Have you seen this kind of meme floating around the social media world lately?
There are mixed interpretations on the various studies that have taken up this topic, and although I think there is validity to friendships that have a longer history together, at the end of the day, friendships, like all relationships, require effort on both ends. It’s the good old principle of whatever you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.
After I got married and we moved halfway across the country to the sweet Midwest, I quickly came to a new realization about friendships – making friends as a young, single twenty-something is very different from making friends as a still-young, but now married (and without babies) twenty-something.
All of my closest friends I had made as a young adult had become what I call my “history friends” because I had lived with them or gone through significant life changes with them. I know that whole theory of “you’re best friends until you live together” is real, but I had a rather unique experience with my roommates from college and post-college.
There was a group of five of us who met during our freshman year, and we all ended up living together in different groupings throughout our college and post-college years. I have some really funny and fond memories with these ladies. There was that time that one of our friends (the one who always said she never liked cooking) decided to make a home-cooked meal for all of us and used four teaspoons of cayenne pepper instead of one (like the recipe suggested). And that time when I came home to find kittens (and later baby ducklings) in our apartment. And then there was that year full of emotions and tears over broken hearts and relationships. We watched a lot of movies, ate my momma’s homemade dumplings, and had some deep conversations late into the night that year.
There were also some not so pretty moments too – realizing we all have different levels of cleanliness, getting annoyed at each other over dirty dishes, misunderstandings over Christmas decorations, etc. 😉
But now it’s been beautiful to see how our years of investing in one another’s lives has paid off today. We’ve been at each other’s weddings, seen a baby (soon to be babies!) join the family, supported each other in our early careers, and watched one another move all over the country.
But those early years of transitioning from everyday roommates to “history friends” weren’t always easy. We had to be intentional. Whether it was meeting up for dinner once a month, to making sure to gather together at least once a year or two, it required effort, time, and money on each of our parts.
Now that the majority of us are literally all over the country, one of our friends suggested doing a monthly email chain, updating one another on our “top five” events, thoughts, etc. of the month. We’ve been doing it for over a year now, and it still amazes me how this one act of writing to each other has kept us together. Sure, we each have our own friends in our new hometowns who may know more about our day-to-day than these “history friends.” But these are the women that I text when I have an urgent prayer request. They’re the ones I think of when I just need to be my crazy, emotional self and I know they won’t judge me.
We still do silly things together like buy each other pizza friendship necklaces. One of us brought up the idea as a semi-joke, but before we knew it, we each had one in hand.
I’m still learning how to navigate the world of making new friends in a new town, as a married couple, but not yet a mom. After all, the whole becoming-roommates-and-then-history-friends season is now over 🙂 . And like all good things, I’m learning that new friendships take time. No matter what, all friendships take effort and vulnerability, and they require an investment in time and energy in order to be meaningful and long-lasting.
There are several other ladies I didn’t mention above who have become “history friends” and biffles (BFFL = best friend for life, duh). They’re the ones that we may not be able to talk to each other for a couple of weeks or even months, but it’s like nothing has changed the minute we reconnect. They’ll be the first ones to hear about any of our major life decisions, and the ones I can count on to pray for us in difficult seasons (and vice versa).
To each of you ladies…my history friends…I am so grateful for you and our friendship. It’s not easy for us to be so many miles apart, but I’m so thankful that our lives have crossed paths, never to be the same again. I love you 🙂 .