There’s one thing everyone of us wants and needs, and there are no substitutes for it. What we want doesn’t come overnight, and sometimes she doesn’t come in the way we expect either, but this one thing can change our lives forever — a good friend.

In my experience, some of my most treasured friends aren’t always the ones I’ve known the longest or the ones I have the most history with, though sometimes that is the case! A great friend could come into your life tomorrow, but a real, true friendship takes effort on both sides.

A few weeks ago I had some friends come to town and we spent the weekend eating, laughing, and crying together and it was so restorative to my soul. The joy that comes from a true friendship is indescribable — and necessary.

Here are some tips for developing deeper, lasting friendships and creating that lifelong relationship that we all desire!

1. Ask

The first step to friendship is knowing someone and the various things that make them who they are. These types of things are deeper than “where did you get your shoes?” and sometimes it can feel awkward to break that wall down to deeper conversations, but once you do your friendship will be much better for it! Make sure to regularly ask your friends about their family, what’s going on in their life that they’re excited about, or what they’re worrying about or struggling with. I’ve been making an extra effort lately to know what’s going on — good or bad — in my freinds’ lives and finding ways to help and it’s already created much deeper friendships!

2. Remember

Once you know about something, whether it’s a friend’s birthday or a date that she’s participating in something, write it down or put a reminder in your phone so you can remember to take her to lunch or give her a call. One of my closest friends lives in a different state, and just asking, remembering, and then following up with her on things that are going on in her life is what has kept us close! It’s too easy to let good friends slip away, especially if there’s distance between you, but remembering birthdays, funny memories (I regularly send old photos I find to friends or silly inside jokes to let them know I’m thinking about them), and big or small events will keep a friendship alive.

3. Show up

I’ll never forget the time I sang the national anthem at a women’s basketball game and literally ten people were in the stands, but three of those were friends of mine who showed up to support me! We laughed so hard about the whole thing, especially because I started the song WAY too low, and I’ll always remember seeing their faces and feeling so loved. When a friend is participating in something, drop what you’re doing and GO! I always assume I could be the only friend that shows up to support that person, and sometimes I have been. I went to a wedding of a friend a couple weeks ago that I didn’t know too well, and it turned out that I was literally the only person there who wasn’t family. It took our friendship to the next level because they knew I cared enough to come. So when you get invited to a party, a shower, or a get together — GO! Bring something, be the first one there and the last one to leave if you can, and that friend will forever be grateful.

I promise that the more we invest in friendships, the more deep, true friends we will have. When life gets tough and we need a friend, those girls will come to our aid and save you us in a way only girlfriends can.

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