Relationships

8 ways to maintain your friendships when it feels like it’s fizzling out, according to a therapist

Posted by
Leah Sinclair
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From making time for one another to taking initiative, these tips can help maintain friendships.

The older we get, the harder it can be to maintain our friendships.

Life tends to take over – with our jobs, families and relationships taking priority – meaning that those weekly brunches, lunches and drinks soon turn into once a month occasions and, for some, we only manage to meet up once every few months.

This can create a changing dynamic for any friends and is something many of us experience the older we get – but there are ways to maintain our friendships as an adult and often it requires us to put in a little more effort.

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In a recent Instagram post, therapist Amy Tran highlighted eight ways to maintain adult friendships – starting with making time for one another. 

“Make time to hang out. You may not be at the same school, work or city any more so plan ahead to spend time together,” she writes. “It doesn’t have to be every week but plan to see your friends once in a while.”

Next up, Tran says taking the initiative is key to maintaining adult friendships, especially if you haven’t heard from your friend in a while. “If you are waiting for them to reach out, try to initiate contact or make plans with them,” she advises. “This puts the ball in their court.”

We often have expectations about how a friendship should look – but this is something we should let go of, says Tran.

Friendships look a lot different when we are younger,” she says. “Research shows that after the age of 25, we lose more friends because our lifestyles, values and priorities change. So it’s OK if friendships change – nurture the friendships within these changes.

Other ways to maintain adult friendships include showing you are present by sending a simple text, not being flaky and communicating properly.

“As with every relationship, communication is key,” the therapist says. “If something does not feel right – communicate with your friend. It is better to communicate and ask questions rather than make assumptions.” She says it’s also important to communicate boundaries clearly.

Tran says being a safe space is key so that your friend can “comfortably share their thoughts and feelings”. And finally, Tran advises that we should all celebrate our friends.

“Be each other’s cheerleaders and celebrate your wins together. Send a message, flowers, a card – something to show them that you care and are the loudest cheerleader out there.”

Maintaining friendships as we get older is not easy, but by taking time to acknowledge the changes we can not only preserve our friendships but improve them and let the most important people in our lives know just how much we value them.

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Leah Sinclair

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