If you are an adult, you probably experienced some changes in your friendships. My sister joined me for this podcast episode to talk about the complexities of adult friendships. Spoiler alert: It’s hard to make friends as an adult but it is worth it.

Listen to the podcast episode:

Why talk about Friendships as Adults?

We started talking about friendships a few months ago. Then, we were sharing podcast episodes and pieces on friendships. What all of these sources concluded was that the number of friendships people report having has been in decline and the pandemic made it worse. A podcast episode that really got Lissette and me talking was from On Point . It mentioned that people are reporting that we all have less and less friendships.

Nearly half of those surveyed say they’ve lost touch with friends over the past year, while one in ten reported having lost touch with most of their friends.

Source: On Point

It’s Different When You are Older

Lissette shared that, as an adult, people just get busy. Although you can make friends at work, that can be tough too. Conversely, there’s more access to people and time in college to develop friendships. We also discussed that you tend to get pickier with your social connections as you age. Likewise, less time means you are more discerning regarding how you spend your time.

Additionally, life transitions can lead to friendships fading. Social circles start to decline around 25 and continue to decrease. Here is the other podcast episode here that we were referring to on “adulting” without having kids and adult milestones. That podcast from On Point mentioned that people may lose and gain friendships every seven years. This makes sense since we may go through transitions in life every few years.

Here is the book Lissette mentioned and some other ones on Friendship:

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“The simplest and most obvious force that forms and sustains friendships is time spent together.”

Source: The Atlantic

Making Friends as an Adult

Lissette shared how she has developed friendships as she has wide circle of a diverse groups of friends. We talked about ways to can increase the chances of developing friendships by engaging in activities that you enjoy. For example, Lissette shared how she’s made friends from activities such as a language group. I shared that I made friends when I was training for a marathon.

Keeping Friends – Friendship Fuel

A piece in the Atlantic talked about what fuels friendship. It mentioned the accumulation of hours leads to the development of friendships. So, 40 to 60 hours within the 6 weeks leads to a casual friendship then it takes about 80 to 100 hours to become a closer friend. This is one of the reasons you may develop friendships at work.


Getting in Friendship Time

Next, we got into the idea of accumulation of hours to grow a friendship. Lissette mentioned that friendships are not “set and forget it”. You need to put in the time and be present when you do.

“I really cherish the friendships where I can be vulnerable I feel I don’t have to watch what I say.”


Rituals and Routines – Where Friendships Can Develop

Lastly, the piece from The Atlantic also talked about how rituals help fuel friendships. Lissette has rituals that she maintains with her friends such as her book club. Also, I mentioned that these rituals could develop through your kids activities if you are a parent. For example, you could establish friendships with other parents after taking your kid to an activity week after week. So, there is hope for making connections. 

Did this episode resonate with you? What are your thoughts on making friends as an adult?

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