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Set NEW Friendship Standards

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If you are lucky in life, you have one identifiable BFF. This is the person you met as a kid. You showed up to school with the goofy outfit your mom picked out–this is the only person that didn’t make fun of you. You grew up in middle school together and they helped deliver your love note to your crush during 4th period; the guy that showed up to change your tire in college. This individual has been with you through thick and thin.

Now let me tell you bout’ my best frienddddd.

We met the first day of middle school. You see, where I’m from, we only had one middle school. So it’s the kind of experience where you hear that there’s another elementary school around the way with bout fifty-eleven kids in it, but you never realize the validity of it until you all meet up in the one middle school available.

Over the years we’ve had our share of ups and downs. There was the time we fought in band class. The time we assisted in a robbery. Countless ‘this is his picture and address in case I die,’ text messages and a few 🎶🎶did you ever know, that your my herooo🎶🎶

That’s our story, and I love him. That’s what we’ve progressed to now. Like real love.

But every now and then I gotta check his ass.

What happens when you as a person begin to grow, but your friendship doesn’t? Can you progress a friendship established as kids maturely into adulthood and still maintain the connection you had as children? Let’s discuss.

Here are my tips:

Make time for each other

Make time for your friendship. Text and phone calls are not enough. When I got into a relationship, my entire world became my boyfriend, and I loved it. But in turn, I begin to neglect my bff’s! So we have a set a new standard. Date Night! You have to date your friends. Coming to your house while you talk about how great your boyfriend is is boring! You know this from that time when you didn’t have a relationship; or a job; or a cat. This is a much needed break for you as well. Get out of the house and hang out for old time’s sake. And progress the hanging spots as well. Instead of Irish Pub you got wasted in 3 years ago–try the new, sophisticated happy hour spot– The one where you can’t wear your Uggs. No, seriously. You will get turned away.

Learn a new language 

In college, I was bitch this, hoe that…

Now? I’m someone’s mother, or I’m the new assistant Principal at a local school. When the language you used as kids is no longer “cute,” speak on it! Learn a new language that still keeps the youthfulness of your friendship, but doesn’t make you feel as if you’re living a double life. Tell your friend in a non-judgmental tone, “let’s not use this word anymore, instead? You’re my “Brova” or “I don’t feel comfortable speaking to you like that anymore.” The last thing you want to do in this transitional stage is to give your friend the impression of “I’m better than you.” Instead, go for the much easier–“we’ve outgrown speaking to each other this way” conversation. If you don’t mind the verbal relationship you have with your friend, set standards of when and where you can use the language.

Incorporate you friend into your new life

I think this can also be referred to as “the Godmom/dad affect.” As your life begins to change, don’t leave your friend in the dust. Bring them along for the journey. Merge your old and new life. I have 3 Godchildren and while I can admit, I’m not the most active Godparent, I’m happy my friends have chosen this title to include me in their continuing lives. I can’t make every visit, but I make it my business to make sure that I make the events that matter. Birthdays. Christmas. Be there for your friend when they invite you to their company picnic. Instead of your sister, whom you speak to and see every day, invite you BFF to your boyfriend’s mother’s backyard cookout. Our priorities will continue to change, but don’t let your friend miss the most important moments in your life.

Social Media

This is an oldie but goodie. In today’s world, ain’t no telling where you’ll end up in 10, 15, 25 years. But with Facebook,  Instagram and other social media sites? Ain’t no mountain high enough, Ain’t no river wide enough to keep me off your ass friend! I follow a couple of goofy sisters that keep their long distance sister in the picture, literally, by keeping a cut out of her on a Popsicle stick. I think it is the goofiest, yet, cutest idea to keep her in the picture.

Letter/ Text/Emails

Set a reminder, set an alarm, and be sure to text your BFF on her bday, for Christmas, for her husbands bday. Make sure you send her messages of encouragement or messages of support! Even when we don’t have social media to make sure that we experience those pivotal moments, you can still show your support and care by making an attempt to stay present. And when you have a lunch break or later that evening, make sure they also hear your voice.

The point here is that as we age, as our priorities change and responsibilities grow we will grow apart– physically. But with effort and advances in technology, we can set new standards for our friends to ensure that relationship continues to flourish. ‘I ain’t going nowhere.’ At this point? I’m pretty sure I will plan my Terry’s funeral in old age. And when the choir insist on singing “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” I’ll be there to make sure “Back dat Azz Up,” is played immediately afterwards. That’s the way he would want it, damnit!

 So, how have you and your friends set new friendship standards?

Set-New-Friendship- Standards-dmackerman

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