How to Maintain Friendships When You’re in Different Stages of Life
Maybe your closest friends are getting married and having kids, and you’re more focused on your career. Or maybe you’re the first among your besties to get pregnant, and you’re having a tough time navigating parenthood without other mom friends. Either way, facing the very real challenges that come with friendship in adulthood can be frustrating and stressful. It’s easy to feel left out (or even left behind) when you’re in a completely different phase of life from the people you care about the most. Thankfully, just because your lives look different logistically doesn’t mean the quality of your relationship has to take a huge hit. If you’re feeling the weight of changing friendship, here are a few ideas for maintaining — and even continuing to build — connection.
1. Remind yourself what connected you in the first place. On a surface level, you probably met your best friends because you were in similar phases of life — perhaps you were all in the same high school class or in the same dorm in college. But chances are you were drawn to your friends because of something deeper, like their personalities or passions. When it seems like there’s not much overlap anymore in how your everyday lives are structured, try to take stock of what attracted you and connected you to your friend, then tap into that. Maybe the two of you connected because you both love the outdoors, or because you both have a great sense of humor — so go on a hike or see a comedy! Even as seasons of life shift, our cores still remain the same, and that can be a huge comfort.
2. Try not to take things personally. When you and a close friend used to do everything together, changes in that routine can sting. But just because you and your bestie have different priorities and different schedules (for now!) doesn’t mean you love each other any less. In fact, they’re probably just as distraught about the changes in your friendship as you are, even if they haven’t communicated it. Instead of seeing these differences as a personal blow or reading into a text message that never gets a response, remember that with new phases of life come new stresses, and it can require a lot of mental energy to settle in.
3. Be open to expanding your crew. Though friendship can still thrive as differences unfold, it’s still important (and fun!) to have friends you can relate to on a practical level — even if that means you just add a few people to your life who have a similar schedule and routine. If you’re in a season where your job is most important, make an effort to get to know a colleague over happy hour or coffee. Or if you’re a new parent and none of your friends have babies, sign up for a Mommy & Me class or chat with some other parents at the playground. You might be surprised how refreshing it feels to find even a couple new friends whose lives overlap with yours.
4. Don’t forget your history never changes. Facing the changes that come with adult friendship can feel a little bit like grieving, and you’re probably facing that full spectrum of emotions. The beautiful thing is, though, that no matter where you are now, you and your friend will always have the foundation you created together, whether you’ve known each other for a year or since kindergarten. A pause in the growth of your friendship doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship is doomed or that there’s no opportunity to grow in the future. Take the opportunity presented by this unique stage in your relationship to creatively invest in your friend and cheer them on — a friend worth keeping will do the same for you!
How do you deal with changes in friendship? Tell us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)