We all wish our friendships would last forever, and sometimes they do. We all know older people who have had the same friends since they were kids, but is this the rule or an exception?
In this article, I want to discuss about what can make a friendship last forever, why most friendships fall apart, and how you can ensure that you have done your best to maintain your friendships.
Do friendships last forever?
Friendships can last forever if there is something to keep you close all along and you put enough effort to ensure it will last. However, most friendships don’t last forever, so the ones that do, are more of an exception.
When we talk about friendships lasting forever is very important to talk about when that friendship started.
A friendship that starts at a very young age has little chance of lasting forever, while a friendship that starts later in life has a bigger chance.
This happens because we change our view of the world, friendships, and other things like that way too often when we are young, and also, our lifestyle goes through drastic and frequent changes.
It is very hard to keep a friendship when all the things you have in common are no longer there.
That is why it is really hard to keep a friendship forever if it started when you were a kid. Most people change their schools, cities, interest, hobbies, and activities they like over time which makes it harder to keep in touch with people that have the same interest as you, but now they are going in a totally different direction.
Most people can argue that friendships are not based on common interests but rather on how well you get along with the other person and the fact that you like spending your time with them.
There is some truth in that, however, if you don’t have any common interests, there are lower chances of you wanting to hang out with those friends when your schedule gets busier, and you can have a great time with your spouse instead of hanging out with friends.
One good and bad thing when it comes to a friendship lasting forever is the fact that most people are very stubborn when it comes to friendships. They have some friends they know and trust enough and will do their best to keep those friendships going, not because they are the best friends on earth, but because they are used to them.
This is a good thing since it might make us maintain those friendships and a bad thing because it makes us comfortable and not want more or better friendships if those are not the best. This is a common thing I noticed when it comes to friends from childhood, sounds good, but most of those friendships are not the best anymore.
Read Also: Should You Tell Your Friends Your Salary?
Why do most friendships fall apart?
Most friendships fall apart when there is a change in your lifestyle or life stage. Most people don’t keep in touch when with the friends they had in school, when they get to college, and so on.
Changing the city is another big reason, many people are changing the city for school, work or a relationship so this happens quite often.
I have an article about the difficulties of keeping in touch with friends from high school and one for college friends. You might find more reasons why those specific friendships don’t last forever in those articles.
It might not be an obvious reason like changing the school or city for a friendship to end, but we often change our expectations from people around us and our standards in life.
It is ok to leave some friends behind while you are going forward in life, but you should not get into the trap of thinking you are superior to them for superficial reasons like a better career.
I guess most people in their 20s judge their friends by their careers, which is one of the main focuses at that age, and it’s also a reason why it is hard to make friends in our 20s.
So, sometimes people will leave you behind, sometimes you will leave people behind, and sometimes you just go in different directions, and that’s ok.
I learned that most friendships end without drama as we expect, but rather they slowly fall apart due to changes in our lives.
How to maintain a friendship?
Maintaining a friendship can be a topic for an entire article and a long one, so here I will talk briefly about a few things that help maintain a friendship.
You should always do your best to keep a friendship going if you consider it worth it. So here are a few things you have to do:
1. Have realistic expectations
We all think that our friends should be there for us whenever we need them because they are our friends. But we should understand that they are also human with other responsibilities and priorities in life.
It is hard to see your friends like regular people with regular schedules and priorities since you are emotionally attached to them.
You have to understand that there are days when they don’t want to see you or have a bad day that makes them a bit irritable or irrational, so you should have realistic expectations regarding friendships.
2. Open up to your friends
Why should a friendship last if you don’t open up with your friends and you don’t talk about your personal life? Surface-level discussions we can have with most people that we might consider casual friends or acquaintances, but when it comes to close friends or best friends, we should feel free to talk about almost anything.
We usually open up to our friends easier than opening up to our parents, especially when we are teenagers, so if you don’t open up to your friends or your friends don’t open up to you, expect that friendship not to last as long.
3. Don’t take it for granted
You should not take your friendships for granted, this is the most common problem when it comes to long friendships. Maintaining a friendship is like maintaining a relationship and requires intentional effort.
I see a lot of people that consider that friends will be there no matter what they do, which is obviously wrong, and that’s why most friends don’t even think it is necessary to call or hang out with their friends as they’ve done before, but they expect the friendship to stay as before.
4. Be emphatic
When it comes to maintaining a good friendship, we should be good listeners and learn how to put ourselves in our friend’s shoes since there will be situations where it will be hard for us to understand them and be patient with them otherwise.
Empathy is one of the best qualities we want from our friends, we expect them to be there for us in every moment and understand what we are going through, so the best we can do is to be emphatic ourselves first if we have this expectation.
Read Also: How Many Friends Are Too Many?
A friendship can last forever if we do our best and the circumstances align well.
It is not only up to one person since a friendship involves two people, so you can’t guarantee that but doing your part is a good start.
You don’t have to focus all your energy on making the friendships last forever, sometimes new friendships can be better than older ones.