How Many Friends Should I Have As An Adult? Quality Beats Quantity

Do you remember being new to the making friends game, and the number of friends meant more than the actual bond you may have shared? Making friends as kids was simple. You asked a few open-ended questions, found out you had a handful of things in common, and decided from that day forward you were friends. I can often hear my five-year-old brag about the number of friends she has at school, or her gymnastics class, basically anywhere you can meet people. If you were to ask her the names of her friends from these places, she wouldn’t be able to tell you many, or anything about them. But she knew for certain, they were her friends. I honestly found this behavior to be odd, but her doing so made me realize something. 

When we’re younger, it’s all about the number of friends we have. As we start to get older, it’s really about the quality of the person or bond, rather than the quantity of the group. 

I am not at all saying that having a large group of friends is a bad thing. There are many people that I consider my friend, and if I were to throw a birthday party where the guest list could be unlimited, I would try and fit every friendly encounter I’ve ever had to that party. What I am saying is that there are always a select few people (or maybe even just one person) that checks all the boxes we are looking for in a friendship. The one person we go to when things get tough, who can always help us through. The deeper, more meaningful friendships that know you more than what’s just on the surface. 

How Many Friends Do You Need?

Over time, my circle of friends has shrunk down to just one or two “quality friendship” individuals, and that’s honestly fine for me. Why is that? I am a mother of two young children, with a busy career and never ending laundry pile. I simply don’t have the time to devote what’s necessary to multiple friendships. 

That by no means makes me a bad person, and I know this. I have realized when I try to be everything to too many people, I end up only hurting myself. My children need me nonstop, the house needs me nonstop, and I want to carve out time for myself and my husband as well. If I tried to juggle multiple friendships at this stage in my life, most of them would suffer. It wouldn’t be a fair friendship, where I was present and available, so devoting my time and energy into one or two quality friendships just makes more sense to me. 

I typically choose these quality friendships based on who would align best with my life. The people I turn to the most and spend the most time with are also busy mothers, who are very understanding and flexible of my schedule, as I am to them. When we can’t be there for each other physically, we make sure to check in via text or social media, and if we know something is wrong, we are always sure to check in with each other. 

As much as we would all like to be back at that school stage of life where we could see our friends every day during lunchtime, that’s just no longer a possibility. Some of my friends live across the country, and having a quality friendship where the bond is tighter than ever is just not possible. I appreciate both my loose-tie friendships and my quality friendships equally, as I need both for my current life and the timeframe that I have to devote to friendships. Being a present parent is my number one priority, and I’m sure later on in life I will have more time to have a larger circle of friends. For now, this totally works for me. 

Quality Over Quantity

I have one best friend that I go to for almost everything. I haven’t known her my entire life, maybe only 5-6 years, but she is my person, and I couldn’t imagine life without her. I’m proud of the quality of our friendship because it’s come from years of mutual energy being poured into it. I know that years down the line, we’ll still be the best of friends, and I am beyond thankful for her. I do, however, have a good amount of friends that I only socialize with when I see them sporadically, and that is not the same. 

Simply put, having quality friendships as an adult just works. If you do not have “quality friendships” in your life, I urge you to spend more time with the people you gel with the most. The people that bring out the best in you and are selflessly there for you, who understand that in life we have bad seasons and are there for you through it all. Those people exist for you. You don’t need too many – one will do just fine. But those quality friendships will be there for you through thick and thin. And it’s worth it.


Do you find your circle of friends dwindling as you get older? Share with us in the comments!

To Read More Health, Wellness, And Relationship Articles, Look Below:

Join the Conversation