Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Try work-arounds for different life phases

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What to do when you, friends are in different life phases

Q: I'm the last one of nearly all my friends to settle down. As a result, most friends are in the baby/toddler/teenager stage. Which is great, I'm really happy for all of them.

BUT ... When my friends were all falling into great partnerships, I got to share their stories and excitement. Now? Everyone is too busy for me. I get it — that kids take tons of energy. I know this in my head. But there's a huge part of me that is just GAH! Do I address this with them? Or just let it go? It feels petty but at the same time, I'd like it if someone would return my call so I can share a sweet story!

Last One to Partner Up

A: The best solutions I can offer are really just work-arounds, and they're not easy, and they're pretty impressive in their lack of creativity:

(1) Patience. Life phases are all about change. Keep seeing these friends as opportunities arise and see where your paths take you.

(2) Resourcefulness. Work on cultivating other friendships with people at your life phase, and also try to cultivate other interests that have nothing to do with your age or life phase.

The latter is actually underappreciated, I think. It's so common to have timeline-based friendships — from the moment we're fed into the school machine. Yet there is so much to be gained from being close to people who share your interest in something completely untethered to life milestones, like a cause or a hobby or a taste for something out of the mainstream. Part of the reason they're so great, I think, is that it takes knowing yourself first for you to be able to know them.

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