Relationships are tough to build. They require persistence, connection, exposure and vulnerability. They require us to be more than a face and a person to hang out with – especially if our hope is to connect with someone so that we can bear our true selves. We want to be able to relate to one another on a deeper level.
But, the ability to build relationships gets harder the older we get.
I’ve been talking to some of my closest friends, who are between the ages of 20 and 27, and their greatest struggle is finding relationships of their own that result in the same deep connections they had with the friends they grew up with.
As we all know, we grow up and move away to new cities with new jobs, or to new opportunities. We still have those close relationships we built when we were younger, we don’t forget those, but we still need friends to lean on in this new place we plant ourselves.
The difference for making friends now is that we aren’t put in a situation where it’s easy to make friends. All throughout our school life, and college, we were surrounded by people that we saw almost every single day. We had no choice but to make the effort to get to know them and expose ourselves to them. We had the TIME to build and nurture those relationships.
Today, as an adult, I work all day. Everyone is doing their job and trying to get their part done. Relationships are cast aside and you are considered a singular part of a complicated machine. You keep moving and the machine keeps functioning.
We are planted in places where relationships aren’t considered important, but that doesn’t mean we can’t build them.
Not only that, but we forget that adults have gone through some nasty relationships.
Adult’s carry a weight of mistrust for people because of their past mishappenings. They don’t let people in as easily as they did in their youth.
If we want to be considered a friend then it’s our job to work on the relationship we desire to have. We make the effort.
We can’t hold expectations for the people we want to be friends with to make the effort themselves first.
We can’t just “show-up” in their lives and expect for them to automatically trust and love us. They have baggage and we must offer a shoulder to help them carry it. We won’t gain their trust unless we show what we are willing to give up or expose first.
I don’t ever believe that friendships should come easy. If friendships come in easily then they leave just as easily.
For relationships to truly matter then we must do our part. Text and call them first, ask to hang out first, tell your story first. AND, continue to do so until it’s consistent. Don’t do it one time – do it multiple times. It takes TIME and PERSISTENCE in order to show them that you care and are trying.
Adults don’t want to waste their time on a one-off relationship. Who wants to expose their deepest struggles and desires just for someone to leave tomorrow? Adults, like myself, are looking for stability in their relationships.
You must take the chance to be open and exposed if you want to find a relationship that is fulfilling. As humans, we need friendship and connection to survive.
Sadly, we live in a world where quick satisfaction of “likes” and “comments” are encouraged to satiate our hunger for more, but in the end, we will end up starved.
Get off your phone and into a booth and build that relationship from the ground up.