Having adult friendships – when you find that one person that “gets” you – makes life a lot easier to navigate. One of the dearest people I’ve had the privilege to call my best friend is one of my longest relationships ever. Our friendship started through a mutual friend – who coincidently isn’t part of our friend group anymore – and we hit it off. She quickly became my confidant, sister, and support system through the last three years of college. There isn’t a friendship in popular culture that can truly parallel our friendship, maybe we’re a mashup of Meredith and Cristina, Leslie and Ann or Lily and Robin? Whatever we are, it has a lot less dramatics.
It was one of my first adult friendships and let me tell you, maintaining friendships in college is easy but once over it gets that much harder. We might live over two hours away from each other but it never stops us from visiting each other when possible. It didn’t take me long to realize how special a friendship I had with my “person,” it was actually the first and only time in our relationship when I blew a fuse over something miniscule. Literally cannot remember what set me off but what I do remember is how she responded to that situation, she simply let me have a moment to breathe…and promptly started laughing her butt off. I apologized profusely but she understood why I got so upset, it surprised her, made her laugh but ultimately made our friendship stronger.
In that moment, as cliche as it sounds, I felt like I found my platonic soulmate.
I’m lucky enough to know not all relationships will develop like this or even at all, it’s the special few that make all the difference and become that much more special. All of this to say, friendships are hard, especially adult friendships, and throw in being long-distant and you’ve got yourself a regular ole long-distance relationship without the romantic undertones.
Distance, careers, relationships, family all can take a toll on ones friendship. Out of the many friends I had in college, there are a select few that I kept in contact with since I graduated. I found parts of my tribe in school and throughout the years have seen how we each did our best to keep in contact. Was it hard, sure, but regardless of how busy life got, we maintained the friendship.
My point is, when you find those people, dear god hold onto them tight.
What exactly constitutes a good friend you ask? Universally I believe most people want a loyal, trusting friend to start a foundation with. We all have different personality traits and want someone who is compatible with us. As an adult, you very quickly figure out what friends are in your life for the long haul vs the ones we call “seasonal” or even “fair-weather friends.” The seasonal ones though short, may be just as impactful to your life as the ones who’ve been there longer. And by impactful it could mean in a positive or negative way. The fair-weather friends are supposed to be there for you but only show up in your life when it’s convenient for them. After going through a few of these so-called friendships, you learn to appreciate the people who take the time to treasure your friendship.
A wise man – my father – once told me that in adulthood you only have a select number of friends, the span of one hand, rarely both hands. The older I get the more I understand this to be true. Adult friendships are hard and having that one or a few part of your clan is like finding gold. Cherish those people and don’t ever let them forget how much they are appreciated.