You have time to see your friends. Stop lying.

I read an article the other day and I immediately wanted to know more information. The article was Excerpt: Being a social butterfly. This is where my curiosity came up:

When I graduated college, I was completely unprepared for having to schedule time to hang out with friends. The first time one of my friends told me that she had to check her calendar to see when we might be able to grab lunch together, I laughed so hard I made myself cry. Oh, to have so few responsibilities that we could hang out whenever we want!
Excerpt: Being a social butterfly

I thought about the recent college graduates I know. They have no problem hanging out every weekend, in the same place, with the same people. They do this for years, until they get married, have kids and simply can’t do it anymore. This is an ugly transition, usually leading to failed relationships and marriages. The age doesn’t matter; it is the behavior that is important. I know people in their 60s who are in a club or bar every week, like clockwork.

**And I picked club/bar because, if you ask your average recent college graduate what they like to do, drinking is a high priority for some reason. However, higher intellectual people (geeks and nerds) have a different set of priorities, enjoy using their brains, don’t like dulling their brains, and will give a enlightening array of responses.**

In my world, things are different. My friends have hobbies and other interests than partying. When they look back at their week, getting drunk wasn’t the highlight. Of course, because they have other interests, they have more successful lives. They have more enriched and happy lives, even if they do not have the financial foundation they would like. I know people working two or three jobs to make ends meet, have family obligations, and still have time to meet up with their friends/family and relax.

Reading the article I was curious what it was that caused people to be unable to spend time with their friends? Most of my friends with young kids have a night where they meet up with friends and they can take the kids. They plan things they can do as a group. As one becomes better at handling responsibilities, the person has more free time. We become more efficient doing the things we need to complete so we can do the things we want to do. My super efficient set of friends (with young kids) trade off babysitting nights so they all have at least two “free” nights a week to do whatever they want (adult time).

We do things that are a priority to us. People who look forward to getting drunk every week have empty lives. That is all they have, so they hold on to it like a security blanket. A phase becomes a lifestyle. To the other extreme, there are people that are “so busy” doing what has a higher priority to them, they do not have time for anything else. A classic example: when your friend gets in a new relationship and disappears. He/she never has time to go out anymore. Translation: your friend doesn’t have time to go out with you anymore.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that people who say they “can’t” meet up with their friends really don’t want to.