The changing nature of friendships in your twenties

Content 

Introduction 

Yesterday I talked about the reasons why introverts need time alone, so I thought, why not go 180 degrees and talk about friendships. Being an introvert doesn’t mean I hate people; in fact, I highly value the people I am lucky enough to call my friends. 

I have noticed, though, that my friendships started to change in my twenties, and that’s completely normal. 

This blog post will share how friendships change in your twenties and how to maintain them. 

How friendships change 

Photo by Alexas Fotos from Pexels

This section will share how friendships change from your childhood and university to being in your twenties. Of course, this is my experience, but I hope others can relate. 

You don’t see each other every day 

Many of my current friendships consist of people I have known since high school, so a solid 10+ years now. We went from seeing each other five days a week, due to school, and some weekends, to being at least a train ride away from each other. 

I didn’t make that many friends at University, but the one’s I did, it was easy to hang out with them, as you would bump into them at Uni or see them for social events. 

With my high school friends, we all now live in separate cities or towns, so it is harder to see each other. 

You are on different paths

Again, in school, everyone was finding their feet and typically studying the same subjects. Everyone was trying to discover who they were. Now, everyone is on their own path. Some have most things figured out; others are still trying to figure everything out.  

Some friends have bought their first home; some have kids, others live at home with their parents, others focus on their careers, and others focus on having fun before settling down. All of these paths, and more, are okay, but it might mean you drift away from certain friends or you need to put more effort into seeing each other. 

They take more effort 

I’ve heard people say that ‘if they are really your friends, it will be easy’, that’s not true. In your twenties and beyond, friendships take more effort. You can’t just rock up to school on a Monday morning to see your friends. You have to put effort into the friendships you have, which sometimes means planning gatherings weeks in advance. 

Job, work, commitments, naps – they can all take up our time, which means reaching out to friends and sometimes waiting until the next day before they respond. 

Smaller friendship groups

This point and the next point go hand-in-hand. As you get older, your friendship group might dwindle, or you notice you don’t dart between separate groups of friends. 

Some friends drift 

As time progresses, you might naturally drift from certain friends. It doesn’t have to be a complete song and dance or even drama involved. Sometimes we just grow apart, move away or form other friendships. 

~ Some friends drift from your circle, and that’s okay.

It is sad to think about the friends I once had and how they slowly drifted away, but I hold no hard feelings and always wish them the best. Sometimes it is just easier to let go, and that is okay. 

Of course, some friends drift away as you realise that they do not bring positivity into your life. I had a few ‘friends’ in my life who weren’t actually my friends, and when you get older, you realise they are not the kind of people you want to have in your life. 

Maintaining friendships in your twenties 

Growing up doesn’t mean you have to let go of your friends; it just means you might have to change how you approach your friendships. This section will share some ways you can maintain friendships in your twenties, and beyond for that matter. 

It is quality over quantity 

As mentioned, unlike school, you can’t spend every weekday together, as most people have a 9-to-5. Instead, you have to make time. Sometimes it might just be an hour at a cafe to catch-up, or an evening to vent. 

The quality of the time you spend together becomes more precious than spending every day with each other. 

Adapting to social gatherings 

I’ve noticed that social gatherings have changed over the years. It went from hanging out in big groups and sitting in the park to more catered social gatherings. For example, I have a friend who prefers calmer hangouts; we go to museums, watch movies and even catch up at one of our homes. I have another friend who loves going to gigs and bars. 

Social gatherings adapt and change, and no doubt they will again. For example, when my closest friend has kids, I can imagine that I will be around at her house helping with the laundry while she tends to the kids, and we’ll catch up like that. You adapt as your situation changes. 

Comparing schedules and planning in advance 

Comparing Schedules
Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

Okay, this is the biggest change that happened to my friendships. It takes so much more effort to hang out with people. When at school, I lived a 5-20 minute walk away from most of my friends. Now, it’s a 30-minute train ride for most, along with a 20-minute walk. 

Another thing is that we all have different schedules, so hangouts take more time and effort to arrange. We compare schedules and set provisional dates so that if one person has to cancel, they feel less guilty about it. 

Plans get cancelled 

Another key part of friendships in your twenties is that sometimes plans get cancelled. Work commitments pop up, family need help, or sometimes you just don’t fancy getting ready to go out because you are too tired or emotionally drained. Understanding goes a long way in friendships, and it should not be taken to heart if a friend has to cancel. 

Alternative plans can be made, and sometimes it is nice to hear a friend say, ‘well, if you don’t fancy going out, I’ll come over to yours, and we can watch a film’.  

Compromise, communication and understanding are key to any friendship. 

Summary 

Friendships, just like most things in life, are all about balance. Most friendships change as you grow up and start to figure out who you are. Some friends stay with you forever, and some are only a part of your life for a small-time. Some friends drift away, for one reason or another, and that’s okay. 

Making time for existing friends takes more effort than it once did, but I am willing to do that for the friends I have. All that’s left to ask is, how do you make new friends in your twenties? I have no idea. 

I realise that this sounds like I have a lot of friends, but it’s genuinely about four, but each one I can trust, and I know they are there for me, and that’s all that matters. Quality over quantity, after all.  

Normally I end my blog post with a question relating to the content, but I don’t have one today. Instead, I’ll finish it by saying, I hope you have a lovely day. 💜

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