Adult Friendships and Lasting Connections


This past year I have realized more than ever that as an adult maintaining friendships and making new friends can be a difficult road to navigate. Looking back over the past twelve years, I graduated college, started my career, moved to Central Massachusetts, got married, and had children. These changes shifted my responsibilities and my priorities drastically. During that time friendships changed too, some grew closer, and unfortunately, some grew apart.

In reality, everyone changes as time passes. Those who I may have considered my closest friends may have become just an acquaintance or someone I don’t talk to at all now. For me, it is a sad thing to consider, but I know change is an inevitable part of my personal growth. I have also been lucky enough to develop and grow beautiful friendships, new and old as well, which I truly value at this stage of my life.

Adult Friendships are Hard

Being in college and having a tight-knit group of friends was one of the most amazing parts of college. Having such a great group of friends for support, laughs, and memories made the stress of undergrad that much more bearable. Those friendships had a big impact on figuring out who I was. Graduating as a young adult, I started my career, and then my friendships from college changed depending on the stages of life we were in as well.

Once I had started my career, got married, and started a family, I realized how little time I had to spend with friends. While juggling my career, time with my family, and my responsibilities at home, taking the time to spend with friends became a challenge, to say the least. Now with my family complete, I have been able to reflect on the quality of friends that I wanted to surround myself with. For me, friendships at this stage in my life must be about enjoying quality time together, providing support to one another, and being mutually trustworthy and encouraging.

Health Benefits of Friendships

Research has continued to show the health benefits of friendship, both mentally and physically. The health benefits of friendship include reducing harmful levels of stress, while other research shows that caring for others in our meaningful social relationships also triggers stress-reducing hormones to release in our bodies. Friendships influence our health just like sleep and good nutrition do. It’s amazing that something as simple as social connections can have such a great effect on the human body and our health.

Being an adult, my friendships have become more meaningful, especially since having a family. The quality friendships that I currently have bring me happiness, reduce stress, and increase my sense of purpose. Having those meaningful friendships is also a big part of my self-care and personal happiness in my day-to-day life as a mom. I always feel great after spending some much-needed time out with a friend especially when we spend time with both our families.

Be Intentional in Friendships

Adulthood has made me realize how important it is to value meaningful friendships in my life. By being intentional about the friendships I have, I am building connections with others who love and value me as well as my family. I want friendships that involve somebody that I can talk to and be myself around, one where we can genuinely enjoy each other’s company, be excited for each other, and cheer each other on while also being there for each other during the hard stuff. Realizing how important my adult friendships are to my health has made me want to become more intentional about making more of an effort in planning time with my friends.

Opportunities to Develop New Friendships

Being more of an introvert, I have been making more of an effort to put myself out there and make meaningful connections with others. You never know who you may meet and what the relationship can develop into!

Here are some ideas that I have been trying to incorporate into my life:

  • Maximize the places you frequent (parks, libraries, or coffee shops to name a few).
  • Attend community events with Central Mass Mom and MamaConnect.
  • Attend a class at the gym, a yoga class, a cooking class, or an art class – try something new!
  • Join a local book club.
  • Volunteer for a local group.

Friendships new and old hold a dear place in my heart. To all my friends who have been there for me along the way in my life and those who have made a huge impact on my life, you know you are, thank you!


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