How To Maintain Strong Friendships Despite Life Changes

How to maintain strong friendships despite life changes.

Our 20s and 30s are full of endless changes. Between figuring out your next direction and making countless decisions, it can be easy to get lost in the chaos of life. Priorities shift, and things that were once important to you might feel harder to hold onto.

One aspect that can feel difficult throughout the transitioning stages, is learning how to maintain strong friendships—despite all the life changes. You might have landed your dream job immediately, while your friend decided to travel. Or maybe your friend got married, but you wanted to soak up every minute of your single life before settling down. The timing of our lives can look vastly different from the timing of our friends’ lives.

Throughout the different friendships and stages of life I’ve experienced, I learned the true importance of maintaining strong friendships. No matter what stage of life you or your friends are in, read on to learn how to maintain strong friendships despite life changes:

Evolve With The Changes Of Your Friendship

Your relationships with others might not always remain the same as it once was. People change and evolve. Just as life changes, your friendships should evolve and change too. No matter what season of life you or your friend is in, learn how you can evolve with your friendship, instead of wishing time could rewind and things could stay the same.

Find out ways you can support your friend’s big life changes, regardless of what that is. This might look like making more time to connect, even if you’re only able to talk a couple of hours a week. Just because a friendship isn’t exactly what it used to be, doesn’t mean it can’t fulfill you in other ways. Friendships change over time, and we should always learn how to adapt to those changes to maintain a strong friendship.



Make Plans In Advance

My friends and I are all in different stages of life right now. Something that helps to spend time with each other is making plans in advance. Even if it’s a few weeks out. You’ll more than likely be able to follow through with something and spend time with the other person if you commit to making a plan. The different changes we experience throughout our lives can be rather time-consuming. Setting aside time for just you and your friend will help commit to seeing or talking to one another.

Time passes rather quickly, and before you know it, months could pass before spending time with your friend. Recently, a close friend and I decided our ‘resolution’ this year was to get together at least once a month. No matter how busy we are in our own lives, we know that’s a commitment that’s obtainable and works for us. Find what works best for your friendship—even if it changes over time. 

Appreciate The Time You Do Get To Spend Together

Sometimes it’s not always the easiest sticking to a committed plan. Especially if you and your friend have opposite schedules. In my 20s I felt like I saw my friends every second we could, but now that our lives are different, we know that we might not be able to see each other as often as we’d like.

Even if you can’t physically spend time with a friend, but can communicate with them on a regular basis–be thankful for what each friendship brings you and any amount of time you do get together. Even if it’s simply being able to catch up on the phone here and there. I always believe life gives you what you need exactly when you need it, including the gift of our friendships. There are so many things in life we should never take for granted. Spending any amount of time with the people we love is one of them. 

Be There When It Matters The Most

This is an important one. At times when I’ve felt the busiest is when everything always seems to happen all at once. Even if it might feel inconvenient because you’re busy in your own life, always be there when a friend needs you the most.

It might be simply providing a listening ear, or giving them advice they need to hear. But you never know the impact you can have on someone. Your friends and the people in your life will always remember who was there for them, especially when they needed it. Maintaining a strong friendship throughout life changes requires sacrifices and showing up even at the times it feels inconvenient. Always show up when it matters the most.

Always Express What Their Friendship Means To You

Never hold back on telling a friend what their friendship means to you. The end of the year felt pretty difficult for me. I’m not even sure I can pinpoint exactly when it started, but soon one thing started piling on top of another. Before I knew it, I was feeling overwhelmed and giving myself zero time to decompress. In the midst of all of this, a close friend of mine spontaneously asked if I wanted to get together for breakfast one morning. While she didn’t know I was struggling at the time, I messaged her later that day telling her I needed that and thanked her for always being a light in my life.

We don’t always exactly know what our friends are facing in their own lives–but it’s important to always express how we feel and our gratitude. You never know when they could need to hear those words the most. It’s also important to recognize this to maintain strong friendships. For both of you to know that no matter what’s going on in your lives—you know the importance your friendship holds. 



Resist Comparison, Especially When You’re In Different Stages Of Life

Being in different stages of your life than your friends is normal. Especially throughout all the transitions and how fast things can change. Your stages might not always sync, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still maintain a strong friendship regardless of where you’re at or where they are. You are not behind, you’re right where you need to be. Comparing your stage of life to your friends could cause you to feel envy, jealousy, or even bitterness.

While you don’t ever want to feel any way towards anybody in your life–this especially applies to those closest to you. Accept that you and your friends are exactly where you need to be–even if you find that the both of you are in completely different chapters

We all experience different stages of life with our friends. To maintain a strong friendship despite life changes, learn how to appreciate each and every friendship for what it is. You might not have all the time in the world like you once did, but that’s okay because you’ll always get the time you need. And you just might find that it makes your friendship even stronger than it ever was before. 

Leave a Comment

12 Comments

  1. 2.6.24

    I have to say, it’s absolutely lovely!

    It’s clear you’ve put a lot of thought and care into crafting this piece.

    Looking forward to reading more from you in the future!

    Cheers!

  2. 2.6.24

    friends are so important in life and mean the world to me. Without friends life would be so boring thank you for sharing this post.

  3. 2.7.24
    TB said:

    Such great tips, so very important to keep your meaningful relationships!

  4. 2.7.24
    Susan said:

    Long standing friendships are the best, but it takes commitment to keep it going! My best friend and I have known each other our entire lives.

    • 2.7.24

      Yes they are!! There’s something so special about having a lifelong friend especially through all of the different seasons of life. ❤️

  5. 2.8.24
    Angela said:

    Amazing post Thank you. It can be hard to maintain friendships as we get older and life changes. Me and my best friend are celebrating our 18th ‘friendiversary’ this year! We have been through so many life changes, we have come so far from the young mums we were when we met… we currently live over 100 miles away from each other but still make time once a month to spend time together and our friendship has never been stronger 💕

    • 2.9.24

      Thank you so much! Wow, that’s amazing & sounds like a very special and strong friendship. Especially enduring and growing throughout different life changes. So important to appreciate the time you do get with a friend, no matter how limited the time may be! Thanks for sharing ❤️

  6. 2.12.24
    Giada said:

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. I’ve been struggling with maintaining healthy relationships since the end of high school, but now I know it’s part of life. I’m trying to embrace it, while also making sure I do my best to be a good friend 🙂

    • 2.13.24

      Thanks for reading! Finding that balance can be so difficult. But know as long as your trying your best that’s all you can do! ❤️