If your older friendships have gone stale, don’t panic—for starters, it’s pretty common for friendships to wither as time passes unless you live in close proximity to one another and can make time for face-to-face interactions often. So, those best buds you had from college and high school? Those “check-ins” could be getting sparser.
However, if you truly love and value these friends, you can make time for them by working on staying connected in one another’s lives. Here are a ways to keep the spark alive in these older friendships, so you don’t all go your separate ways as “adulting” continues to happen.
Put something on the calendar
Be it an in-person coffee or drink date, a FaceTime one Wednesday after work, or even a weekend trip for a quick visit, make sure to put something on the calendar so you can connect.
“A lot of friendships don’t end because of anything major, but mainly because people get busy and say, ‘We really need to see each other soon,’ but then don’t,” says David Bennett, relationship counselor with Double Trust Dating.
Next time you say this, actually make it happen! Put a plan in place rather than delaying further.
Call them up
Today is all about texting, but take time to make a phone call or FaceTime, which is more personal for a longer catch up. “It may seem passé to call people in 2019, but many people seem to only communicate by text or through occasional like or comment,” says Bennett.
Give your best friends a phone call from time-to-time. It might be more old-fashioned, but it can definitely revitalize those dwindling relationships!
Talk about older times—but start creating new memories, too.
“Sometimes friends forget the reasons why they really connected with someone. Invite your friends to an old hangout, see a concert of a band you used to both love, or something else that sparks some of the old feelings,” says Bennett.
And while a healthy dose of nostalgia is a fundamental bond that keeps people together, remember that adventure, adrenaline, and new memories all have a place in relationship-deepening too (after all, there’s a reason The Bachelor goes sky-diving every season). When you’re making new plans with old friends, seek out new-to-you ideas, whether it be a new restaurant, a road trip to a random small town on a map, or sure, sky-diving—those memories will be priceless as your bond grows over time.
Swallow your pride
Don’t act so proud—if they forgot to see you last time they visited your area or missed a phone call, don’t get so defensive. Two people not putting in the work won’t help. Instead, quit grudges and let things go. From the past, too—start fresh if you want to rekindle the friendship.
“Sometimes older friendships weaken because of various personal issues, like maybe you don’t like your friend’s partner, or your friend moved far away and you were upset with that,” Bennett advises.
What’s more important here—your ego or your relationship? Ask yourself that.
Prioritize your older friendships
Lastly, treat friend dates as work appointments and workout classes. (Better yet? Invite a friend to a sweat sesh with you.)
“This may seem simple, but many people prioritize things like work, partners, and children over friendships,” Bennett reminds us.
Many people even put things like binging Netflix over people! (Okay, I do too sometimes.)
“Friendships are like anything else—if you don’t value them, they will weaken with time,” Bennett says.