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Five ways to grow adult friendships

Relationships - By Esther Muchene
You can only have quality friendships if you’re ready to only maintain those that are genuine (Shutterstock)

Adult friendships are significantly different from teen or childhood friendships. They are more mature and they require you to work on yourself as an individual.

Therefore, making and maintaining adult friendships is a new ballgame for anyone who wants to be surrounded with good, supportive friends.

You have to be ready for that transition from ‘childish’ friendships (pun unintended) into something that’s sustainable as you get older.

These are some of the things you should know if you want your friendships to grow and get mature:

i.Focus on meaningful relationships

One of the main reasons why most people end up with a handful of friends as they grow older is they run out of room for empty friendships. You drop habits like people-pleasing and get more comfortable with letting go of things that don’t add value while embracing those that do.

You’ll never be comfortable having friends who aren’t genuine with you or even those that don’t make an impact in your life in any way.

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You can only have quality friendships if you’re ready to only maintain those that you have a genuine connection with.

ii.Embrace your common goals

The best friendships are those that are glued together by common goals. It’s okay to have friends who have different interests but most of the time, you’ll find yourself leaning towards those who have something in common with you.

When you have that foundation, your bond becomes stronger because you can meet and work out together as you catch up, for example, or you can actually organize a play date where the kids can interact if you’re both moms.

These types of friendships are flexible because you won’t have to struggle when making plans together.

To nurture an adult friendship, you need to value respect and have boundaries (Shutterstock)

iii.Be consistent

Consistency is key and that will never change. Adulthood is full of busy schedules and so many things that need your attention, leaving no time for friends.

Gradually, you and your friends end up meeting and talking less until the friendship eventually fades away.

There’s no way you can sustain an adult friendship without effort and that is why you should work on being committed and present. You do that by checking up on each other, making plans together and being there for one another.

iv.Be understanding

You always have to understand that not everything will work out exactly according to plan. There will be times when you’ll schedule a date to hang out and end up not doing so.

You have to consider that not everyone will be free when you’re free and the fact that people have their lives to concentrate on so they might not be available all the time. That’s just something you have to accept.

You will all probably flake on plans often but at least you’re trying and that’s enough.

v.Value respect

The need for boundaries in relationships will always be a major factor. This is especially true in adult friendships because no one has time for petty games anymore.

You should have already matured from your past so that by the time you start nurturing meaningful adult friendships, you already know what’s expected.

Some of the basics of respect include valuing each other’s time, which means you should show up on time if you’ve planned something instead of always coming late; respecting each other’s privacy instead of being too involved in each other’s lives; giving each other space when needed, among other things.

You should still be able to joke around with your friends, because a friendship should be fun but you need to know when to separate games from real life especially when it comes to boundaries.

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