Making friends becomes less of a priority we get older, despite the fact that friendships become even more crucial to our emotional and physical well-being. Between work and family obligations, even the best relationships can deteriorate. College provides the perfect environment for making friends, and graduation shouldn’t signal the end of our college friendships. Keeping relationships strong may require some extra effort, so read on for some tips on maintaining friendships after college.
Bridging the Distance
Studies have shown that proximity is important when it comes to making friends. It’s also much easier to keep friends that live nearby. A common reason for friendship deterioration after college is distance. Everyone goes in different directions for work or graduate school and fails to maintain contact. Create a habit of sending regular emails or making phone calls to your long-distance friends. If possible, find a great in-between location to meet up in person. Or invite your friend to your city and show her the sights.
Create a Routine
Sharing a routine can be crucial to keeping friendships strong. Whether your routine is weekly or yearly, it will provide the perfect opportunity to catch up with your friends. You may have a daily walk together, weekly movie night or visit a favorite vacation spot together each year. Whatever you decide, make it a priority and choose something you know will be easy for everyone to continue.
Go Beyond Facebook
Social media provides a good opportunity to stay in touch with friends, but it shouldn’t be the only point of contact. A strong friendship involves more personal interaction, which may be accomplished by a face-to-face meeting for local friends or a phone call for long-distance friends. Friendships usually stall after college because good opportunities for interactions don’t present themselves and no one takes initiative to create them. Make the first move by inviting your friends out for coffee or over to your apartment for a dinner party.
Friendships take work as we get older and allow connections to fade away. Don’t let life get in the way of valuable relationships. Some friendships will inevitably die out, but some will remain strong for a lifetime. For more on creating and maintaining friendships, read Friendships Don’t Just Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends or The Art of Friendship: 70 Simple Rules for Making Meaningful Connections