7 Tips for Maintaining Friendships as a Busy Adult

Photo by Brooke Marcella Photography (www.brookemarcella.com)

“Sorry I’ve been so busy!” – Does this sound familiar? I know I’m constantly writing this in emails, texts or telling people, and I also hear it at least twice a day from other people. We’re all busy and being a real-world functioning adult and balancing  work, a social and personal life can be exhausting.

Growing up, I had my few close friends, and then in college my friend base grew, but I also saw them on a daily basis with classes, extra curricular activities and we all circulated the same 3 bars on the weekends. Now as an adult, my friendships have dramatically changed – people change, our lifestyles change and we’re all moving on with our careers, dating/marriage and everything in between.

I have learned so much about myself and my friendships in the past couple years, and I’ve picked up some tips and tricks that my friends and I use to maintain our relationships, even with our busy schedule! Let’s check them out! x

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1. Make a Plan

Stop saying, “let’s grab a drink soon,” and then let 6 months go by until you see each other again and say the same thing. Make plans in person or start an email or text with the other party to make plans, like a real damn adult. Even if the details are vague or the times/ dates may change, you still have them on your calendar and are going to make that effort to squeeze them into your schedule. Since my friends at home are over 2,000 miles away, we schedule our FaceTimes in advance, and with my friends in NYC, we make plans with each other every 2-4 weeks.

2. Stay in the Loop

Even though I want to say that I’m the greatest friend and always follow through with #1, life and my schedule gets the best of me, so I make sure I’m always staying in the loop with them. Two of my best friends both live in different states that I do – one is in Arizona, the other is in the midwest, so in order to stay in the loop we have a group text and send weekly hi/lows about our weeks, any major life or career updates and the regular funny picture. This is a super easy way to keep in touch with everyone without feeling the pressure to carve out 60min from your week to skype or have a phone call.

Also, stay in touch via social media. Luckily all of my friends can easily follow SAK and know probably too much about my life, but I also make sure to look at their feeds and engage with them. We all go through periods where happy hour or weekend trips are a no-go, so instead, make sure to take a couple minutes out of your day to check their Instagram profile or text them.

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3. Categorize and Tailor Your Friendships

I know, I know, this might sound bad, but let me explain. All of my friendships are different. I have some friends that are even busier than I am and we have to schedule out one dinner 6 months in advance, whereas I have friends that are spontaneous and love last-minute events; and then I have my blogging friends vs. industry friends vs. my other friends. I love them all, but trying to keep up with that many people on a daily or weekly basis is hectic, and also expecting your closest one or two friends to do everything with you, can also be challenging.

Instead, I make sure to fit in different people into different areas of my life to best fit their personality and our friendship. I have one friend and we’re always each other’s event plus-ones because we’re both in the industry, run in the same circles and have a similar schedule. I have another friend and we schedule work-outs, hikes and day-time adventures, and then I also have my weekend warrior and happy hour crew because our day schedules never match up. Get the picture? I can’t expect to be in all areas of my friend’s lives, and vice versa. By recognizing that and scheduling and tailoring your friendships to best fit your personalities, schedules and lives, makes you feel less guilty about being busy or being upset when your one friend or roommate can’t be by your side 24/7.

4. Unplug

In college I would see my friends every single day. Now I make sure to still schedule out my quality “Audree time” and balance my work and meetings so when I do hang out with my friends, I can unplug and enjoy our time together. We make sure to push off emails, texts or anything else so we can zone in on our coffee date and catch up.

Photo by Brooke Marcella Photography (www.brookemarcella.com)

5. Be Each Other’s #1 Fans

This was a lesson I learned in the past couple of years, but it has really changed my perspective on friendships. I have had several toxic friendships where the people would try and drag me down, didn’t support what I was interested in, or acted as if the friendship was one-sided. I was heartbroken to walk away from those friendships, but I knew that I wanted to surround myself with positive people and people that would be my cheerleaders even on the hardest days.

Since those friendships, I now go the extra mile to support and learn about what my friends are interested in, their jobs and aspirations. I ask them questions about those things, encourage them and let them know that I’m there to support them, and vice versa.

6. Be Honest and Don’t Stress

Be honest with yourself and your friends. If you’re having a really busy month, don’t stress yourself out with trying to schedule happy hours, dinners and events every night of the week. They are also busy and will understand. I love hosting parties at my place during the holidays because then I get to see everyone at once, catch up with anyone I missed during the past couple of months and hit a refresh button. You have enough stress in your daily life, your friendships shouldn’t add to that.

7. Have Fun!

Switch up your routines and try new things with your friends. Try new restaurants, go to quirky, off-the-radar events you find online, and make the most of every time you do get to see each other. Seeing your friends shouldn’t feel like a work meeting or a bad first date – do things you want to do and have fun with it!

Photo by Brooke Marcella Photography (www.brookemarcella.com)

*Pictures from “Bachelorette Weekend: Arseña’s Final Fiesta!” Blog Post

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