A compilation post for All Women's Health reminded us that friendships, particularly long-term friendships, are likely to alter and evolve—especially as each friend reaches different stages of life. Often, we consider change as a terrible thing, but we simply need to reframe our perspective on it as normal and unavoidable. Change is neither bad nor good; it just is.
When you look back on your past few years, what have been the most significant changes in the people around you? Probably your parents will be the first to come to mind. Maybe some friends from college or high school have drifted away, while others have become closer. Perhaps someone new has entered your life who has had an impact on you and your relationships with other people.
Whether the changes are positive or negative, they're all part of living and growing up. The more people you meet, the more paths your life will take; some routes will be similar, while others will be completely unique. This is all part of being human; it's how we learn, grow, and adapt.
Even though friendships are important, don't forget about love and marriage. They may change over time too, but that doesn't make them any less significant or valuable.
These partnerships provide a feeling of permanence and constancy, which may be extremely soothing during times of ambiguity, grief, or worry. Maintaining a friendship throughout a lifetime, on the other hand, might be tough. People's hobbies and habits evolve as they become older. Your friends may also change as their priorities shift or new relationships emerge.
When you do see old friends, it's wonderful to catch up with them. But don't expect your relationship to be exactly like it was when you were younger. As we age, our lives take on different shapes than when we were young enough to have friendships that spanned decades. In fact, according to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, most people only have five close friends throughout their lifetimes.
But even though we may only have so many friends in our lives, that doesn't mean we can't be happy when seeing them again. Indeed, studies show that how we choose to view our friendships has a huge impact on our feelings toward them. If you consider your friendships to be important and valuable, you will feel love and appreciation for them even after years apart.
So yes, it is possible to maintain a friendship over a lifetime. It requires work and effort but it is certainly not impossible.
Individual friendships' gravitational pull may have a huge cumulative influence on the quality of our lives. With a rising number of individuals living alone, either by choice or by necessity, friendships can replace the emotional space that others fill with spouses or significant others.
When we lack friends, we tend to turn to family for support, which is understandable since they are usually there for us. However, even family members cannot fully understand what it means to be isolated from other people, so they too often push us away rather than supporting us through our problems.
It is not that we want to be aloof; we are just trying to cope with the absence of positive relationships. It is difficult to feel happy and content when we don't have anyone to rely on, so it makes sense that having more friends would improve how we feel about our lives.
However, research shows that individual friendships do have profound effects on our lives. Studies have shown that people who have more friends live longer and report higher levels of happiness. This makes sense since close friendships provide an essential counterweight to the difficulties of life and help us cope with the losses we all experience.
Furthermore, scientists speculate that these positive effects are due to friends providing us with social support, meaning that they help us deal with the challenges of living in a socially anxious world.
Friendships have a propensity to alter with time, which might lead to drifting away. When this occurs, people may feel lonely and excluded. Here's how to deal with it. Everyone's life and friendships go through ups and downs. For some people, their relationships with their friends remain fairly constant; while for others, they fluctuate greatly.
The older we get, the more likely it is that at least one of our friends will change. Maybe they'll stop returning your calls or disappear from your life completely. You can't expect your friends to stay put no matter what stage you're in life. Change is natural; it's what makes life interesting. If you don't like the way things are, do something about it! But if your friend seems intent on leaving you behind, then there's nothing much you can do about it.
Old friends can be difficult to find. If you know someone who has gone their separate ways from another friend, it can be hard to reconnect. Sometimes people just need a little nudge in the right direction. If you come across an old photo or memory, it can spark a connection that leads to more talks and eventually more visits. And who knows, maybe down the road you can even develop a new friendship.
As long as both you and your friend want to keep the relationship going, there's no reason why it should deteriorate.
Friendships may or may not last. They might eventually lose their significance and expire. Some friendships come to an abrupt end due to unresolved tension. Change by one or both pals is the deadliest enemy of friendships. Without constant attention and maintenance, friendships will fade away.
When two people get together to share their thoughts and feelings with someone they trust, this person becomes a friend. Friends help each other out by giving advice, supporting each other's interests, and being there when needed. Most friends go through periods where they are apart; sometimes they even have different lives experiences. However, true friends remain loyal to one another regardless of what happens between them.
The length of a friendship depends on the depth of the relationship. While some friendships may be short-lived, others can last for years or forever. Sometimes friends meet up every few months or years, but they still stay close. Other times friends may not talk for a long time and then reconnect later on. Either way, friends will always have something to talk about or do together again.
Friends help us deal with life's challenges. Whether it's dealing with loss, disappointment, or illness, having friends helps us feel less alone. True friends will be there during times of need, no matter how far away they may be.