5 Tips for Maintaining Friendships Into Adulthood

Weddings, Friends and Growing Up

I had the opportunity to attend a friend from college’s wedding last weekend. I’ve been friends with this human since the first day of orientation at school. There was this even called S'mores at the Shores, where you make smore’s at the “shore” of this “lake” near campus. We ended up talking for two hours straight. I remember feeling relieved. I could make friends in college; everything was going to be ok. Ever since that night, our friend groups meshed into one. We hung out all the time, bemoaned the struggles of Engineering School, and comforted each other when things got rough. We were together for the happiest of times and the saddest of times. Last weekend, I was able to witness the happiest day of his life thus far. He pledged his life and love to a wonderful woman. It was amazing to be a part of, but also brought a lot of introspection on my part. If you have difficulty maintaining friendships, read on as I will share my tips on how to maintain contact with friends from the time you were in school together, to their wedding and beyond!

Boyf and I standing outside the Church after the Ceremony
The ceremony itself was gorgeous. In pure, ex-choir human fashion, he had a string trio playing during the ceremony. They performed beautiful classical pieces, which coupled with the grandiose church, set the heavenly aura. It was a full Catholic Mass wedding, which are my favorite. Mostly because of the intentionality of every single detail. Everything in the mass means something. Every detail links back to tradition the church has had for nearly 2000 years. It is beautiful. Anyhoo during the ceremony, it became clear that this woman was the perfect woman for my friend. She was everything I had ever hoped for him. It took me back to those late nights at school, where we would sit around talking about our future spouses. We bemoaned how long it was taking to find them. We prayed that we would know who they were soon, and without too much heartache. Here, watching him, I knew that he found his person.

It was incredible because all our friends were able to attend the wedding as well. That meant that all four of my roommates from senior year were all together. Since graduation, we have not all been together at one time. I have seen each of them individually, but we haven’t been able to carve out time for a large get together. It makes sense. We are all working or in school. Our schedules don’t line up well, and it is hard to juggle our individual time-off arrangements. However, this weekend reminded me how important carving out that time is. That is how to keep friendships alive. Because we all put in that effort, we were able to share in the most important moment of our friends’ life to date. We were able to be a witness to his joy and revel in his triumphs. These precious moments will be what defines our friendships going forward. We aren’t living in the same building anymore. We aren’t giggling late into the night, caffeine to the nines trying to finish our online physics homework before midnight. We don’t have those physical connections anymore. Now, we must work for those friendships. The days of running up three flights of stairs to visit each other are over. Now comes the real work and the real test of our relationships.

We need the same intentionality that the wedding ceremony had. Each moment was thought out, each detail carefully chosen to fulfill the intended purpose. Our visits with each other must reflect that intentionality. While every detail of our visits needn’t be planned, we need to plan around all of our schedules. We need to sacrifice for each other to ensure that we spend the proper time together. We’ll never get to spend enough time together, because of that our effort needs to double.
Old friends are a wonderful gift. Despite distance and time, when we come together, it’s like we never left off. Each of us fall into our old ways of communication. Our old friend quirks pop out. My roomie and I used to say almost everything in unison we were so in sync. I’m happy to report that we still can make that happen. 😊 Instead of feeling awkward and unsure, old friends immediately warm up the coldness of time apart, and we enjoy each other’s company.

 I’ll admit, it was a little odd watching our friend marry someone I hadn’t met yet until the wedding. Its is indicative of our now separate lives. We will always have the memories of our four years together, but we are all on different paths. As time goes on, we’ll continue to grow apart. The time and distance between us will grow. The important thing is that we come together; melt away that time and distance; rekindle the friendships that we share. I was so blessed to spend this time with my friends, and support him on his big day. I am so grateful for that time, and I will cherish it forever. 

Tips to Keep Long Distance Friendships Alive

1.       Visit Each Other! It sounds simple, but can be tricky to do in practice. Make sure to shoot them a text if you are going to be near or in the town they live in. Timing may not work out, but the gesture will mean a lot.
2.       Set up skype dates! Intentionally carve out an hour every few weeks to chat. They don’t have to be very long, but they will make such a difference. This is a big part of how friendships are maintained in modern times. 
3.       Write letters. It may be a bit old school, but that is how I kept in contact with all of my high school friends. It was super fun, and also a great intentional way to keep in contact.
4.   Pick a central location for you all to visit. We were all able to go to Denver and explore before and after the ceremony. It made our get together more purposeful. My suggestion: Gather your friends and go on a wine tasting weekend trip!
5.   Be a part of the big moments in their life! Is your friend graduating? Is your friend getting married? Did your friend just have a baby? Make a trip and be a part of that memory!

Check out more ideas for maintaining long distance friendships here! Let me know down below how you keep in contact with your friends. Don't forget to subscribe to this blog for more tips, tricks, and ideas pertaining to social wellness!
Boyf and I at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science later that weekend