Career growth, motherhood, parenting, and moving across the country all come with adulthood. How do you hold onto core friendships through major life changes and invest in the relationships that mean the most to you? In a lonely and increasingly isolated society, friendship is more important than ever and learning to invest in and maintain friendships throughout the different stages of life is a must. Research shows that our friendships have a significant impact on our overall well-being and our longevity of life

Read here for tips to navigate friendship as you enter new seasons of life.

Reach Out to Reconnect 

As you move into adulthood, your capacity might expand or compress depending on the season you’re in. In order to connect, someone has to make the first move. Be the friend who reaches out. Don’t allow too much time to pass before sending a text as simple as “Hey, how are you? How are the kids? How’s work?” These moments don’t have to get too deep. Brief moments allow you and your friends to stay connected.

Show an Interest in Their Interests

Make them feel valued, seen and loved. If you want to make and keep friends, you have to know how to make people feel like they belong and matter. Showing an interest in your friends’ passion and hobbies helps build deeper connections. 

Be Intentional About Setting Aside Time

Friendship requires investment and intentionality. They don’t just run off good vibes, but requires a willingness to show up even in hard times. A mindset of commitment is essential to navigating friendship in different life seasons. Be intentional about setting up regular phone calls or sending cards and gifts on birthdays and important dates. A little goes a long way as far as intentionality.

Be Vulnerable

Vulnerability doesn’t make us weak. In fact, it builds relationships. Research shows that people who express negative emotions make more friends over time. Don’t be afraid to share negative emotions or difficult experiences with the friends closest to you. Ultimately, being the most genuine version of yourself will only build more intimacy. 

Express Affection

Don’t be afraid to show your friends you like and value them. Sometimes, we don’t vocalize our love and appreciation for the people closest to us. To maintain your friendships through all of life’s many changes, share your love for them out loud. It never hurts to say I love you.