Journaling through Relationships: Adult Friendships 4

“A friend is someone who can brighten your day with a simple smile, when others try to do it with a thousand words.” ― Beth Nimmo

“Some of the friendships I’ve found as an adult are far more rewarding than those forged out of the convenience of adolescence.” ― Rachel Bertsche,

IN THIS SERIES ON RELATIONSHIPS, we’ve been examining friendship and what it means to us throughout our lives — starting with early childhood and moving through our teen years. Some of us have maintained those friendships into adulthood. Others have not.

Whatever your experience with friendships as children, you would think that by the time we’re adults we’d have this friendship thing down pat, right? Perhaps not.

Perform a web search on “adult friendships” and you’ll be presented with pages of articles with titles like, “How Friendships Change Over Time,” and “Why are Adult Friendships So Hard to Make?” and “How to Make Friends as an Adult.”

The consensus seems to be that adult friendships are different in both quality and quantity from those of our younger years. What do you think?

Using the following journaling prompts, take time to reflect on the nature of your current friendships, your belief system around friendship in general, and what you might do to nurture and improve your current relationships with friends.

Journaling Prompts

  • Describe your picture of the “ideal” adult friendship. What does that look like? Do you think that picture is attainable? Why or why not?
  • When you were young, you probably had at least one “best” friend. As an adult, do you have a “best” friend? Or a circle of friends? Which kind of friendships do you find most fulfilling?
  • How has the quality or nature of your friendships changed as an adult? What do you love most about your adult friendships and what do you miss most about your childhood and teen friendships?
  • Do you have rules or beliefs about friendships and what one should or shouldn’t do in order to be a good friend? What are these “shoulds” and where did they come from? What would happen if you released them?
  • Reflecting on the “shoulds” of the previous prompt, how do you define what it means to be a “good friend” and do you consider yourself to be a “good friend” for others? In what ways yes and in what ways no?
  • Would you like to expand or reinforce your existing social circles? What steps would you need to take?
  • Do you think it’s harder to make new friends as an adult than when you were younger? What are the reasons for your answer?
  • In the hierarchy of relationships (romantic partners, children, family, colleagues), where do friendships fall for you?
  • Make a list of your friends and, for each one, a list of his or her best qualities. What do all your friends have in common? And what do you have in common with them?
  • What are the ways you could make more time to nurture your friendships?


What is the most illuminating insight you received from journaling about your adult friendships?


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4 thoughts on “Journaling through Relationships: Adult Friendships

  • sara etgen-baker

    I need to be honest here. Adult friendships are hard for me. I suppose as I’ve gotten older, I have less and less tolerance for frivolity in any relationship. Nor did I want any relationship that’s based on appearances and illusion. So finding an adult who can be “real” is a challenge. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy social activities and settings and camaraderie. But a deep, sustainable relationship based upon my expectations are just plain hard. Plus, I enjoy my solitude and take comfort in it. Anyway, I found your prompts thought provoking, and I’ll continue to reflect and write upon them throughout the upcoming days. Thanks for those prompts!

    • Amber Lea Starfire Post author

      Thank you, Sara for that honesty. I, too, have had trouble forming and maintaining deep friendships as an adult. I think the fault is mine, as I haven’t really nurtured those friendships . . . many years as a working single mother didn’t help, of course. :-).