People comment to us a lot about our friendship — how different it looks from a lot of friendships and how blessed we should feel to have such a solid friendship at our age, etc. And to be super honest, we already know. We absolutely do not take what the Lord has given us for granted. There’s nothing we did to deserve this friendship, but there are a lot of things we do to ensure we never lose it.
Here are what we believe are 7 ways to have a thriving friendship:
1. Quality over Quantity
We are huge believers in one or two quality friendships vs. having this giant list of people that you feel obligated to give equal amounts of your time to. For each of us, when we think of real, close friends who know us to the depths of our being, we each can name about 2 people. (We’re talking good, close girlfriends. Joe doesn’t count because obviously he’s Meg’s #1 person and he knows her better than anyone). This person is the one you can call or text at LITERALLY any hour of the day and they will not only answer, but they will listen and encourage and be there — judgement free. This is not to discount the importance of community, however. We have such RICH community with some of our dearest friends. And having community is PIVOTOL. It’s just that we cannot commit to pouring into every single person with the same depth we are able to with just one or two.
2. Prioritize time together
This one is huge. For the two of us, we sit down at the end of each month and plan out our days that we’re getting together for the next month. Some days are all about getting work done and being girl boss’s and other days are about going out n’ about and doing things we love like shopping or grabbing coffee or whatever. Other times it’s plans to grab a pizza from Dewey’s and watch Dancing with the Stars together in our yoga pants! You know the atmosphere that will best light up your friendship, so take that and utilize it! Prioritizing time together is crucial. If you’re married, express to your spouse how life-giving time with your favorite girlfriend is. Joe, Megan’s hubby, is great at understanding this. He actually encourages our time together. Plus, it gives him opportunities to get his own stuff done or to have bro-time with his buddies. Win win!
3. Make time to have fun
The last point was a perfect segway into this one. Getting together to just be is awesome and life giving and necessary. But making time for special occasions and girls trips is a big-time way to make a friendship thrive! This, again, takes some planning. Depending on what you’re trying to do will determine how far out you need to plan and how much money you need to save. The season of life that you’re in is also a major factor in what this can look like. For us, sometimes it’s just plans to get dressed up and go downtown for dinner, and other times it’s plans to buy plane tickets and hit the beach for a week. Giving yourself freedom to spend money on YOU and treat YOU is seriously so healthy for you and will be for your friendship, too. It gives you a chance to go somewhere and not have a looming to-do list over your head or a pile of laundry staring at you in the corner of your living room. Plus, no matter how old or young, Cindy Lauper nailed it — girl’s just wanna have fun.
4. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Let’s be real. When two humans are in any sort of relationship, nothing is going to be perfect. But, the attitudes of said humans can play a crucial role in the outcome of any sort of disagreement or tension. You MUST give your friendship the permission and freedom to agree to disagree. We think we have really done a good job of making this work for us. While we rarely fight or disagree (almost to an abnormal degree, thank you Jesus), the times we have disagreed we usually put a lid on it before it even gets out of hand. Saying something from a place of anger or hurt feelings never benefits anyone. It just causes more issues. While you might be best friends, you don’t have to be clones. Your individualities are what will make you fit together so well and be the dynamic force that you can be!
5. Don’t Compare
Ohhhh Comparison. We hate it so hard. Comparison literally steals all the good things from everything and replaces them with doubt and bitterness and just the nastiest ickiest stuff. When it comes to the two of us, we can honestly say that we are very careful and really pretty good about leaving comparison out of things. It’s about looking at your friend and recognizing her goals, and then instead of measuring yours up to hers, you simply champion her on in those things. You encourage those things. You believe with her to see those things come to pass. Her success is not your failure. Her success is actually your success, too. We honestly believe that the minute you let comparison creep into a friendship is the minute that all those other things begin to take root — bitterness, doubt, disappointment, etc. And can we just say, real fast, that we are NOT experts. We both battle comparison in other areas of our lives. But God’s grace abounds — be encouraged in that. Be the friend that builds up. And recognize that you’re allowed to have different vision and different goals and that doesn’t make anyone’s vision or goals better. Remember, like we said up there…your individualities will make you dynamic.
6. Laugh. A LOT.
Honestly, if laughter could be a love language, it would be ours. We spend more of our time together laughing than probably anything else. Learn to just let go and have fun! Laugh at the little things. Send each other funny quotes or pictures throughout the week. If something hilarious happens, call them and tell them about it. Laughter is good for your soul, and when you’re sharing it with someone you adore it’s even better.
7. Remind them how thankful you are
This is one thing we think we’ve almost mastered. Can we say that? It never fails that almost every single time we hang out, one of us will send the other one a text that says something along the lines of “I know we say it all the time, but I am so dang thankful for you. Today was so fun. We are so fun. I just love ya.” I mean seriously we could probably go back through our messages and find those exact words in multiple places. Write a card. Bake their favorite treat. Whatever that looks like, DO IT! It’s SO IMPORTANT to vocalize your gratefulness. Not only does it validate that person, but it also allows you to take a minute to just reflect and be thankful yourself. Friendship is a serious gift, don’t take it for granted and don’t let your person think that you ever are.
So there you have it. And girls, if you’re sitting here thinking “Well I don’t even have a person like that.” Then GET ONE! Stretch yourself — go new places, re-connect with old friends, but remember it takes TWO to tango. You have to be willing to put in what you want to get out of a relationship. Nobody’s going to be able to find you if you’re hiding in your bedroom behind your computer screen. Make much of this life you have and go find yourself a bestie! And please, please please please know — while we certainly aren’t experts on this, we have been super blessed to have experienced and learned a lot of this at a young age. And it all comes back to, you guessed it, Psalm 126. The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad.