Friendship changes as you get older. If you're lucky, it gets better. It goes from being something you do in dark, loud clubs at 3 a.m. to something that's there for you in the most inconsequential moments, and revels in the banality of your lives. No longer are you holding hair back, holding hands in the corner of the club and whispering and giggling about boys, or picking McDonalds fries out of one another's hair in the morning when you wake up in the same bed on either side of the previous night's drunken feast. Those memories of wildness and idiocy will inform your adult friendship, and like the romance at the start of a relationship, will be the glory days that bond your fondness for one another into eternity.
But as you leave those days behind you, your friends begin to be there for you in less dramatic ways. They no longer need to sit in the gutter with you while you howl over your pretty little life, wiping mascara tears from your cheeks. They're there for you in much more boring ways. But all those ways are just as important as the melodrama of the formative days of your friendship. Here are some of the ways grown up friends are there for each other:
1. Listening to really boring stories
Gone are the days of high drama, soap opera style stories of lust and betrayal. Now all your stories are about how Amazon took three days to ship your order even though you had Prime, or how haircuts are too expensive, and grown up friends will listen to all these stories very enthusiastically, and offer both sympathy and solutions.
2. Making time for one another
Life gets in the way of friendships. Work, love, hobbies and other commitments take up more and more time as you get older. Your grown up friends get this, because the same thing is happening to them. Regardless, grown up friends make time for one another. Even if it's a quick coffee at the start of a busy day, friends make an effort to see each other because it's not as easy as going to the bar and then laying on the couch eating chips all weekend anymore.
3. Not being passive aggressive about significant others
Grown up friends don't get cranky about things like you spending time with your significant other. Obviously they still expect a friendship will be maintained, but no grown up person is going to begrudge another grown up person entering into a relationship with a partner they may well build a whole life and even another human with.
Grown up friends will always come bearing wine. Always.
5. Telling the truth
Your grown up friends don't ever shield you from the truth, or give you advice based on what you want to hear or what would be in their best interests. Grown up friends are there for each other with honesty, because when you're making hard life choices you need people to give you a realistic view of your options.
6. Cooking dinner
Remember when a "diner party" meant everyone chipped in for groceries? When you're a grown up and have friends over for dinner, you don't do that anymore. It might seem like a small thing, to pay for and cook dinner for your friends, but it's one of those things that comes with transitioning from being broke ass kids to being functional adults. And it feels really nice, both to do it for others and have it done for you. It shows love and care in a way that is really important.
7. Taking care of the tough stuff
Grown up friends don't shy away from the difficult things. Bad break ups, health scares, money troubles. Friends will be there in ways you never thought they would, and when you're broken they'll put things back together for you. I'm not saying they'll be crutches or that they'll solve all your problems, but when you hit absolute rock bottom, your grown up friends will march in and run shop, whether that's holding your hand through a surgery or deflecting questions about a breakup in social situations, while you dust yourself off and prepare to get back up.
8. Knowing when you need them
Your grown up friends know when it's time to put on the superfriend cape and fly to your side. They know when to give you space, and when to smother. That's something that comes from years of knowing someone: you know which problems are truly in need of immediate action, and which are your regular, run of the mill issues. Grown up friends wont shirk their responsibilities in favor of some other immediate gratification either, because as adults, you realize in the scheme of things, which things really matter to you.