Atlanta, GA — As I get older, I have noticed that my friendship dynamics have changed. My circle has become smaller and the frequency that I talk to my friends is becoming less and less.
Initially, I wondered if I was going through a period of self-isolation or maybe I was in a “love bubble” due to being in a relationship, but after reflecting I realized that we are all growing up, super busy and we are all at different stages of life.
Some of my friends are engaged, preparing to get engaged or married with kids while the other half are single and figuring out what their next steps will be. It gets challenging to stay in touch when we are in different stages, but it is not impossible especially since these relationships mean so much to me. In college, seeing each other was easy. All we had to do was send a text in the group chat and we all knew that it was time to meet up; life was simpler because we were in a college bubble and lived very close.
Now I am learning new ways to communicate with them and stay up-to-date in their lives because I know I am not the only one learning to navigate this.
Here’s are some things that have helped me stay connected:
- Scheduling time: We are all on different schedules and time zones now so sometimes we schedule Zoom meetings. It sounds so official and professional but something about having the scheduled time on our calendar helps us to remember the importance of actually catching up.
- Sending photos: I have noticed that when I get busy with work or life, I will see a text message and forget to reply to it and as a result it will be weeks before I reply. I have started to send photos now of what I am doing at the moment if I am super busy so that my friends know that I am not ignoring them, I am just busy at that moment.
As my friends and I grow and learn how to “adult,” our schedules and availability will change, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop communicating, we just have to adapt to the changes.