friendships is hard AF. But it’s not impossible. We can make it easier by thinking back to how we mastered and navigated friendship as children. And once you find your ride or die, get matching “Ride” tees. Then you can plan your outfits like you used to with your besties in middle school.
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