20 Dec Hometown Friends: 4 Ways to Revive Your Relationships
Many of us will travel to our hometowns this holiday season feeling like Kayne West’s “Homecoming.”
Greeted with nostalgia and the warmth of the familiarity, returning home seems just like the medicine you need. Your parents are great, the food is amazing, but the one thing that’s unsettled is your relationship with your hometown friends.
You and your childhood friends made plans. Your squad was destined for more than what your hometown had to offer, so when it was time to go off to college some of your friends made the decision to stay. As time went on your disappointment in their decision to not go beyond their comfort zone dwindles. You accept and respect their choices, but as life takes you on different paths phone calls and text messages stop and the power of their presence in your life cease to exist. The commitment to keep that old thang going diminishes, so now you only have the holidays. That’s the only time you see them. Conversation is meek as you try to search for something timely and relevant to talk about. You wonder if the only thing that keeps your relationship intact is the memories of yesteryears and how it use to be?
Are memories the only thing that can keep a friendship alive? As we continue to age and grow in our careers, get married or become parents, how do you keep your friendship strong and relevant while you make major shifts in your life? You may have failed in your college years to maintain your friendship, but here’s how you can revive it years later:
Nourishment: Fill My the Cup
Your friends can’t be any good to you if you are depleting their wells of love. You have to make sure you are pouring into your friends just as much as they pour into you. Are you that friend who calls, talk about yourself and your problems because you need someone to listen to you and then you don’t call back until you have another problem? Is it always about you? Think about how you can reciprocate all those late night calls that focused on you. Did you even ask them how their life was going or did you hurry off the phone? Do you take a whole week to respond to their miss call or text message? There’s severals ways you can fulfill your friend duties without being in the same city. For example, if your friend just got laid off, get them away from the online job boards and treat them when they come into town with a night out. Keep your ears on the street for job opportunities and send them their way. Pouring into your friends also means supporting them. If your friend is getting an award, starting a new job, having a baby then show him or her some love. If you are far away, try sending a card or some flowers to let them know you are thinking about them or simply carve out some time to have a good luck call.
Stacia calls me every quarter to see what my travel plans are and how she can roll with me. Now that’s what I call a rider. If we can’t do a trip together then she visits me or I’ll visit her, because we refuse to let social media be the only way we interact. Facebook can’t be the only way you keep up with your friends. Face-to-face contact will make the world of difference in your friendship. Every year try to make plans to see your friends. Visit them in their respective city’s to see how they are living and meet some of their local friends. If you can’t make it to their town, try planning a getaway for you all to experience a new city together. Map out your activities and create new memories.
Thanks, goodness for GroupMe and apps like it. It’s a real-time way to keep in touch with your tribe at one time. Utilize these apps to keep up with each other and chat throughout the day. Whether it’s discussing Kayne’s meeting with Trump or a new product you used on your hair real-time engagement can go a long way. It’s like kicking it in homeroom but this time you do it on your phone with gifs, sound bite, links and shade-filled messages.
Accountability Because Friendship is a 2-Way Street
As we get older we get more selective and particular about the people we have in our lives. The friends in our lives have to be able to meet you half-way and vice versa. Make plans and keep them by holding your bestie up to the promises that were made. Stop disappointing each other with empty effort. If this person means something to you then make the time to give your friendship some love. If you don’t regularly keep in touch, utilize birthdays and holidays to check in.
Some relationships just aren’t meant to be salvaged or saved and that’s okay. If it’s beyond fixable you still have the memories. Whether you choose to love your hometown friends or leave ‘em you know you’ll always have a love for them either way.
Photo by: Dee Williams courtesy of MiMConnect
Also published on Medium.