Maintaining Friendships Over Time

Friendships were so easy when we were kids. You saw each other at school and played during lunch and recess. You had playdates after school and in the summer. Even after graduating high school, most close friendships remain intact regardless of whether you attended college nearby or you went away to college. But then one of you got married and had kids and the other is still single, working and waiting for prince charming and those two perfect children you all dreamt of. All of a sudden, the relationship has completely changed and has become strained. Not only do you have different constraints and limitations in life, but there can be a jealousy that enters into the relationship. Any relationship should be able to survive this change in dynamic.

First, if you have a family and your best friend is still waiting to meet Mr. Right, you will no longer be able to join her for happy hour at a moment’s notice. But you can schedule a “date” with your gal pal for a girl’s night out or even just some happy hour drinks and appetizers and have your husband stay with the kids or get a babysitter. Let your friend know that just because your life is busy with kids and your time and availability is more limited, that she is still important to you.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your husband and your kids with your friend. She may want your life but she shouldn’t begrudge you for being happy. However, do not spend all of your time talking about your kids. Not only is it hard for her to relate to that life and probably hard to listen to without feeling like she’s missing something, but it becomes uninteresting if that is all you have to talk about. Instead, reminisce about the old times with her. Laugh about old inside jokes or funny stories from high school together. Engage in some people watching together..

Schedule a spa day together another time. Make time for your special friend and your friendship will stand the test of time.

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