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Adult Friendships 101: 5 Ways to Maintain Your Friendships as an Adult

A short guide to help you balance friendships in your twenties and beyond.

Adulting is hard. Amidst the barrage of responsibilities and chasing dreams, we barely have any time to eat right in our twenties, let alone properly maintain our relationships. More often than not, romantic relationships take the spotlight in our lives, especially as an adult. This means that our friendships take a backseat and many of us find ourselves unable to catch up with the growing distance. Just like any other relationship, friendships require time and commitment. If you’re willing to put in both, here are a few tips that will help you maintain your friendships better.

1. Accept the inevitability of canceled plans 

As we’ve already established, adulting is hard, but it’s also time-consuming. It’s not easy to make plans with someone whose schedule may be as packed as yours. Unlike childhood friendships — full of idle meetups and free time — obligations and responsibilities get in the way. Don’t get sour if the first few plans you make with your friend/s don’t work out. Try again and follow up. You need to have the willingness to try again if you’re going to make your relationships work.

2. Prioritize socializing

According to a study, supportive friendships in your 20s are a solid predictor of being alive at 70. ‘Man is a social animal’ isn’t just a saying; it’s a fact. Having a significant other isn’t enough, you need friends and a legitimate support system to get through the hurdles life throws at you. And you also need those silly nights of fun and laughter you have with friends. Carving time out from your busy schedule and prioritizing your friends is crucial to making an adult friendship work.

3. Figure out what you don’t want to do

Not every kind of socializing is good for you. Tell your FOMO to take a backseat and pick your social activities carefully. I suggest you pick quality over quantity and do things with your friends that you’re actually interested in. As soon as you’ve figured out the kind of activities you don’t want to waste your time on, you’ll have much less to worry about. The one perk that comes with being an adult is that you can make your own decisions. Utilize this by deciding who and what is worthy of your time.

4. Don’t rely too heavily on technology

We’re extremely lucky to have tools such as social media that let us communicate with people that are half a world away. These days, when you need to talk to someone close to you, all you have to do is shoot them a text. But it’s important to remember that technological communication isn’t a replacement for in-person conversation and communication. It’s important to make sure you keep in touch with your friends both online and offline.

5. Commit to the cause

Like most relationships, friendships require commitment. There will be sporadic periods of time when you won’t talk to your friends as much or they’re too busy, too far away or going through something too personal to hang out. It’s important to ride out these transitions and let them know that you’re still there for them. Don’t chicken out on your friends now; they deserve better.

What are your thoughts on adult friendships? Let us know in the comments below!

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