An Adult’s Guide To Friendship
You were created for friendship! But let’s be honest, making and keeping friends can be hard work with changing seasons and busy schedules.
The more I learn about Jesus the more I want to be a professional friend, just like Him.
This list below is something I’ve curated from being surrounded by really amazing friends! I’m learning alongside you, and I believe it’s a worthy skill to keep refining!
Do you remember the days of your friends passing out birthday invitations and hoping you got one? Well those days are over because you are an adult! You can invite a friend, set up a dinner, or even plan a vacation with friends just because you are an adult! No birthday required.
But seriously, I have found that inviting is the best policy for adult friends (especially in the parent world). I can almost guarantee, if you have a job, or a spouse, or a family….face-to-face time with friends will not “just happen“. So initiate the fun!
Text a friend (new or old), and set up a coffee date, a dinner, a workout, a Bible study, etc.
”We should get together sometime!” should be code for you to be pushy and say, “great, let’s set something on the calendar right now!”
I have to plan out time with friends months in advance sometimes. I‘m okay with that because I‘ve learned that setting things on a calendar is a way to honor my family time and my friendship time.
Seize the moment!
I’ve never been one for small talk. I like deep friendships so I usually skip the shallow. But, since becoming a parent, I REALLY appreciate a friend who has learned to seize the moment. What does that mean?
When I get face to face time with any of my friends I go straight to life update/heart conversation.
In the church hallway, at the grocery store, at a play date, etc. Two-Five minutes of adult talk goes a lonnnnnng way. I can get heart level deep with a 3 min voice text, I can restock my prayer list with a quick chat while walking. You’d be amazed want kind of meaningful connection can come out of a quick chat. Don’t negate those small windows to connect with someone’s heart.
Big long hangouts are wonderful, but don’t feel it has to be all or nothing.
Be inconvenienced (sometimes)
***A note. This is not for everyone. Many readers need to learn to say no as much as some of us need to say yes. Since becoming a mom, this is the biggest lesson I’ve had to learn. My heart in this is to remind us all that life will always be busy and fast, so we have to make time for friends. If we don’t, like a neglected plant, those friendships will not grow and thrive. So if you are a “yes“/ “over commit” type of person…maybe skip over this.
Ryan and I are learning, life just isn’t always convenient. A friend might need you after a long day. A church celebration may require you to rearrange your calendar. But relationships matter. They are VITAL for your all around well being. Godly friendships are meant to be stewarded and enjoyed.
1. “I’m tired”.
You’re going to be tired. Go to the birthday party, honoring them is more important than a night to chill at home. 2. “It’s expensive”.
Tell them upfront, I can‘t do dinner I’m watching my budget, but I can go for a walk or do coffee instead of a meal.
3. ”I’m busy.“
You can schedule something months away. Life is fast and you’ve going to look up it’s going to be 3 years since you saw that buddy last or had a face to face conversation longer than “hello” at church.
You can do hard things! It’s okay to be inconveinced. It’s actually really good to bend yourself if a way that doesn’t revolve around you sometimes. Compassion and community grows in an environment of inconvenience.
In your adult years you may see a tightening of your friend group. I personally believe we are to be friends to all, not just those we “click“ with, that’s how our worldviews grow. But I think it’s equally appropriate to admit that “like minded” friends are incredibly powerful for your growth and life movement. If you find friends that hold the same values as you, what A gift!
Sometimes friends help you through a season. They are really close during college, a job transition or newborn season but then once you’ve past that stage the friendship fizzles. That’s okay! Perhaps they were a seasonal friend.
Sometimes you let friends go like a boomrang. You may loose common connection after a move or getting married, but then a similar season or job field will bring you back together. That’s so fun!
Sometimes, you’re priveldged, to grow together with friends through all of the life seasons and stages. What a gift that is. Please don’t overlook how rare that is.
Maturity steps in when you recognize how to honor the season your friend is in. What stage of life is your friend in? What type of support do they need? What type of space does their life transition require? Be okay with them having other friends in other seasons as well and keep getting to know them as they change and grow through life.
There is NO SUBSTITUTE for face to face time. But in the hustle and bustle you can lean into some awesome technology time for friendship growth.
Set up a FaceTime chat.
Use voice message to hear them in person instead just a text.
Schedule a zoom double date after the kids are in bed.
Don‘t negate the power of sending funny memes or links 😂
Ultimately , being a good friend is a great skill to sharpen. If you feel lonely or left out, I am so sorry. But I truly believe with some grace and gusto, you may be surprised what friendships you have in your corner that are ready to be cultivated.
In His Joy,
***Don‘t forget…The Cirkles are cheering you on!