Friendship is a funny thing, and the struggle is so real. Being in your mid-twenties is a constant uphill battle of dealing with change in your life. Throughout these years of finding yourself and self-building, we experience so many different types of friendship as a result. Inevitably, we all experience friendship fall-out and we grow apart. That’s not to say that people change, but our interests and lives change and it is only natural to occasionally drift apart. So, it’s important to remember that not all friendships are meant to last forever.
In a healthy friendship, a friend is someone you genuinely look forward to seeing and enjoy spending time around. This article from Sheerluxe is extremely enlightening in highlighting that “a good friend has your welfare at heart, will always be there for you and recognises if you’re having a hard time.” In my experience, there are different types of friends. There’s the friend you’ll call late at night and convince to go out for drinks. There’s the friend who will always have your back – the person you call when you need a shoulder to cry on. The childhood friend you don’t speak to that often, but when you do see each other it’s like no time has passed at all.
It doesn’t matter how you have these friends, but it’s important to understand the difference between them. No matter who these people are, it’s important for your health to have one or two friends you can always count on, rather than people who don’t tend to hang around.
When you go to university, everyone tells you-you’re going to experience the best few years of your life. You and your friends from college are all embarking on the same exciting journey and you can’t wait for all the new friends you’ll make and experiences you’re going to share. But it doesn’t always turn out that way. I left school with a close group of six friends who I thought would be around forever, but through no fault of my own and the constant attempts to stay in contact, we naturally drifted apart.
Eventually, I moved on and found a secure group of friends – after all, your uni friends become lifelong friends right? Wrong. After a shit storm of mental health issues, fallouts over boys and even an altercation with the police – I learnt how to separate the people I needed over the people who were really, just a life lesson.
Then all of a sudden you’re in the real world. You’ve left university and it’s time to get a job. You don’t want to be stuck in a boring 9-5. So you take a look around you, in the hopes of finding the ultimate “work wife”. This person becomes your saving grace Monday through to Friday – you get lunch together, have your own private jokes and head to the local pub to discuss situations only a double G&T can cure.
Though it’s only been a short amount of time, your bond is like no other as you spend every working day together. I’ve been fortunate in nurturing an amazing friendship through work experiences and I wouldn’t change it for the world. For some people, it can be hard. Time goes on and you decide it’s time to change course, leaving your work wife behind. My only advice here would be if it’s meant to be – and you’ll know – cherish this person and keep them in your life for as long as you can (as long as it’s reciprocated).
When it comes to social media, everyone thinks they have all these friends. People get sucked into a bubble of thinking the more followers – the more friends you have, but it’s not a popularity contest and it doesn’t mean anything. Are the people you speak to online actually your real friends? Or are they just there to blow up your social platforms and send the occasional DM about where those shoes are from?
Don’t get me wrong, social media can be an amazing place to meet new people. But it also has faults. How do you know if someone actually wants to get to know the real you? Or if they’re only befriending you for their own personal gain? Too many times in this industry we’ve seen first-hand fallouts of girls who have started hanging out, grown their online presence then dropped said friends like it was nothing. All I can say is know your worth and be careful of the people you are sharing your life with.
Losing a friend is extremely painful, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been there too many times to pretend I’ve never been heartbroken. When you open up to someone and place your trust and loyalty in their hands, it hurts like hell when one day, they completely cut you off. I’m sure you’ve all probably come across someone in your life that says they don’t have many girlfriends. Megan from Love Island ring any bells? Normally I think, well okay that’s probably because you’re a bitch – but often they’ve just had bad experiences.
This kind of friendship scares me the most because you feel like you can’t get as close to them as other people. You might love them and their company, but you won’t be as close as you’d hoped. Often, this is where narcissism comes in. Sometimes, as hard as it is, you realise the friendship might have been one-sided and as sad as it might be, you have to let go of these people in order to feel free. Life is too short to be bitter. Sometimes friendships just die and that’s the truth of it. Don’t try and fight the situation and learn to let go of angry feelings. Accept it for what it is and learn to make friends with yourself. As cliché as it might sound, when times get tough – and trust me, they will – you’ll have to be enough to get yourself by.
The hardest part of making friends in your twenties is putting yourself out there. You’re going through life on your own and no longer surrounded by people who share similar interests to you. Learn to accept that there are things in life you can’t control and the only way to move forward is to put yourself out there. I’ve learnt that the easiest way for me is to try out something new, whether it be a gym class or a new hobby and integrate yourself with people who might like doing the same things.
Enjoy yourself and have a fun night out – meet that girl in the bathroom and fix each other’s make up. When she puts her number in your phone, don’t delete it the next day. Make an effort to reach out and see where it takes you. I’ve heard so many success stories of friendships that started in the ladies room or smoking area, simply because someone decided to put themselves out there.
True friends are people that will stick around forever and have your back no matter what. So don’t waste time crying over losing people who were only supposed to be in your life for a short while. What have you guys learnt about friendships in your life? I’d love to hear your experiences or any tips you might have.
Love, Aysh x