When I look back over my three+ decades of life, friendships look different in each one. If I’m being completely honest, maintaining strong friendships in my thirties has been more challenging than it was in my earlier years. It’s not that friendships are less important to me by any means, but big life events — like getting married, having kids, moving cities, pursuing your career etc., can make it more difficult to find quality time to nurture friendships. I also find that social media can hinder meaningful catch ups because you feel like you’ve had a proper catch up with someone recently, when in reality you’ve just liked their Instagram posts.

I’ve realized that even though friendships might look different than my twenties on a daily basis, it’s still so important to seek out and connect with those important friends in my life. And to be completely honest, I haven’t been the best at this in the past.  Today I’m sharing how I’m striving to be a better friend in my thirties, but really these tips can relate to any decade. I hope you find this encouraging and helpful! xo


The “quality over quantity” sentiment has a few meanings for me when it comes to friendships. I truly cherish my closest friendships and want to make an effort to prioritize them over invitations that may come our way.  I don’t mean this in any way to sound closed off, it’s just that free time is rare at this stage in life, so if I have time to grab drinks with someone, I’m really making an effort to make sure that I am using my time wisely and choose to spend that time with my dearest of friends.

Secondly, even though I might not get to see my friends very often, I want to make a big effort to ensure that the time we do have together is quality time. Focus on having intentional conversations and really listen to what is going on in their lives and ask big questions — whether in person or over the phone. Many of my close friends are scattered across the country since we have moved so many times post college, so a quality phone catch up with them is crucial! It might not be often, but just knowing what is going on in their lives and listening and supporting in any way I is something I really want to be better at.


Keeping up with friendships is a two way street, and unfortunately we all get busy and neglect to reach out as often as we should. Going forward, I am setting little reminders for myself as often as possible to initiate catch ups, whether over the phone or in person, to make sure that my closest friendships are being nurtured. It takes time and effort, and isn’t always easy, but nothing feels better than a good conversation with a dear friend.


One of my favorite parts about friendships in my thirties are girls’ trips without kiddos and husbands. It’s such a fun way to catch up over a weekend without any distraction. One girls’ weekend can over a lot of ground when it comes to hearing about everyone and sharing important details and updates. I always leave a girls’ trip feeling like I’ve gotten some much needed advice and hopefully given support to my friends as well. Scheduling a girls’ trip even just once or twice a year is so good for the soul! 

I recently had a one night Houston staycation at Hotel Alessandra with my high school besties and dedicating a solid 24 hours to quality time was so good for me.  We lounged by the pool, had some spa time, went out to dinner and then all spent the night in one hotel room for late night girl talk and more wine!  It was the perfect way to catch up and make up for lost time as we all get busy with our families and commitments.   It was also a perfect example to show it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, one night in your home town can do the trick!


While I love time with my girlfriends one on one, it’s also so special to see their children becoming friends with Knox and Andrew. This past summer we went on a big group trip with our old New York crew and all the children, and it was such a blast! We rented a house on the beach in North Carolina which was perfect — the kids were able to run around while the adults caught up. I also have a regular playdate with my college friends and their kids a few times a month, whether it’s at someone’s home or at a park it’s the most realistic way to see each other, even if there are a lot of interruptions. 


Between work and kids, an hour long phone conversation or dinner  is not always doable. I am challenging myself to text one of my friends when I’m thinking about them. A brief texting convo is not ideal, but sometimes it’s the only way to check in on a given week, and it’s nice to get a quick update in between longer phone calls and in person visits. And while I don’t think social media should be the primary form of communication, I am thankful that it’s so easy to see pictures of friends who live out of town and their kids via Instagram and Facebook.


Do you have a best friend that always remembers significant dates, follows up from your previous conversations and knows just when to check in?  I wish I could say I am that friend, but the truth is I haven’t been.  However, my sweet friends that are inspire me to be a better friend to them and others.  I am taking a page from their play book and making notes in my calendar to remember to follow up and check on friends when they tell me they have an important appointment, a big deadline at work, or simply are starting potty training.  I am always so surprised and delighted when I receive that text a few days or weeks later asking me how something went or checking on me after I shared a personal struggle.  To me, this is the ultimate act of kindness. 

Do you have a friend that always makes you feel special? How do you nourish your friendships in between family and work responsibilities?