Finding friends is easy, but sustaining some friendships is not. Just like any other relationship, a friendship has its fair share of trials and problems. Differences in personalities, time, distance, opportunities, career choices and new people in your life can get in the way to strengthening your relationship with your friends.
Don’t let these factors get in the way of keeping your friendship intact. Follow these seven old school ways to solve modern friendship problems.
1. Don’t’ Hate Your Friends If They Hate Your Partner
True friends give an honest opinion, especially when it comes to dating. Some may click with your new partner, some may openly accept them, while there are others who will express their utter distaste for them.
Only you have the last say on whom you want to date, but take the time to listen to what your friends have to say, since their opinions are based on emotions.
Sometimes, you’ll be torn between your friends and your partner, especially if they dislike each other. Don’t avoid your friends or ditch your partner in favor of one over the other. Give both parties a chance to know each other more. Plan a get together, but don’t forcefully put them in an awkward situation. Ask your friends to bring their partners, too, so your partner won’t feel like they are being scrutinized.
On the other hand, if your partner is telling you to stop seeing your long-time friends, you really should think twice about if he or she is the right one for you.
2. Use Technology To Communicate
The demands of modern life can make it impossible to spend an hour chatting on the phone with a friend. Technology advances and the internet provide a great way to stay connected even from afar. Make use of it.
Schedule a conference call at least once a month to catch up with your best friends. Pick a set date like the 30th of the month, and don’t change dates.
Google Hangout lets you chat with 10 people at a time, plus you can share documents, photos and even watch YouTube videos together. If the occasion calls for a more private talk, such as birthdays and other huge events, then go one-on-one.
3. Use Social Media To Reconnect With Friends
An email lets you narrate the stories better than talking on the phone, since you can write while recalling every vivid moment from last week up to now.
You can write it anytime and anywhere you are, and send it without the fear of disturbing your friend’s sleep like what a ringing phone does sometimes. However, can you keep up a good conversation through email?
Thanks to Facebook, you can stay updated with your friend’s lives, too. So, the next time you call you won’t have to start asking each other what’s new, which can take much from your precious time. Instead, you can start with “How was your trip to France?” or “Congrats on your promotion.”
4. Spend Uninterrupted Time With Them
It’s difficult to squeeze a lengthy phone call in your schedule,what’s more a friend’s night out.
Nothing beats seeing each other in person while you chitchat over a cocktail. Plan a trip once a year to go out of town.
If you’re planning to go somewhere really far, schedule the date months ahead, so you can plan for a leave and save for the expenses. While vacations may cost a lot, spending time together will be a lot of fun and the best way to keep friendships intact. It’s the perfect time to create new wonderful memories like the way you used to.
5. Listen Without Judgment
Problems become bearable when you have friends whom you can share them with. Likewise, whenever a friend is faced with a problem, offer a helping hand, or at least a listening ear.
Whatever the reason behind her problems, do not make judgments and blurt out ill comments. Now is the time when she needs you just to listen and understand.
If they come to you after a breakup, avoid saying “I told you so,” because right at that moment she wants someone to share her pain or provide support. If your friend suffers from something, like anxiety or clinical depression, having a strong support system, including you and your other friends is imperative.
6. Accept That Friendships Can Grow Apart
Friends are more a like when they spend most of the time together. But what if it’s a close friend from high school who is entirely different from you? You were close back then, but you two grew to be extremely different people.
It’s hard to reconnect if you are not the same people anymore. Don’t let the differences get in the way to rebuilding your friendship. Keeping a few diverse personalities in your circle of friends means more opportunities and possibilities.
Another situation where friendships can grow apart is when one of your friends gets married. Expect that there will be shorter phone calls and fewer date nights. Of course, life wouldn’t be the same. Don’t feel neglected; instead understand that her family is her priority now. For sure, when you get married and have a family of your own, you’ll want the same understanding from your friends.
If she doesn’t have the time, make the effort to reach out to her. Drop by her house, but not without ringing her first. She’ll be glad to have you around for dinner sometimes.
7. Don’t Let Romance Ruin Your Friendship
In a group of friends, there will always be one who will feel romantically attracted to someone in the group.
The feeling might be mutual, which now leads to the fear that taking your relationship to another level might ruin the friendship. Or, the feelings might not be reciprocated, which can lead to awkwardness.
Falling in love with a friend is a serious dilemma, but don’t let it get in the way. If they see you only as a friend, have some self-respect and pull yourself together. If a friend likes you, and you don’t, don’t lead them on. There’s no need to avoid each other. You just have to be clear about how you feel without embarrassing your friend.
True friends are hard to find. They are the ones who stick through thick and thin, so don’t lose them. Don’t let problems weaken your relationship with these seven old school ways to solve modern friendships.