Throughout elementary school, middle school, and even into high school, it was expected that you and your friends communicate with one another on a relatively consistent schedule. If your BFF didn't send you a text in the morning, or at least by the end of the day, something was up. We were all so dependent on contact with one another that a sheer lack of communication was bound to cause problems.
After I went to college, things began to change. During the summer, I was working 30-hour weeks, and though that sounds like cake now, it sure was a lot for my 18-year-old self. Some days, I would get home from work and want nothing more than to lazily watch Netflix in bed. By the time I moved into my college dorm, the sheer exhaustion of my long days was even worse. On top of that, I was living on a college campus in a dorm with people that I didn't know and with no car to go visit my friends at home during the week.
The lack of contact that I was having with friends for years was beginning to make me anxious. I thought, hey- if I don't go home and visit my friends every other weekend, I might lose them altogether! Unfortunately, spending every other weekend of my freshman year of college in my hometown was preventing me from making new friends while in college. On top of all of this, I began to realize that I was feeling anxious for basically nothing.
You see, I wasn't the only one diving head first into the adult world. One of my childhood best friends had gotten married that summer, and was looking forward to spending time with her new husband. Another one of my best friends had a 6-month-old she was up half of the night with. In addition, I had other friends moving into their first houses, first apartments, and also starting their first years of school. In short, I wasn't the only one trying to kick my life off, and I could finally start to relax.
The closest friends that I've had since starting college don't expect to hear from me every week, let alone every day. And the reason why none of us expect that is simply because we couldn't handle it. I, as well as my other friends who are working or going to school or raising a family 40+ hours of the week, don't consistently communicate with one another because we don't want to- it's because we're exhausted, and we all need time to ourselves.
When I do get together with these low-maintenance friends, however, we have an absolute blast every time- even more so than when we were kids! I love nothing more than getting home from one or even two long weeks (sometimes months) of working or studying or taking exams and going to my BFFs house for some wine and quality conversation. My time with them is now much more valuable than when we were kids, because I don't get to see them nearly as often.
Sometimes, I miss out on a few things I wish I didn't have to- like hearing stories of my friend's first two years with her husband and all of the adventures they've taken together, or seeing how much my other friend's one-year-old has grown in the span of a few short months. But that's perfectly okay, because when I do get to see what I missed out on, I'm all the more appreciative of it.
It's important to check in on your low-maintenance friends, and it's also important to give them the space they need to thrive (as they've given to you). They'll probably be the best friends you'll ever have.