Can we be BFFs for life?
They have been by my side through the tumultuous 20s that were filled with late nights at bars, boys and trying to remember where I left my house keys last night.
And they are by my side during my far more sedate 30s, where I’m more likely to be in my pyjamas than I am to be hitting up the dancefloor.
But how do friendships survive that funny transformation from your 20s to your 30s and, is it okay if you lose some people along the way?
It’s totally okay to lose some people along the way
There were people in my life at 23 that I was convinced would be with me until I was 97. Convinced!
But, as life progresses and your goals move from downing nine shooters in a row towards just being able to stay up until nine at night, people do fall away.
It’s not that you fight - it’s not even that you don’t like each other – it’s just a natural progression.
My friend Natasha wrote about this recently. Having kids is a one-way ticket to some mega life changes but they don't have to spell the end of your friendships with special people.
I had my daughter early on in life, comparably, and it did have an effect on my social circle. Looking back though, it was a good effect.
Suddenly I didn't worry about whether or not Casey was actually kissing Bob behind the bar and I became a lot less interested in the social circle gossip – something I now know I had previously invested way more energy into than I really ever should have.
I really didn't care about missing a jol or not being able to pop out for an impromptu dinner. I did care about being able to prioritise my life though, and true friends supported that completely.
Money and Career
As you edge towards your 30s, terms like 'career path' and 'retirement annuities' start becoming emotionally important to you.
I began to realise that I had to pay attention to what I was doing in my workday and whether or not I was actually progressing anywhere.
Checking out my bank balance to see if I could sign up for a better medical aid was now more important than buying that cute top I saw at the mall. That shift in focus affects your friendships too, but not in a bad way.
Working on it
There's no real surefire way to ensure that your friendship will survive transitioning from the halcyon days of your twenties and seamlessly sweeping into your way-more-serious thirties.
You will, undoubtedly, ditch or be ditched by people along the way. That's okay. But when you do need to have a difficult conversation with a friend over why your needs are different, or why you actually don’t want to go out on a Tuesday night, I have one tip for you. It's this:
If you feel like your friendship is not strong enough to withstand the conversation and you are not sure about how it’ll affect the relationship, then this friendship is not one you need to or can pursue anymore.
People change as they grow up, and it’s not you or them. It's life. The faster you accept and realise that the people who were holding your handbag on the dancefloor might not be around when you need an extra set of hands to hold your baby or hold your hand when you lose a parent (it happens), the easier this will be on you, and them.
If your friendship is solid enough to withstand that difficult conversation and all this life change, you may find yourself giggling with your BFF, ten years later, during a well-planned-put-it-in-my-diary coffee date.
And that’s when you’ll know - you've got a BFF for life.