What does Friendship Look like at Midlife?

How does friendship change when you are in your 40s and beyond? Do you find you are able to make new friends just as easily as when you were younger? Are you more choosy or are you more open? Do you have less friends now compared with before?

Throughout my life I have always had mentors and friends who were quite a bit older than me. One of my best friends when I was in my late 20s was a woman in her early 50s and we got on so well. I loved hearing about her stories and her experiences and yet she still had the most youthful outlook. Unfortunately she passed away a few years ago now.

The new friends I have met have come from hobbies (love of surfing) and through my children’s school. I still have some amazing friends from my elementary and high school days too. I’ve also decided to step back from friends who are more on the outside of my inner circle or those who don’t check in or really ever ask about me and it’s all about them.

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Friendships are so important. One of the key indicators of longevity according to the Harvard Longevity Study. I’m a girl’s girl and there is literally nothing in the world that replaces my fierce close girlfriends. I think my best friends and I are going to get a compound and grow old together and if a man happens to be in the picture, that’s great too :slight_smile: I think that our close friendship circle has to be more intentionally curated as we get older. You have to make more effort and spent more intentional time identifying and fostering friendships than you did back in times when they just appeared around you, like in school or when you first entered the workforce and you worked in a cube farm (it was super fun and full of entry level college grads). Nowadays, wirh kids, marriage, divorce, working from home, it’s just tougher. I make my girlfriends a major priority and I can’t imagine my life without them. People come and go from your life and I think that accepting that and letting go of friends who no longer serve you or take away more energy than they give is a big part of the curating process.

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I have a core group of friends, one from age 3 & few from grade school & another 1-2 who entered our group in high school. We’re the “Original Bitches” and pretty much no matter what’s going on we can meet up even after months apart and just pick up convo without missing a beat. We don’t get upset if we don’t touch base often as we all have busy lives but would come together in an instant if any of us needed it.

I’ve had a few good friends over the years also but we all grow & change & take different paths. Sometimes our paths will intertwine for a bit then split again.

I am pretty good at interacting with new people & can usually find common interests or experience to build on, but once again it’s a matter of energy & how much I want to give to a new relationship.

I guess I’m pretty content where I’m at, but I’m gonna be honest, I’ve met a lot of pretty awesome, like-minded ppl here & online who have given me hope that I still have room to grow/increase my friendship circles.

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The “OB” aka “Original Bitches” - love that! I definitely know friends like that whom have been in my life forever and we can just pick up and talk even if we haven’t talked in ages. I like it too that they are understanding about how busy everyone gets.

ha love the compound idea! I have thought about that too b/c pretty sure my husband isn’t going to outlive me

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I LOVE my friends, they are my chosen family, regardless of how life changes, my friendships are SO important to me. When I forget who I am, when I feel lost, they remind me. As I get older I value them even more, as the REAL friends who have your back are still showing up, both for the good and the hard times. I love my husband, he is one of my best friends, but…in the words of Mama Ru: BRING BACK MY GIRLS…

I have a diverse group of male and female friends, many of whom are friendships 20 years +, but I also enjoy some newer friendships. There are certain hobbies and interests I have like hiking, horror movies, meditation, activism, dancing, things that I NEED to share with various friends, in addition to the things I enjoy with my husband. This makes me happy to enjoy with friends who share these interests, but also it keeps me feeling like a whole person, with my own life, purpose, and interest. As women, I feel like my friendships with my close-knit female friends give me LIFE. We make each other feel SEEN, in a very specific way, that to me is essential to my growth and survival.

Life gets busier, work gets busier, people have kids, aging parents to care for, health issues to navigate, and I feel like I need a LOT more time to myself than I did before. I used to go out with friends several days a week, and had so much energy, but now I need a lot more self care time. At this point in time, I have enjoyed hiking and talking with friends, going for walks, being outside and just talking. Beach days in the summer are heaven! Phone calls, text babble with inside jokes, making a meal for someone, it is all energizing for me, and I could not stay sane or happy without friends. I miss having the time and money to go out more sometimes, dancing and traveling and doing exciting things, so hopefully I can fit that in a BIT more this year, now that things are safer…

One thing I NEVER thought I would say is, most of the time now I would rather just chill with my husband and our adopted kitty, making good food, watching movies, listening to music, etc. The most fun we have though is often when we have BBQs at our place with a few friends and play music and fun games, the best of both worlds :rainbow: :partying_face: :sparkling_heart:

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I’ve let go of a lot of friends over the past few years. I looked after my mom for eight years, which changed my soul and my values. I let go of friends who didn’t have the depth or maturity that resonated with me. I let go of people who didn’t make the effort when I regularly would. I let go of people who I found too complicated (for me) with whom communication and conflict resolution were too challenging. I even let go of siblings who were toxic and stuck in unhealthy dynamics. All that “letting go” had, at times, created a sense of loss. Yet, I filled those voids (work in progress) with better relationships. I don’t think it’s as easy to find friends as I age. However the friends I find are easier.

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I have my og’s since teens …I make friends easy …but cross me your out …new friends will come and go but the og’s are always there .I firmly believe people are in your life for a reason a season or a lifetime

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