My husband has been intentional about keeping in touch with a friend who is out of town for this year pursuing a new career. I have worked to keep in touch with visits, phone calls, and emails with my friends. Our refrigerator is filled with Christmas card love and my inboxes get emails and phone calls from friends most days of the week now.
We have struggled with forming really intimate friendships, learning how to entertain (our parents never did), and saying yes to others (we prefer to stay home and have quiet nights in). One of my goals this year was work on friendship and I really feel we've done that this year. The invitations, the daily check ins from others, and the holiday cards reflect the constant effort we have made to invest in relationships this year.
If you are struggling with making friends I encourage you to start small- reaching out to others, inviting them into your home, lending a helping hand, and intentionally creating small talk. Then try to say yes as much as possible to invitations and offers to get together (Even if you dont want to leave the house or do a certain activity). Finally, continue to nurture the relationships and keep your chin up even during the occasional poorly attended party or flopped get together.
Friends are a treasure and a blessing-- and I believe maintaining a true friendship takes work, despite how easy it looks on social media sometimes!