The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer.
How many of you watch TV shows like How I Met Your Mother, Friends, or New Girl? Hopefully, not just me – because I watch and rewatch all these shows religiously.
Why? Because I can relate. I’m sure, on some level, everyone can relate to the classic schtick of having a friend who is at a different stage of life than you. Perhaps you’re like me and have a few friends you’ve known for years, and they are still single while you are married with kids.
Even in my own life, I have a buddy who is not only 6 years younger than me, but he is single and parties every weekend while I am married. My wife refers to him as our adopted child. We are like a tricycle – we go out with him on the weekends and try our best to keep up despite the fact we can’t hang with him like that.
My point is it is perfectly natural to have a friend who is just at a different stage of life than you but is it really possible to be friends with someone in different stages of your life? I think it absolutely is, and here’s why.
Don’t get me wrong – friendships come and go. Often, friendships naturally fade when one friend moves to a different stage. For example, it’s common for friends to lose touch when one gets married or becomes a parent, or even moves to a new state for a job. However, that does not mean all friendships are like that.
It ultimately comes down to two things: flexibility and forgiveness in the friendship.
While flexibility is a necessary piece in any relationship, it is crucial for friendships to survive transitions of the stages of life.
Here is an example of flexibility: take my friend, Sam. He is single; he loves to have a good time on the weekends. He is in a band and lives a relatively carefree lifestyle. He’s very in the moment, and I love that about the guy. My wife and I are both 5-6 years older than him; we are married and naturally more homebodies than Sam.
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