It’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen my best friend. I say “few” and won’t get into the specifics, because I’m kind of embarrassed at how long I can sometimes go without checking in or scheduling time to hang out with her. I’m not an asshole — at least, I’m not trying to be — and I’m also not so swamped with work that I literally don’t have any time to see her. It’s just that sometimes, I rely on on the security of knowing that our 20+ years of friendship is so solid, that even if I don’t see her for “few” weeks, it won’t affect the decades of best-friendship that we’ve built.
On the day we both finally had time to hang out and catch up, we were both starving and craving pasta, so a lot of our initial chatter was about food and how we really could not wait until our food arrived. It’s always in these first few moments that I feel a teeny pang of guilt about not having seen her for so long — especially if what prompted me in the first place was my boyfriend (who is a social butterfly) asking if I’d spoken to her lately.
When we’re young, our best friends are around us all the time. Often, we meet them at school, so a lot of the time we forge our friendships because our day-to-day lives afford us the opportunity to. By the time we’re adults, however, our friends are no longer involved in our day-to-day lives the way they used to be. We all have jobs, different schedules, and responsibilities that don’t always make it easy to hang out with our BFFs as much as we’d like to. Friendships used to seem effortless, but now, there’s a bit of work involved, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Friendships just take a bit of maintenance. Here’s how
Make time, even if you’re “super busy.”
As a society, we seem to value being busy. It’s as if being busy is a sign of success. And of course, when you’re really busy with work, there isn’t a lot of time for much else — including our BFFs. Honestly, even grabbing a coffee during your lunch break can be a great time to catch up on the latest gossip, or even just talk about the same old, same old. Plus, it’s always nice to know that your best friend is down to spend some quality time, even if it’s just for an hour.
Don’t forget important events, and set a alarm if you need to.
Seriously, do not forget the important events in your friends’ lives. Go ahead and set alarms and alerts on your phone if you need to. Remembering important events like birthdays and anniversaries and other dates and occasions that are important to your BFF is crucial to maintaining friendships, because even if you’re both preoccupied with your own things, remembering to greet each other shows that you still care, and that you’re thinking about them.
Remind them you’re there for them.
Being “available” doesn’t mean being at your friend’s beck-and-call 24/7. People who expect that kind of thing from their friends probably aren’t the greatest friends themselves. Availability can simply mean that you remind your friends that you’re there for them whenever they need you. Perhaps if they call at an inconvenient time, tell them you’ll call them back and then actually call them back. Perhaps you can send them a “S’up?” text every now and again, too?
Share memes. Yes, really.
So we probably all do this with our friends via Instagram, but if you don’t already, you totally should. Sending memes to friends is like having inside jokes at school. You know, like the type where you’d look at each other across the classroom, instantly know what the person’s look meant, and then have a good giggle about it, at the expense of your poor teacher’s sanity. It’s a small, seemingly insignificant gesture, but it’s always nice to bring humour to someone’s day and remind them that you two are totally #friendshipgoals.
Tell them you love them.
It may sound cheesy, and perhaps it is, but telling people you love them should be something we all do more often. Every relationship, not just friendships, require a little bit of effort from us, just once in a while. Even though you think that decades of friendship should imply that you love your BFF, it isn’t a bad thing to remind them that you do, in fact, care. Even if you can go M.I.A for a “few” weeks, sometimes. Now, go tell someone you love them, RN!