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5 Ways to Maintain Long Friendships

Update Date: Oct 16, 2014 03:07 PM EDT

A good and strong social support system is important for overall life quality. Several studies have found that people who are sick do better when they have a group of family members and friends to rely on. Even though having lifelong friendships is beneficial, many people might find it difficult to maintain them due to time constraints. However, that does not mean that people should not try.

Here are five ways to keep long friendships:

1. Keep expectations in check

Having lifelong friends means that you can rely on someone to be there for you when you need it. However, having too many and too high expectations as to what your friends should do for you can ruin your relationships. Instead of depending on your friends for everything, you should realize that your friends cannot fulfill all of your needs. Do not give up friends just because they are not at your beck and call.

2. Stay adaptable

As you and your friends age, different factors in life, such as getting married and having children, will change how you guys interact with one another. Instead of blaming your friends for being different, try to be flexible and forgiving. Do not cling onto all the things that you and your friends used to do. Try creating new memories and activities that accommodate everyone's new schedules.

3. Make time

With more responsibilities, ranging from your career to your family, you will have to start making an effort to spend time with your friends. Try finding a time when everyone can meet up for something as simple as lunch or dinner. Most importantly, remember to have fun and maintain the same level of familiarity with one another.

4. Appreciate your friends

Even if you do not have time every single week or month to see your friends, remember to appreciate them. Your lifelong friends know you the best and having them by your side can be extremely beneficial. Since these types of friendships are rare, cherish them and make sure your friends know you care about them.

5. Don't force friendships

Even though keeping friendships going can be important, sometimes, friendships have just run their course. If maintaining a friendship becomes stressful and draining, it might be time to end the friendship. There is no shame to cutting people out of your life, especially if they have become toxic to your wellbeing.

Remember that friendships take time and effort to build and strengthen.

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