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 | By Cynthia Kaan

Keeping up friendships when you’re at different life stages

Some friends are getting married/having kids, and I’m not. How can we stay friends when we’re at such different stages?

What’s one of the quickest ways to kill a friendship in any stage of life? Assumptions. About anything. Assumptions mean communication is lacking, and a friendship without communication is destined to falter. Here’s what to do instead:

  1. Ask. You want to go to a concert but you’re sure it will be too late, too far, the baby might be sick … Wait! Do NOT answer for your friend. Give him the opportunity to answer by continuing to keep him in the loop. Keeping that door open can go a long way in friendship preservation.
  2. Allow the no. Here’s the catch – no guilt. Don’t give your friend grief if she says no. Let her know you thought it would be a good chance to catch up, but you understand if it doesn’t work. Leave the door open for next time, and ask God to show you how to be available for your friend in the interim.
  3. Avoid taking it personally. If your friend turns you down but accepts an invitation from someone else – don’t allow yourself to believe it’s because he or she didn’t want to hang out with you. Sometimes things fall into place last minute, and it doesn’t mean your friend chose someone else over you.

Life changes. People change. Friendships change. If yours is a friendship with a solid foundation, you will both make the time to connect.