How to stay friends while in different life stages

stay friendsNo matter how close you are with your girlfriends, you can’t all do everything together. You won’t all get married at the same time. Or have kids at the same time. Or all be successful or all be sick at the same time. Life happens in stages and there’s absolutely no way to synch up your life stage with your favorite people’s life stages. But, if you’re not experiencing the same thing as your friends, how can you relate to them? How can you keep the friendship going? Well, here are some things to keep in mind to stay friends.

Feel for each other – stay friends

Some people say best friends are one brain in two bodies. That’s just not true. And who would want it to be? You love your friends for being them, not for being clones of yourself, right? You won’t and can’t relate to everything your friend goes through because you’re not her. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t feel for her. Just because you don’t know what infertility treatments are like doesn’t mean you can’t be empathetic to her struggles. Or you might not know what it feels like to graduate cum laude, but you can still be happy for her. You don’t have to be where she is to be able to talk and share. Don’t focus on the experiences you can’t share, focus on the emotions you can.

What happens to her happens to her

I’ve heard sad stories of friendships falling apart because of jealousy. One friend gets something that the other friend wants and they can’t be friends any more because that thing becomes a stumbling block for them. If you’ve always wanted a baby and your best friend just got pregnant, there’s nothing to be jealous of. Her having a baby doesn’t make you any less (or more) likely to have a baby. What happens to her happens to her and her alone. There’s no impact on if or when that thing will happen to you. So, be happy and sad with your friend, not because of your friend.

Know this is friendship

Friendship is two different people forming a bond. Even if you met when you both were in high school and lived on the same street and had the same homeroom and same sports teams and wore the same sized jeans, you were actually different people. And it probably wasn’t as noticeable back then, but there were also times when you were in different life stages. Maybe she had a boyfriend when you didn’t. Or you got your period first. Friendship isn’t about being the same, it’s about being on the same page. Don’t be afraid when your lives take leaps away from each other. You can still be right by her side.

I know I made it sound easy. And it is easy to understand, but tough to do. Friendship, and relationships in general, aren’t easy, but they are simple. Be kind, be open, be loyal and you’ll be ok.