From Our Readers
Updated July 24, 2015 4:59 am

I’m now safely in my late twenties and getting closer to thirty every day, and I’ve built up a great network of friends in that time. I’ve made friends at different points in my life: through school, work, and even through other friends. I’ve been friends with some people since I was a child, and others are more recent additions to the bestie network. But what I’ve learned is that friends are an important part of your life. And friendships in your twenties may be quite different from your teens and childhood. Here are some things I’ve learnt about friendship over the years.

First impressions aren’t always reliable

I admit it, I first read this in a book as a teenager, but it’s followed me around ever since. Some people (me included) can be really shy when you first meet them, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be the most interesting and fun people you’ve ever met. They may even turn out to be the best friend you’ve ever had.

You’ll bond with some people really quickly and other friendships may take time

I met a girl a few years ago who I instantly knew would be my friend for life. We instantly clicked and she fitted right into my friendship group. But it’s not always like that. Just because a friendship takes time doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

You will become closer to some people and more distant from others, and that’s OK

Some of your friends will feel like extended members of your family. You may have known each other for years and they will just fit in alongside your siblings. But some friends aren’t meant to stay in your life, but that’s OK.. Some friendships just don’t last for whatever reason, but that means there’s usually space to meet new people and other great friends will come along instead.

You’ll all be different people than you were in your early twenties

Your friend may change and become interested in different things to you, but you might also change. If you’re lucky, you’ll grow together, even if the things that you first shared aren’t the ones that cement your bond now. You may learn to love your friends’ new interests, but even if you don’t, it’s OK. Having people who bring new things and experiences into your life is valuable.

Friends (or you!) will get married and have babies and that will still feel weird

It still feels weird to me when my closest friend has a baby while I’m still paying off your overdraft and barely keeping yourself afloat. But those people aren’t any less your friends. Everyone moves at their own pace, and being there for your friends when they go through such major life events is so rewarding. Plus, you might be able to cuddles and play with a baby without changing its diapers. That’s pretty great.

You can still be good friends with someone you’ve known for 20 years

The things you bonded over at age 8 will probably change but amazingly, you’ll both still be great friends. My oldest friend and I became friends by talking about horses and riding bikes and although we don’t cycle together anymore, we still talk all the time.

You won’t always agree with everything your friend does

But you’ll accept that they’ve made the right decisions for them and accept their flaws too.

You can be more real than ever before

You don’t need to worry about pretending to like indie music to try to keep up with your cool friend anymore,when you secretly preferred listening to Britney Spears. Your friend understands you now more than when you were a teenager and doesn’t care what music you listen to.

And the biggest secret? Friendships only get richer, more interesting, and cooler with age. That part is just awesome.

Aneira Davies is a journalist from the UK with an unhealthy addiction to Pinterest. When not writing, you can find her behind her sewing machine, making a new dress or two to add to her collection, or getting lost in a classic Jane Austen novel.

[Image via Netflix]