I was in an LDR at 26 with a guy in the Army, finally employed in a ‘career’ type job, and renting a house with roommates. I’m pretty sure I still saw my best friend every couple of weeks or so? Back at 25 I saw her bare minimum once a week, and sometimes stayed at her apartment a couple nights at a time since I was still at home.
Now a few years later, I’m about to move in with my boyfriend (who lives just 15 min away YAY), in a different but similar job (no crazy demands here though). I try to be fairly flexible for my friends, and sometimes feel THEY are the barely available ones – between the 4 of us it’s so hard to find a date we all can work with since one is a teacher, one lives in a different city 3+ hours away, and one is a dance teacher so she sometimes has stuff on the weekends and is very busy with dance camps in the summer.
I do get you on needing ‘me’ time. I am an introvert and NEED that time. My boyfriend is mellow enough that I can get that while being with him, fortunately.
My friends.. I see them about quarterly. I will say that I make time for weekly family dinners at my parents’ house though, and my boyfriend goes out to happy hour at a nearby pub after work once (sometimes twice) a week with a coworker or two. That aside though, we really don’t go ‘out’ aside from a little casual dinner date occasionally. We never stay out late unless it’s someone’s birthday.
I’m reading a lot of different experiences, expectations, routines, etc. I think it’s great that some people are able to make time to see friends so frequently, and I do REALLY wish I saw my friends more often than quarterly, especially my teacher friend.
I also get your friend’s fears – it’s scary to think about growing apart, and it can feel like rejection if someone has to specifically tell you they want to make plans together less often. But ultimately, if you tell her you’re having trouble balancing everything and are making some adjustments.. she really needs to accept that if she wants to continue being friends.
I also agree with PP about stuff like yoga dates, errand dates, meal prep dates.. I do those with my friend and it’s a great way to relax or be productive while still hanging out!