How to Nurture a Friendship with Someone in a Different Life Season
Friendship is seriously one of my most favorite things ever. They are all so different and unique – none compares to another. Often times, one of the difficulties comes in when you move into a new season of life and your friends stay back, or your friend moves into a new season and you don’t…
So, how do you continue to be friends, even when your life seasons change?
I’ve had to navigate through several seasons of life while many of my friends either stayed behind, or moved into a life season that I wasn’t familiar with.
What are these life seasons that I’m talking about?
Different events in life that move you through, progressing you from one thing to the next. My life went through short season transitions in only a few months.
I graduated high school, went to working full time, and began school shortly after. In short succession, I got engaged, married, and moved into the transition of motherhood, all of this in the matter of two years.
Many of my friends moved onto college full time, or full time jobs. If my friends happened to get married around the same time as us, almost none of them became mothers within the same amount of time as I. My life just took an entirely different direction than theirs did.
So, how do you continue to stay friends with those that feel so far away because they aren’t in the same season?
It’s easy to feel alone in your season of life and it’s even easier to give up on friends that feel like you have nothing in common any more.
The first thing to helping retain those friendships is to remember why you are friends in the first place. Just because you’re in a different season, doesn’t mean you’re a different person.
Remember what you liked to do together before your life changed? Chances are, although it might be tough to fit it in, you will STILL enjoy doing that same thing.
Maybe your friend is the one who’s season changed. The same could be true for her. Just consider how she must be feeling having stepped out of her familiar season. Invite her to do something familiar with you.
The second thing to keep in mind is that even if time gets to be long in between visits, the friendship is no less important. Try to send a text, or a postcard when you think of your friend, just to say, “Hi, I remember you – you’re still important to me!” It will mean so much to your friend and also help to feed your friendship.
time and effort?
And last, but not least, if you end up feeling feelings of jealousy, hurt, or anger because your friend hasn’t reached out, make sure that you haven’t reached out either because if you haven’t, it’s not fair to be angry at your friend for not. Also, remember you are in a different season. Her life is different than yours, if you are that passionate about your friendship, reach out and chase after that friendship.
The first thing to helping retain those friendships is to remember why you are friends in the first place.
Talk through your feelings either in a journal, or with her so that she can know how much you mean to her and so she can understand your desire to stay close.
Be understanding and flexible. Keep your expectations on your friend low, and expectations on yourself high. Do everything you can to reach out and let her know that regardless of time, distance, or season, she is important to you!
What are your best suggestions for fostering friendship with those in different seasons than yours?
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