Growing Apart From Friends

By Eleanor Beeslaar, Graduate Assistant 

Growing apart from friends is a normal part of adulthood. Friendships ebb and flow through different life stages, and there are many reasons why friendships change and people grow apart. During adulthood people often go through many transitions that lead to added responsibilities, which can impact friendships; such as moving to a new place, starting a family, or work responsibilities. 

With the many responsibilities that we must juggle as adults, it can be hard to find time to connect with our friends. Additionally, as we grow and change as people, our friendships may change and drift apart. This can lead to feelings of disconnection; however, it is important to recognize that while it can be challenging to feel like our friendships are changing or ending, this is a normal part of life. 

As you go through new life stages and think about your different friendships, know that it is okay for them to change. You may not be able to see your friends as often as you were able to in the past, and that is completely normal. Try to adjust your perspective of what friendships look like and communicate in new ways that work for you and your friends in this new life stage. This may mean that you and your friends are not able to see each other as often, or you may need to talk more consistently over the phone to stay in touch. Whatever this new type of communication and friendship looks like for you, know that the most important thing is that you and your friends are on the same page!

Making Friends in a New Place

By Eleanor Beeslaar, HRI Graduate Assistant

Moving to a new place can add an extra layer of complexity to the process of making and maintaining friendships during adulthood. People relocate for a variety of reasons including job opportunities, professional/graduate school, or a partner or spouse’s job. The idea of making friends in a new city, state, or even country can be daunting, especially if you are moving on your own. 

When you move to a new place, it’s important to be intentional about pursuing friendships and building social support! Though it can be tempting to stay in after a long day at work or in class, if you are pursuing higher education, we encourage you to try your best to make plans and connect with new people. This will help you build new connections and develop social support early on in your transition, which can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation that often occur when moving to a new place without knowing many people. 

Start with what you know! When you move to a new place, a lot of things will be unfamiliar, so a great way to make friends is to put yourself in situations or places that feel familiar. This will help you feel more comfortable and may lead to making connections with people who have similar interests and values! Join an organization, class, or club based on your interests or hobbies. This may look like joining a church or other faith group, taking a workout class, joining a book club, or participating in a sports league. 

Another great way to meet people and feel connected to your new community is to volunteer with a local organization! By consistently volunteering with a cause that you feel passionate about, you can build a sense of connection and belonging after moving to a new place. This is also a wonderful way to meet people who have similar values and care about the same causes as you do, giving you a place of common interest for the foundation of your relationship.

When you meet someone who you feel comfortable with and would like to be friends with, be intentional about inviting them to spend time with you. This will help you get to know one another and develop a strong and meaningful friendship. Keep in mind, however, that this will not happen overnight. It will take time to develop a support system and find a sense of community and belonging in your new home. 

For more tips about making friends as an adult, visit yesterday’s blog post, Making Friends as an Adult!

Making Friends as an Adult

By Eleanor Beeslaar, HRI Graduate Assistant

Making friends as an adult can be challenging, especially with the many responsibilities that often come with adulthood. It can be difficult to find time to reach out to people you’d like to be friends with or to explore new places or activities to meet new people. Once you are able to set aside the time to initiate contact with new people, it can feel really scary to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. If any of these things ring true to you, know that you are not alone. It is completely normal to feel uncertain about making and maintaining friends as an adult. 

Though making friends as an adult can be hard, it is important to try your best to build connections and develop a support system of friends. We encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and embrace the process of making connections and meeting new people! HRI has created a series of tips to help you navigate the process of making friends as an adult:

  1. Be open! The first step in forming friendships as an adult is making the decision to put yourself out there and being open to building connections with new people. Try your best to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things!
  2. Focus on a positive mindset. A key component in making friends as an adult is to maintain a positive mindset. If you go into the process of making friends with a negative mindset and think that things won’t work out, it will be much more difficult to make meaningful connections. Instead, try your best to stay positive, and keep in mind that there may be some ups and downs throughout this process. If something doesn’t work out, try not to get too discouraged and try again!
  3. Reconnect with old friends! With the many roles and responsibilities of adult life, it is common for friendships you have already established to fall on the back burner. A great way to build connections and grow your support system of friends as an adult is to reconnect with old friends who you haven’t spoken with or seen in a while. Reach out to an old friend to get lunch or coffee and rekindle your friendship!
  4. If you have kids, connect with other parents. A great way for parents to meet new people and build friendships is to connect with the parents of their kids’ friends. Try reaching out to other parents in your child’s life. This may look like inviting their family over for dinner or connecting with them while your kids have a playdate.
  5. Attend community events. Going to events in your community can create lots of opportunities to meet new people. Try setting an intention to go to one or two events within your community in the next couple of months. Once you take the first step of attending the events, be sure to keep an open mind and be willing to reach out to and connect with new people. 
  6. Join a club or group based on your hobbies and/or interests. Another way to meet new people is to find a club or organization based on something you enjoy doing or are interested in. This allows you to surround yourself with people who have similar interests, creating a great foundation for growing new friendships. Some examples of clubs or groups you may join include: faith groups (i.e. bible studies), sports leagues (i.e. kickball, softball, etc.), or book clubs. 
  7. Connect with your co-workers. A great way to find new friendships in a familiar place is to reach out to your co-workers. By inviting a co-worker to spend time with you outside of work, you can take the time to get to know more about one another and develop a meaningful bond!
  8. Know that it will take time to build friendships. Making friends won’t happen overnight. It will take some time to be able to form truly meaningful connections and build relationships with people. Be patient with yourself, others, and the process of establishing new relationships. Know that, with time, you will find yourself feeling more connected and notice your friendships beginning to flourish. 

We encourage you to keep some of these tips in mind as you work towards building adult friendships in your life!

Friendship in Adulthood: Series Intro

By Eleanor Beeslaar, HRI Graduate Assistant

Friendship is an important part of life! Friends often make up a large portion of our support system, and in some cases, they may even be our chosen family. Maintaining healthy friendships and sharing deep connections with others can improve our overall well-being and life satisfaction. Friends can help us navigate life challenges and provide support during difficult times, while also being there to celebrate our successes and embrace the joys of life. They help us feel connected and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially during stressful life events. Friends can also increase our sense of belonging and purpose in life!

It’s clear that having strong and meaningful friendships is a key aspect of living a happy and healthy life. However, making friends as an adult can often be challenging. As an adult, there are many responsibilities, stressors, and life events that can become barriers to forming and maintaining strong friendships. For example, moving to a new place for a job or professional school can present a challenge to keeping up with friends from back home, as well as making new friends in an unfamiliar place. Additionally, priorities such as taking care of kids, establishing a career, and household tasks often take precedent over friendships during adulthood. Though life transitions and taking care of responsibilities are necessary, it’s also important to be intentional about building and maintaining healthy friendships during adulthood!

HRI is excited to help you establish and maintain healthy friendships as an adult by providing helpful information and tips about making friends as an adult, finding friends in a new place when going through life transitions, and learning to manage growing apart from friends. Stay tuned throughout the rest of this week to learn more!

Single Parenting: Self-Care

Single parenting takes a lot of time, energy, and strength, and it can be extremely draining. Sometimes you may feel like you are constantly racing to keep up with all of the responsibilities you are juggling. It is important to take time for yourself to recharge your batteries. When you engage in self-care and take care of your own needs, you can be the best version of yourself for your kids!

When engaging in self-care, try to approach it from a holistic perspective. Tune into the different areas that factor into your overall well-being. This may include your physical health, emotional and/or spiritual needs, relationships, and mental health. 

Self-care looks different for everyone. We encourage you to find what works best for you and schedule time to engage in your self-care activities every week!

Single Parenting: Seek Out Mentors

Your relationship with your child is important and can help them build trust, feel loved and cared for, and learn how to have healthy relationships with others. However, it’s also important to promote loving and trusting connections between your kids and other adult figures in their life. A great way to help your children build a sense of community and feel supported is to seek out other adult mentors who you trust. Involving other adult mentors in your child’s life can help them broaden their horizons, build social skills, and develop new points of view. 

You can seek out role models in a formal and/or informal capacity. Some parents may have friends and family members available to spend time with their kids. However, this isn’t always the case for some single parents. Other ways to seek out role models for your children include joining community organizations, such as a faith group, sports teams, or clubs. Teachers, coaches, and parents of other kids your children are friends with, are also potential people who can serve as mentors!