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15 Jul

Making and Maintaining Friendships in Adulthood

From Paris and Nicole to Gigi and Kendall, in celebration of International Friendship Day, here’s an ode to the women who have helped make us (but sometimes can break us). 

Its no secret that maintaining friendships into adulthood can be hard. Without the shared experience of five-days-a-week at school or hungover mornings festering at uni, it can be difficult to maintain the closeness that was once the defining feature of our strongest friendships.  

Whilst school friends can provide an incredible grounding and sense of comfort – who else can remind you of all the embarrassing things you did when you were 14 – it can be tricky to keep in close contact when you no longer all live in walking distance of one another. Removing the pressure to stay as close as you once were is important. As life ebbs and flows, it is unrealistic to expect yourself to remain as present as you were when you were physically together all the time.  

As we move into adulthood, it can feel like your social circle is shrinking. Without the shared experiences of school and university to unite us, it can be increasingly difficult to make new, meaningful friendships. Rather than friendships built on proximity, those made in adulthood tend to be more nuanced and centred around a single need. Try not to beat yourself up for not knowing every little detail of your friends lives (or sometimes even quite major details). Everyone has their own priorities and demands on their time, which can mean updating the group chat might only happen once in a blue moon.  

Ultimately, friendships are magic. Their existence is deeper than we could imagine and even when they cannot be felt on a superficial level, they remain present. Below you will find some incredible books that explore female friendship, I implore you to read one and pass it long. After all, who doesn’t adore a gift:  

Conversations with Friends – Sally Rooney 

Widely recognised for her second novel Normal People and the incredible BBC Three series that followed – did someone say Connell’s chain – Rooney’s first novel is just as compelling. Released when the author wajust 26, it explores the friendship of Frances and Bobbi and sees how the introduction of new people into their lives affects their relationship. Packed with observations about female friendship, it has been hailed a must-read for women in their twenties.  

 

Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton  

A true ode to female friendship, Dolly’s 2018 memoir is a celebration of the women who have made her. Exploring love, loss and longing, the bestseller provides an unadulterated look at the importance of friendships that are set to outlast every romantic relationship of your formative years. Beautifully written, be prepared to flit between sobbing and hysterics and end desperate to score an invite to the pub with Alderton and the girls.  

 

The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants – Ann Brahares  

A true classic, the series follows the lives of four teenagers whose friendship is cemented by a pair of jeans that magically fit them all perfectly. Just like the 2005 film of the same name, the novel explores the importance of female friendships at an important coming-of-age moment. The novel acts as an important reminder that friendships can provide a source of consistency during transitional periods in our lives.  

Lizzie Parr
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