“We have to catch up”, “I’ve been meaning to text you”, or “We need to do this more often”… how many times have you sent out one of these texts to one of your friends in the last month? The way we move through our friendships in adulthood could honestly be its own case study. Adult friendships have to be one of our most significant oxymoronic relationships — both valuable and neglected. For some, the hierarchy of relationships would place friendships at the bottom because romantic partners, parents, or children always come first. In adulthood, our priorities shift, and oftentimes friendships ebb and flow because of that.
Friendships are unique in the fact that they are the only voluntary relationships we have that have no formal structure. The informal foundation of that relationship does give room for them to be defined and even redefined however we want them to be. What’s helpful with the inevitable changes in friendships is to identify and know your friendship categories. You may have friends that fit in more than one category, have some empty slots that you’re hoping to fill, or choose to just keep the spot empty. The most common friendship categories are the ‘Facebook’ friends, the ‘Let’s grab a drink’ friends, ‘buddy-buddy’ friends, and the ‘Quintessential’ friends.
‘Facebook” friends: These would fall under your social media friendships. Extremely low-maintenance friends that you tend to only remain connected with because of the highlight reel of them you see when you’re scrolling. These friendships usually have very few real interactions or conversations.
‘Let’s grab a drink’ friends: These are the acquaintances or social friends that you enjoy spending time with in social settings like going to events or dinner together. These tend to be the friends that you’ve met because of shared interests, hobbies, or even work. This help widen your circle, are very low-pressure when it comes to dialogue and there’s no requirement to go too deep.
‘Buddy-buddy’ Friends: These are the intimate friendships that you use as a sounding board. These are the people you want to celebrate good times with and comfort you in tough times. These are some of our most dependable friends and provide encouragement and deeper connection. These friends are helpful and reliable.
‘Quintessential” Friends: The epitome of what you think a best friend should be. This is the most beautiful and evolved friendship relationship that dances poetically through the balance, keeping each other’s well-being in mind. This friendship offers mutual love and loyalty, absolute judgment-free support and insight, and the freedom to exist as your complete self.
We are constantly evolving as individuals, and we learn so much about ourselves by reflecting on how we show up in our relationships. As we learn new things about ourselves it bleeds into how we show up in our friendships. Things that once bonded us to people may now be what separates us from them. As you experience life changes, it is natural and healthy for your friendships to change. You get to decide what you want out of your friendships and who you want to have around you, and in what capacity.
Sabrina Roc, MS, LGMFT provides couple, family, and individual therapy in our downtown Bethesda, MD office and virtually to those located in the State of Maryland. Call or email today to set up your first appointment or a complimentary consultation with Sabrina!