How Friendship Happens in Adulthood

Relationships are hard. Friendships should be easy, but as an adult making friends and having healthy friendships is way too stinking hard.

Even if you have lifelong besties, finding time to get together is more challenging than giving the heads of Mount Rushmore a facial. There’s too much ground to cover, too many variables, and the critics condemning your efforts can be relentless.

Here is what I have discovered.

  1. Hell and high water are going to come. Keep your plans anyway.
  2. When hell and high water get there, be willing to support your friends; keep dates with those still available; reschedule with those who need it; go with the flow.
  3. Friendship in adulthood is tough but necessary.
  4. When camaraderie happens, it must be celebrated.
  5. Great friends can be found in weird and unexpected places. Accept healthy friendships when they present themselves.

One of my favorite examples of making friends, in spite of adulthood trying to thwart any social success, is my friendship with Sarah E.

Sarah E. and I became friends while I was on a dinner date with Hubby. Yes, you read that right. Hubby took me to dinner one night and at the table next to us was a couple and their two adorable children. It had been 4 or 5 months since Hubby and I went on a date and for some reason our attention kept gravitating to the table next to us. (Seriously! We had just escaped the confines of our home and the ball and chains tied to us by our children, and we were watching and talking about someone else’s kids. Aaaaggghhhh!)

To make a sweet story short, a conversation started between our table and theirs. That conversation turned into a sharing of my blog, then a coffee date that later turned into a library playdate, and then we became coworkers because Sarah E. is someone that makes my life better.

Sarah E. has become an integral part of my support system as a mom, wife, and educator. She is someone I respect, admire, and aspire to be, and I never would have had the chance to be her friend if she and her hubby Derek hadn’t welcomed conversation with a goofy lady (a.k.a. me) and her husband in that restaurant.

In upcoming posts, I plan to share stories of some of my best friendships formed in adulthood (with a few from my younger years). I would love to hear stories of unusual friendships from your lives and how you make them work. Please comment below with the tales of how you and your comrades keep coffee dates, conversations, and traditions going.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I’m not telling you to strike up conversation and interrupt the dinner of the table next to you at every meal. I just wanted to share one weird way that friendship served itself up to me.

P.P.S. Please do share your fun friendship stories!

P.P.S. (at the request of my friend Derek)

If I could add one more “P.S.” to this, it would be to not be afraid to have meal interruptions or other unconventional introductions. That first random dinner talk (after which we felt a bit guilty for intruding on your date night!) has made such an impact our lives, from Sarah’s teaching career to our kids’ experiences at your farm.

Then, of course, there’s the wonderful friendship you and Sarah have shared over the years. You’ve easily touched our lives as much as we have yours – all of which started because of the serendipity of seating arrangements and a willingness to spend time chatting with complete strangers.
– Derek Estes


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