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When life gets in the way of old friendships

women in bright happy clothes smiling

If you would meet them today, you might not even be friends. Sometimes you feel out of balance and out of touch with your old friends from the past. Back when you met, you could have even been best friends, but nowadays you don’t meet up that much, and when you do you get together, you have nothing to talk about. Sounds familiar? This is what happens when life gets in the way of your friendships.

Why is this happening to me?

When you grow older you tend to find friends who are similar to you. With the same interest and lifestyle, your new friends may seem more relevant, making it easy to connect. However, although it can feel like more work in the beginning, staying in touch and keeping your old friendships can be very refreshing, as these people from the past who may have taken a different path than you, and tend to hold different views on life. They can help you get out of your bubble and discuss new insights, you wouldn't find in the people around you.

Here is how to make old friendships work, in your new lifestyle:

1# Know why you are friends

Friends in fun Polaroid frames smiling at seaside

Try to remember why you became friends in the first place. Usually this brings back good memories of the past, and things that you used to do together. Don’t give up immediately, even though you initially feel you have nothing in common anymore; there still might be something under the surface. Usually being both a bit older, you grew apart, but that can also be a good thing.

Being friends doesn't mean always having the same views either. It can be good to discuss things with someone who now has a completely different life with different experiences than you.

2# Create new Memories

Friends man and two women hugging and smiling  on beach

Create new memories by introducing each other to your newfound interests. A childhood friend once introduced me to scrap-booking. Before that I had always thought it was a complete waste of time, but now I love it. It gives me energy and some time to be mindful in creating and noting down memories so I can recall them later. So have fun with (re)discovering each other's interests. Introduce each other to your new favourite food, clothes or anything else. You’ll see the world is much bigger than you think.

3# Avoid comparisons

woman enjoying coffee and cheesecake with fruit in a cafe

Never compare yourself to your friends. Always try to be genuinely happy or sad for them. If you’re not, their might be some jealousy or arrogance in play and that can hurt your friendship. If you are coping with those feelings, always ask yourself why you have those feelings ,and if they are really legit, or are they just easier to feel? Remember they are not you and vice versa. Everyone strives for their own happiness and gets there in different ways. We’ve all had our rough patches to go through, and we’ve also all had our lucky breaks.

4# Make new friends

woman and men friends at sunset camp site in mountains

Even though it's good to stay in touch with old friends, you can also benefit from making new friends that are a better fit at this stage of your life. Do always keep in mind though that very few friends will match you completely in the day to day.

Usually like apartments, boyfriends and crop tops, they are a perfect fit at some point in your life and will help you put things in perspective at another very  different stage in life. Whatever you do, remember that friends should be giving you energy, not drain it.

5# Bring it together

So even if you feel you wouldn't be friends with someone today doesn't take away all the great times you had together, the values you shared at those moments and the fun and happy moments you have.

You don't have to be best friends for life, but maybe you can be in each other's lives throughout each other's life. It's also very okay to be friends for life with different interest at different stages in your life.

So the goal is...

The goals is valuable high-quality friendships. Essentially, you don't have to choose - you can keep both old and new. As long as they add to your quality of life.


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We are Olivia & Morgan

So both in our 30's, with exciting careers including fast track to CEO positions, we met at RSM Business School during our MBA in The Netherlands. 

Always afraid to drop the ball, we quickly figured out life after 30 is not about having everything together, but more about developing yourself, knowing who you and what your goals are and ESPECIALLY  knowing how to get there.

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