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Daisy • 7 years ago

You've got a point but I think you're missing his point that making NEW friends is hard, and good ones - not just acquaintances you can party every now and then, but also enjoy just hanging out and talking with, like the real friends you made growing up, cannot be made by just going to a yoga class or a basketball game and striking a conversation up - even for singles!  As someone who's been there, it's hard to make real friends, of course it's easy to make whatever friends, but when I was single, I just got used to just going out and doing my own things - eating alone until some guy would hit on me, going to fitness classes until someone would talk to me, and shopping by myself until I'd run into an old friend. Of course I had friends I could always party with - roommates and college friends and networked friends from volunteer groups and what not - but that closeness that was felt with my good old friends who were all living far away now - that was something very hard to attain! Sounds more like singles just settle for mediocre friends whereas non singles have to be more picky about their friends since they have less time...?   

Amy Partridge • 7 years ago

Single or in a relationship, Grubwithus is a really great way to meet others who are interested in making new friends.  Meeting and joining together over food has proven to create real and meaningful relationships and friendships.  Check the website out, join a meal, and start making friends just like those you made growing up.  

Claudia Gray • 7 years ago

Glad to see that NYT article debunked. I'm in my 40s and continue to get to know new people/spend time with friends -- and that's as true for those of us without kids as for those of us with. If you're too "busy" for friendship, then friendship isn't a priority for you, and no wonder you wind up with less of it in your life. And three cheers for pointing out that hinging your whole emotional life on your children is no better for you than it is for the kids. They are of course the #1 thing, but they shouldn't be the ONLY thing that gives you happiness and satisfaction. 

crimfan • 7 years ago

I do think there's a point though. A lot of the easy doors for making friends get closed off as one gets older. As the author notes opportunity needs to be there, and an environment that encourages mixing. 

Unfortunately in many jobs as one becomes more senior (not just in age) those opportunities go away. You have less time, have to keep distance from subordinates, and so forth. Also, the pool does dry up to some degree as folks you might want to spend time with "drop out" due to life changes. 

I think that it's important not to artificially close people off, say simply because of age, but it's still harder than in college by a long margin. 

John • 7 years ago

I think it is more difficult to make friends in middle age.  People get wrapped up in their daily lives and don't make time and room for new friendships.  Yes, single people that are looking for the opposite sex will not fit this pattern, but how many non-single people with grown children, no children, really get out there and cultivate new friendships.  I think the numbers are low

Guest • 6 years ago

agreed to in late there is always a lot of problems with understanding and effect ion

RichmondBread • 4 years ago

Since when is 30s middle aged?

zendotinn • 7 years ago

Sounds like a plan to me dude.

melvis • 3 years ago

This thread is old but so fits what I have been experiencing as a "younger" retired professional woman.I am not interested in bridge or golf. I like to travel, shop & eat out at fancy restaurants. Casinos & concerts are more my speed...I see tons of women my age there but they seem to have "issues" with addictions which I do not.
All my old "friends" I met on the job & we've been close for decades. As soon as I met my husband & by the grace of god was able to retire after 20 yrs of a grueling physical & emotionally demanding career as a Psych nurse, my friends all just vanished. Granted my life was in severe turmoil too, mother & brother died within months of each other, they all were no support to me whatsoever. Except for 1...& she was a 20 something acquaintance. ❤
I was shocked after 20 some yrs of me taking the late night phone calls, loaning them $ because of overspending, covering for them on the job when they called in, as soon as they were needed for support or just a sympathetic ear.... *poof
My assessment of middle aged women is they are your friend as long as you...
1. Remain in their boat
2. Do not require their emotional support
3. Are available 24/7 to provide them "support"
4. Allow them to run the friendship, whether its into the ground or the sea.
My last attempt was recently spending 6 hrs with a possible new friend & she spent the entire time being defensive & socially inept. I knew her entire life story in 2 hrs. UGH
No wonder divorce is so high among midlife crisis adults!
Yikes!!!

Mel • 3 years ago

I wasn't sure if there was something wrong with me..I have two good friends, one who was away all of last year traveling and plans to leave again in a few weeks and the other who lives about an hour away (we used to work together and saw each other more frequently). Since I had my son who is now 14 months old and I'm pregnant again, I have zero desire to spend time with my friends. I find it a hassle to arrange childcare or to bring my son along in the afternoon activities - worried he'll get tired and irritable. It just feels like it's more hassle than it's worth. I think they're both great people but I really enjoy the moments I have with my husband and son and find myself making a million excuses to not connect with my friends on weekends. It's been almost two months since I saw either one...I can see myself ruining these friendships but for some reason I don't make the effort to stop this. A world without friends is probably depressing but I'm just not getting anything out of it anymore...

Maria • 3 years ago

I could not agree more, although different people have different experiences depending on their life circumstances. I have never struggled to connect with people and make friends until now and yes, I do make an effort and keep myself active socially. I am also in a job where I have not made any friends and at present financially not very strong which is limiting. But I live in a big city where people move out as soon as family is an option and most my friends have left or have children so we have drifted apart.
I would like to comment that it is particularly frustrating when people (particularly women) have no children are instantly labeled "career-minded", "ambitious" etc. There are women with no children in all walks of life for many different reasons. I also hate having to declare whether you are childless or childfree as things are never that clear cut. Whose business is it anyway? (I would be equally annoyed if I had children and was labeled "not career-minded" just because I am a woman, and I happened to be ambitious (in a career sense)).

I will continue to try to make new friends though. There is something very refreshing about new perspectives and energy and let's face it, a lot of our old friendships have become stale if we have no longer things in common with them.

BuddhaBonobo • 4 years ago

What a bunch of sh*t
Sorry...it's not that way. I've meant tons of friends in my 40's and 50's and am friends with many people with children. Some parents find it challenging but I will point to examples in my own life that demonstrate that people in their 30's and 20's still engage with many folks of all ages making friends.

Andrew Burgon • 5 years ago

As you get older there are certainly more things vying for your time but a vibrant social life is still attainable. When I was 35 I set out anew to make friends especially good friends, close friends. I had a family, a young child, a mortgage and so on at the time. In short, I had a blast socially. It's amazing what you can do with sheer initiative, enthusiasm and a strong desire for friendships. I'm in a quiet phase at the moment socially but at the age of 46 people would find my friendship situation pretty enviable.

In the pursuit of good friends there are so many distinctions. The path of friendship back when I was 35 started with inspiration and three burning questions that I dwelt on.that led me out of a labyrinth of depression and loneliness.

1. How am I responsible for my friendship situation?
2. How can I live on a higher strata of satisfying and rewarding friendships?
3. How can I draw good friends into my life.

If your current situation is similar to where I started out I commend these questions to you. The distinctions they uncover will help you draw into your life the friendships you desire.

Andrew Burgon
Project Fellowship