Friendships in Adulthood...It's Harder Than It Seems

I’m working on an article about friendships and working moms and it got me thinking about friendship and adulthood in general.

It’s rough to make new friends when you’re grown up. When you’re a kid, your friends are presented to you either at school, in extra curricular activities, or through your friends. As we grow up, we’re looking for more in friendships than just finding people who like the same things.

The reality is, with technology, friendships are evolving and we can stay in touch with our friends who have moved far away. But, there are other aspects of friendship we don’t have to deal with in adulthood.

If it’s Not Working, Move on
When you were younger, you had to hang out with someone if your mom made you, but you’re in charge now. If you don’t have enough in common, if it’s more work than fun or if you’re giving more than you’re getting, you don’t need to be friends with that person. I mean, obviously you should be respectful and kind to everyone, but your time is valuable and you’re not obligated to share it with someone that doesn’t value you.

If you Have to Buy Their Products, It’s Not Friendship
The Washington Post noted today that female friendships are suffering due to MLMs. On multiple occasions, people from my past have friended me on social meda—only to sell me a product. When I say I’m not interested, they’re not interested in anything else. I also feel guilty when friends ask me to buy their products—when I don’t, it sometimes complicates things. No judgement if you’re part of an MLM, but don’t get mad at your friends who aren’t “supporting your business” if they aren’t interested in the product and don’t push people away by pushing a product they have no interest in. I have lost many friends because of this and it’s rough.

You Need People Who “Get You” In Your Life
You guys. Life is hard. We are working, we have kids, we have family obligations, and we have homes to clean and groceries to buy. It’s a lot. If people don’t understand your passions, your goals, your day to day life…it’s not going to work. I’m not saying to cut out people in your life that don’t have children if you do, aren’t married if you are, etc., but if they can’t understand that you can’t always answer a text immediately because you’re in a meeting or that you can’t have lunch on Tuesdays because your kid has dance class, it’s going to make you feel guilty for something you can’t control. I keep my “friendship space” open for people who are like minded, are there for me, and who understand why I do what I do and value what I value.

If They’re Always Critical, It’s Not for You
This just doesn’t work for anyone. If someone’s criticizing you constantly from what you’re doing in your life to how you’re doing it, then maybe they’re not happy in the friendship either. You have too much on your plate to worry about pleasing someone that might not be able to be pleased.

Listen, you’re grown up. You choose how late you stay up, how you raise your kids, where you vacation and guess what, you can choose your friends.