adult friendships suck


Well, not entirely.

I’ve learned a lot since moving to New York. Since moving to New York feels like the benchmark for when I became an actual adult. A “Ms.” A bill-paying, CNN-watching, grocery-shopping adult. This city kind of pushes you into adulthood whether you’re ready or not. Sure, I learned a fair amount in college but New York feels different than any experience in school and my relationships are different (and feel different) than my relationships in school. Friendships, in my opinion, become trickier the older you get. There are schedules that conflict and partners you have to share time with. Your friendship could be work-related; completely beneficiary; happy-hour-pals; surface level ( I got in trouble for saying that last year); or your childhood, life-long friends. My life-long friendships have shimmied their way from high school to present day and I seriously thank God for those women. They have been there for every downfall, achievement, after sex story and fuck nigga who led to heartache. They’re the women I hope stand beside me in my nowhere-in-sight-future wedding. They’re my ride-or-dies, my travel companions, and my besties. I don’t talk to them everyday—which I don’t think is needed—but when we do talk it’s like we never skipped a beat.

That’s cute but, my best friends don’t live in New York (except for Imani, hi Imani!). So, this has challenged me to meet new people and try to develop a similar bond to the ones I’ve experienced throughout my adolescence. It’s taken a bit of trial and error, which seems logical, but it has blown my mind with how difficult it is to create meaningful, genuine adult friendships that aren’t hard.

That aren’t hard. Chile.

Why do people try to make it seem like the more struggle you go through with someone, the tighter you are? I’ve had few arguments with my friends and the ones we’ve had all boil down to miscommunication. We haven’t had a huge blow up or a tumultuous patch and it’s what made us friends forever. I’m not saying friendship has to be easy, but I am saying that you should feel 100% comfortable in your friendships where you don’t have to doubt yourself, doubt your friend or walk on eggshells around them and vice-versa.

For me, adult friendships can feel like a game of roulette (though I’ve never played roulette so I’m guessing here), especially in a city where you know no one and are building friendships from a fresh foundation. People have past lives and you weren’t present for their past so it’s interesting—and maybe even offputting—how they react in certain situations. It can be extremely taxing getting to know someone new, especially when you’re bombarded with people and their personalities everyday at your 9 to 5. Then, once you meet a super dope person, it can be difficult arranging schedules to hang out. There’s also things like bills we have to pay and loans we have to pay off that intrude friendships because they encourage us to stick to budgets; which then limits the amount of happy hours or dinners we attend; which then impacts the time we spend with our new friends; which ultimately hinders our friendship with them. Kidding.


Get my drift? Adult friendships take work, a lot of it actually. For someone like me who thinks friendships should be easy (and for someone like me who can be incredibly lazy), this creates a distaste for wanting to start something new; and, as soon as a hiccup happens in that friendship, it sends me running back to the safety of my solitude.

I will say though, I have found some incredible adult friends. I’ve made friends with people who are polar opposite of me, I’ve reconnected with friends who I knew from the past and I’ve crossed paths with people who I never thought I would. I’ve made friends at work. I’ve made friends through other friends. I’ve even made friends through social media. Some of those friendships worked out, while others plummeted. Some are progressing, while others are plateauing. But through all of those friendships I’ve learned important lessons on how I treat people; how others treat people; and, how to be a true friend to my new and old ones. Oh, and how to budget for after work drinks.

RelationshipsRania Bolton