Monday, January 16, 2012

Do you find it more difficult to make friends the older you get?

I have so much to blog about MWF Seeking BFF that I really need to start!

I find myself commenting on other blogs and saying "I really need to blog about this" and instead of first making a list of all the stuff I want to talk about, I'm just going to start and hope for the best.

Okay, so friends.

Strangely enough, D, my MIL and I have just been talking about how hard it is to make friends the older you get.

She was saying even for her at 68, it's really difficult.

Apparently she'll ask for the person's number if they click and then she actually phones first and initiates a plan to meet up. And will then follow up.

But the initiation is a topic for another blog post.

D and I were saying some of our best friends are from our university days.

Which leads me to believe that it's getting harder to make friends as you age. Naturally, that is.

Sweets and I have both read the book so we chat behind the blog scenes about friendship.

I love it!

She was telling me how she wants her son to be able to make friends and not be lonely as he's growing up.

I said to her it's so easy when you're young. You have a toy, I want to play with it and we're FRIENDS.

Same kind of thing at early school. You stay in the same suburb, go to the same school and you're FRIENDS.

I even remember making friends with girls at high school whose only common interest with me was that we all did Home Economics. Yes. I was no practical use for years and years but I had all the theory :)

And of course I had ballet friends... and Spanish friends...

These days, it's not good enough that we just work together at the same place, or even in the same team.

There are people on my team who I've worked with for years but I wouldn't call us friends. We're just colleagues.

But others have been working with me for a shorter time (I've mentioned my strict work colleague before) and we LOVE each other (or at least I do her) because we have similar values...

Same with my infertility support group.

Yes, we're all mothers now but there are some girls I'm friends with and others I'm just friendly with.

(also please ignore incorrect grammar, etc. I just want to get this out)

But back to you.

Do you agree it's more difficult to make friends naturally the older you get? Or not? If not, what's been the difference for you?

And not to keep flogging the horse, but have you read the book yet?

PS how cool is it that I just clicked over to check the link and I see Sweets blogged about friendship today too? LOVE IT!
PPS those pics were all taken in Ireland in 2009 on our last pre-babies trip. At the time of the visit, there was only 1 baby between the 3 couples. There are now 6, two sets of twins :)


  1. I think I've actually lost all my friends. How terrible is that?! Although it's true to me being a hermit.

    I have roughly 3 that I can pick up with at any time, only 1 being a '3 a.m. friend' and another is my cousin so that complicates things a bit. I have another 4 a work that are more than co-workers but less than friends. So I would have to agree that is nearly impossible , for me at least, to make friends. HOWEVER, I'm not dissatisfied with life and I don't feel that I am missing out on much. I do worry about the girls becoming hermits, more specifically latching on to me or staying home well into adulthood, but I think that's a little premature. :)

  2. As you already know I think it gets harder. Just been thinking that it really should be easier - afterall aren't we supposed to become more "wise" and comfortable with ourselves as we get older? I still find making connections through common interest the easiest, but have found that these don't necessarily grow beyond that, or translate into a real bff outside of those "communities". So for instance I made numerous connections during fertility treatment days, but as people moved on, and then when I moved on, a lot of these connections were lost. It is so great that your group have stayed in touch and still meet.

    But we probably expect less when we are younger, and when we are really young we have probably not stepped.over that line that makes us self conscious.

    Like I said my greatest fear - not being accepted. I know that a lot of the time these fears are complete irrational, but they really do take your breath away sometimes.

    Enjoyed the book. what really struck me too is where she mentions how we are too afraid to admit to not having friends - in most cases I think probably admitting that one does not have many. And yet there are probably so many of us in the same situation. Perhaps even all wanting to reach out, but just not having the guts to do it. (I really wanted to say balls, because you know what, I think guys do do it a lot easier than girls do, we probably worry unnecessarily.)

  3. I think it depends on personality. Some people tend to attract more people to them than others. I've never found it easy to make friends. Not even when I was younger. However recently I have made 2 really good friends. Like in "best friends" kind of friends.

    I think when we are younger it is easier to find things you have in common with others, but when you are older and have lived life and have busy lives it is harder to find time to connect.

  4. Sweets, I love your comment!

    You are fabulous for admitting you fear not being accepted.

    But listen, why don't you send round an email and ask if any of those fertility people want to meet for a coffee? Or only the ones you kind of gelled with the most?

  5. Lea, awesome that you've found those 2 friends! The time to connect is a real problem as we get married and have kids and whatnot!!!

  6. Mandy, LOL they are way too small for you to worry about them becoming hermits!

    I love how you remember my little sayings (3am friends) - it thrills me to no end (sad, I know)

    so what happened with the friends you lost?

  7. HI!! THANKS for visiting my CHAOS!!! We moved from Houston to Oklahoma and I have been miserable for 7 years!! I DESPERATELY need a BFF!! Todd goes to work and I just want someone to pal around with!!!
    Hope that you will come back and follow the CHAOS!! I am hosting a
    "RANT and RAVE About My Blog!!!" It is where fellow bloggers critique your blog anonymously!!! Come sign up!!! :0

  8. Yes. People don't stay put anymore so even when you do make friends, you or they move on before long. The good news is that when you have children you find yourself thrown into new situations with other parents and often form a natural bond.

  9. Hi Marcia, I think that in today's society it is harder to make and maintain good friendships. No sooner do you connect with someone you think will make an excellent friend than they or you move on to a new job, new town. When we were young we lived in the same place for years and made lots of friends but when we grew up we all moved away. I have a few great friends and I am grateful for that. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  10. My husband and I work in youth ministry, we realized a couple of years ago that we had no friends our own age - since most of our time is spent with teenagers. We knew we needed to connect with adults. We are blessed with an awesome church and just had to start putting ourselves out there and were intentional with connecting with adults as well as teenagers. Anyway, we now have friends our own age and have even connected with old ones that we had grown up with. A lot of it was us just realizing that we needed to make the connections, reach out, listen, serve others - all the same things we do with students but with adults as well. Relating on a faith level is huge in friendship and making friends. If you can pray together, you can also laugh, cry, listen and talk.

  11. Hi, it's been so long! For me, i find people that I would love to be friends with (you are one) but I'm so busy at this stage of my life with young children that are totally dependant on me and keep me flat out busy ALL THE TIME that I have much less time to spend establishing friendships. And much less time seeing/contacting each friend. I believe that is the only difference to when i was younger. At high school age i called friends every day and chatted for hours, at university I flatted (lived in same house) with good friends and spent lots of time with others. Now I have to plan/schedule times to meet up with friends (and always with kids in tow). An older lady said to me recently though that as you age and life stages change it doesn't take as much time to make friends of the same closeness - i've worded this badly, hope u get what i mean :-) That made sense to me. (what she said not what i just wrote!)
    I think i do have quite a few friends though, there are always people I'm catching up with but i always feel the times are not as often as i would like. This past weekend my old flatmate and his wife and family from university days came for lunch on saturday and Glens old flatmate from uni days came with his wife and kids on sunday avo. It was wonderful!! so easy to chat and get on even though we hardly see them these days. It was a special weekend. Sorry about grammar here, typing on my new tablet i got for christmas from G!

  12. Since moving to CT and leaving my friends in Pta, I have not made a single new friend...shocking isnt it. I spent most of my time with hubby's family or at home. So in essence my answer is yes I find it difficult to make new friends now that I am older.

  13. I don't make friends easily but value my friendships that I do have tremendously. It is only recently that I have started to push all the one sided friends out of my life, why waste time on them if the work is only coming from me? I have to honestly say that, although I do not have a bucketload of friends, the ones I do have all have a special place in my heart :)

  14. I'm not having that problem. It is a lot harder for me these days to put the effort in to maintain good frienships though.

  15. In short: yes. And one big reason: time.

  16. YES! It is so much harder the older we get! I think there are a few reasons for me personally.

    First of all- people I could be friends with- but we have a business relationship with makes being "friends" that hang out and do things together because I do not like to cross the lines between business and pleasure. So for example- one of the moms I babysit for- I could see us being close friends, but we aren't because it is a business relationship.

    Secondly- it is harder to make connections with other people when you constantly have your kids around you and those you are in contact with do as well. I have a lady at my sons preschool and we are friedly and could be friends but everytime we talk just a little bit- someones kid always needs something or we are always in a hurry. I would love to invite her for coffee but it seems like I am ALWAYS busy or she is busy.

    Three- so many moms around my age are not the type of people I like to be around. I am a young mom but I am not into partying or drinking. I would much rather have a playdate were the kids are involved as well.

    Then... moms that are older than me have sometimes treat me like I don't have a clue because I am young. Now.. that being said- most of my friends are older mothers :)

    Fourth- I hate mommy competetion! I am a great mom and you can be a great mom and we don't have to have the same views! Parenting is hard and I don't need someone comparing notes at every turn trying to one up me. It is petty and immature.

    So those are the issues I have making friends. In my school years it wasn't nearly as complicated!

  17. YES, I think it is harder to make friends (and I mean real friends, not friendly acquaintances) as we get older. For one, the places and times to meet new people become very limited. We go to work, church, etc., but we tend to see a lot of the same people on a daily basis. And unless you find friends among those people, other options to connect are limited, at least in my experience.

    I have become "friendly" with some new people because of the girls (classmates' parents, birthday parties, etc.), but there has not been any real bonding with any of them.

    Then, as Claudia said, there's a real issue with, so many people already have their group of friends and don't want/need/have time for new ones.

  18. I was very shy as a child, so I think for me it's been easier as I got older. Plus, my DH is a very social creature and loves to have friends that have parties sometimes and likes to mingle with people we don't already know. We've met a lot of interesting people over the years. I still can't wait to finally meet you!!!!

  19. This is not the case for me. I find I am CONSTANTLY making new friends and connections through my kids and through mutual friends.

    I do have a handful of VERY close confidants and then a large circle of friends and then a larger circle of acquaintenances.

    I think as a youngster I had fewer friends, more cliquey in my youth whereas now I am able to embrace friendships with a myriad of people from all different walks of life.

  20. arg. i think you know how i feel about this! i've always been very guarded and shy with new people. we had a few VERY close couples: one ended up divorced, two moved away for jobs. we still have two couple friends that we enjoy spending time with who live locally, BUT making time to do something is really hard. especially because of travel schedules right now!!

    i also don't respond well to small talk or people who are fake. i am generally looking for some sort of organic relationship that just seems to happen, you it used to when we were little. but i suppose that doesn't really happen anymore.

    we have close friends who live about 10 hours away, but i really wish they lived closer. :(

  21. I think I lost most of my "friends" growing up. I grew up young and I grew up fast. In fact, nearly all the people I was friends with are still single and ready to mingle. Many still live with, or rely on their parents which I find disgusting. We just don't click anymore. :(

  22. I have written a lot about friendship over the last year or so - and I think you know what I am on about. Making a friend is relatively easy - on a shallow sort of level. Making a good friend is extremely tough - I really find it so hard. Friendship needs to grow through years.

    BTW my BFF is in Sa at present - have seen her twice - it is as if she never left. Ai, to think at the end of the month she will be back in Oz.

  23. Oh my yes it totally gets harder with each passing year. Being military doesn't help either since everyone is so transient.

  24. I just finished that book and LOVED it. I totally agree with you that it does get harder to make friends as you get older.

    When you're younger, the littlest things can bring you together and as children, we're much more accepting of others, I believe.

    Adults can be judgmental and harsh when it comes to choosing friends.

    I'm in the process of writing a blog post myself about this very topic. The book was very inspiring!

  25. Yes and No.
    Yes and No.

    Yes, because of time constraints.

    Yes because I’m not naturally extroverted. I love people and get my energy from them but I don’t sommer just walk up to people and say “lets be friends” or whatever. I still can’t do that, even in my 30s.

    No because I am more tolerant and accepting of people who are “different” than I was in my youth. I am more comfortable in who I am.
    Great post.


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