How to Keep a Healthy Long-Lasting Friendship From Fading

     Throughout life, it’s a well-known fact that we will experience different relationships with multiple people. Those connections will range from platonic friendships, romances, sexual encounters, family, and more. I’m proud to say that I’ve had the same best friend since I was a toddler. I’ll go ahead and admit that we aren’t the type of friends that are all over each other, in the sense that we spend every waking moment together, it’s more so that wherever we end up we can always pick it right back up. Always.

     While I’ve somehow managed to keep a decade-plus friendship, I want to share some tips I’ve learned on the way that really makes a difference. Of course, finding that friendship and that person must come first, and I’m not the best matchmaker. However, having a person to work through challenging conversations, difficult life problems, or just needing someone to confess everything to should be a goal everyone has in life. 

 

1. Really Listen to Each Other

     When a person comes to you with real issues they have going on in life, they are trusting you to help them. Don’t blow them off or act like it’s none of your business. To make a friendship last, sometimes their problems become your problems and you tackle them together. Whether it’s something deep and personal or a funny joke you don’t think is funny, listen to them and don’t just say “yeah” to get them to stop talking. 

 

2. Support Them & Communicate 

     In high school, my best friend was on the drill team and I wasn’t. Rather than have this gap between us, it gave us each a chance to find something else we love in life. I was able to say that’s my best friend out on the field and she was able to be a neutral opinion in any outside crises I had. A friendship can’t be one-sided and so it’s crucial to know what’s happening with each other and be participants rather than spectators.

 

3. Be There (Physically or Not!)

     Distance can do a lot to a friendship. Right now me and my best friend are at different colleges, and it’s hard to see them doing things with their new friends. However, planning weekends and having time at home that is dedicated to catching up with one another can really center you guys back together. Also having a weekly time to chat on the phone or over facetime is another great way to stay in contact and be a constant character in each other’s life. 

 

4. Be Mindful to Changes

     This has always been one of the hardest things to do for me in friendships. I forget that we’re all human; we all mess up and forget a weekly phone call or forget to share about an important life update. Or they even tried something new without you and they now love it. Know that changes will happen, and for the most part they will only add to the relationship if you want them to. As you grow older together, actively try not to grow apart. 

 

5. Be Accepting of the New and Old

     You know all those little quirks that make your friend tick or the little gestures that put a smile on their face? Accept those things and do them. Even if it’s annoying, those gestures go a long way and show that you truly enjoy them for who they are. Any new changes in their life that they are excited about, should also get you excited for them, even if it doesn’t include you.

 

     Some say that friendships come and go, and some aren’t meant to last forever. Although putting in your best effort and really showing up for those friendships that you care about will make them last a lifetime. From experience, friendships are hard and complicated, but also so much fun and add so much brightness to one’s life that I wouldn’t do anything to ruin it.