We all hope that our friendships will be as enduring and vibrant as the one we saw portrayed through the cast of Friends, where despite our differences in gender, interests and careers we would stick together through the thick and thin of life.
If we can survive college together, which was a muddle of too much socializing, never-ending study sessions and a mixture of all the emotions you could possibly get – surely we can survive the minuscule separation in careers and perhaps cities. There is always weekends and vacations, right? And if that does not always pan out, we can surely Skype or FaceTime, am I wrong?
The sad reality is that in most cases, this is not always how life with our college friends turn out. Once you step out of that fraternity house into the real world, you suddenly find yourself surrounded by people who think like you, have similar interests like you and spend almost every waking hour with you.
Weekends are now spent with the new friends that were made and before you know it, you suddenly realize that the weekend has come and gone and you have forgotten to check in with your ‘old’ college friends. But wait a minute so have they.
When you do accidentally bump into each other or decide to get together, you find that what used to keep you glued together is slowly withering away and neither of you have anything to say to each other. You have experienced different things with different people and so have they – it feels like you hardly know each other.
At this point you have a choice, you could either move on with your life and your new friends or you can start the process of saving your friendship; it does not have to end here. Here are five ways you can save your friendship despite the changes in both your lives:
1. Way your options
Firstly, you will have to come to the point where you have to decide if this friendship is important enough to make sacrifices, this will be the only way you can commit to the revival and survival of your friendship. You will also have to have a serious discussion with your friend (preferably face to face) to see if he or she is in it for the long haul too because it takes two to tango.
If the feelings are mutual, the effort will be equal. It will be futile if you work on saving this friendship and he or she could not give two pennies worth about it. If that is the case, you deserve way better – it is never too late to make new friends; ones that really value you.
Once you have decided that the two of you have climbed Mount Everest long enough together and that this friendship is without a doubt worth saving, then I suggest you start communicating like there is no tomorrow.
Talk about everything and anything; make it creative and fun. There is no limit to how you can do this, believe me. I have been talking to a friend of mine that is across the ocean via email, text messages, voice notes, and social media. Our friendship has actually grown stronger now than it was back then.
It is not impossible – it all depends on what you put in, both of you. It is fundamental that you put in the time and the effort; it is then that you will see this friendship flourish like never before.
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3. Plan meet-ups
Why not plan a fun weekend away? Just the two of you, a bottle of wine and the open road (just do not do the drinking and the driving at the same time). Be creative and make sure you make some remarkable new memories, especially the ones that extend the dorm room and hallway ones. You have grown up and moved along with your life, so should your memories.
If you cannot meet face to face, have a wine and pizza date via Skype and talk about that cutie in your department, or listen to your friend rant about that girl that always kills her buzz.
Another idea is that you can go watch a movie or do another fun activity like going to monuments or art galleries at the same time, and talk about it afterward or even during. You can say what you want about technology, but one thing is for certain: It has made the world a much smaller place, especially if you are far away.
Yet, the best of all when doing this, your college friend will see your dedication and appreciate the effort and devotion you put in, and it will not be forgotten. It truly fills your heart with so much love to see a friend that truly supports and cares for you.
4. Surprise them
There is nothing like finding a signed, sealed and delivered a package from your best friend at your front door. It brings a solid feeling of gratitude with the excitement and you know that this friendship is one that will endure all the storms, especially if the college friend lives abroad and had to pay a lot to get that package there at the right place and at the right time, for instance, your birthday.
If you do not want to send a package, send a letter or some flowers – just let them know you are thinking of them and that you are grateful that they are in your life. You would be surprised to know how significant a small act like this could be a person.
In the end, it all boils down to commitment. Once you commit to each other, you will have no problem in saving the friendship and allowing it to be a success. It will entail you sacrificing some things in your life, but if the friendship is worth it, it will not be a problem.
It is also important to remember that no relationship is perfect; you will most likely have some downs following the ups. However, it is important that you remain open and honest with each other and to never give up.
It might be hard to suddenly lose that person that was a part of every moment’s battle and victory, but soon you will be a part of so many more of life’s wonders together, you just have to pull through.
Read also – 10 Warning Signs You’re in a Toxic Friendship
Friends make life better by being in it, they laugh at the same things you do, they will always be there for you, giving you honest advice, and they will love you at your best and despite your faults. If you know that you have a gem like this in your life, do not give up – fight for the relationship.
Elizabeth Foley once said that the most beautiful discovery that a pair of two friends can make, is to see that they can grow separately without having to grow apart.