1 Apr 2019

Let’s Be Friends

let's-be-friends-vicki-archer


I have a question for you.

Do you think it is harder to make friendships as we get older or do you think we become more open and receptive?


There is nothing like the long-term friends we know and love because we share a history together; the girlfriends from school, the university chums, the mothers from playgroup and the school playground. What about the women and men who come into our lives later through shared interest or serendipity? Those friendships we strike up with little expectation or thought for the future.


Some make friends easily and have a string of people all over the globe who they consider besties; others are content with a handful of nearest and dearest who are there with them through everything. I might sit somewhere between two; a fractured life can do that for you. Friendships for me fall into the “more the merrier” camp, there can never be too much companionship or emotional connection in our lives. Nothing can replace a solid and enduring friendship, the expansion of our circles helps us appreciate those we know and love.



How do we make friends at our age?

It’s not so easy as we are all caught up with whom we have and what we do.


Try to be open, make time and never presume we don’t need new people in our lives. That would be silly and somewhat short sighted as I reflect on some of the fabulous women I have met in the last few years. We have made fast friends because we have something current in common, rather than a shared history; it’s different but equally as valuable.


New friends mean extra effort and sometimes a push; it is so much easier to sit back and go with what we know. Extend an invitation and turn up when a night in and a Netflix series is calling. I know, it’s hard and I am the first one to hide at home when I should be out and about.


Let us not be stuck in our ways. Friends can be younger or older. School’s out and we are allowed to mix with every year group ;)



What about online friendships?

They work for me.

I have made some important friendships through this site, friendships to enrich my life and those I truly value. Most of them started online and moved to the real world; others are online communications only.


Social media for all the grief it gives me does have some advantages; like-minded spirits can find each other and make friends. The opposite can be true and so much time can be wasted falling down the rabbit hole of disappointment and envy. Balance and a clear head are what is needed. Nobody’s life is perfect, never ever and deciphering reality from froth is what sets us apart.



There is a difference between making friends and filling in time.

True friends both new and old, are forever. xv




Ganni, We Could Be Friends

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image, bjorn looss for porter magazine

 

 

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17 Comments

Taste of France

I think it does indeed become harder, because a lot of the interesting people who are around already have a lot on their plates and full agendas. It isn’t like when you’re off to university or a new city for your first job and there’s a whole cohort of other people looking to make new friends.
The other day I started chatting with a woman at the market. She was in her 70s and had moved here about 15 years ago from the Cote d’Azur, which had become too expensive for her fixed income. She talked about how lonely she was, because everybody she meets has kids and grandkids nearby, as well as friends from as far back as childhood. Hard to make room for her. She wished she could afford to move into a retirement community, which attract other people who have moved and are looking to make new friends.
According to psychologists, making new friends isn’t just about finding people who click with you; you also need something that puts you together on a regular basis–work, gym, church, classes. Otherwise, if you have to book a date to see them, it becomes too much work to keep it up. Something to consider when you are new to a place–take a class or join a gym.

Reply
Vicki

I think it’s the best idea to engage with activities as a way of socialising.. it is harder to meet, especially when we move to a new region and if an activity is shared there is more reason to partake again. As our children get older and have their own families, of course, our “friendships” deepen and expand with them, allowing less time for newer friends.

A double bonus… exercise and complanionship :)

Reply
Linda B

What a lovely topic to bring, Vicki! I have many thoughts swirling about this, but I will boil it down to this: I think any kind of friendship is truly valuable; life is not really meant to be lived in isolation, and is immeasurably enriched by friendship in big and little ways. Here is a little example of what friends do for each other: you added some links at the bottom of this piece that included a leopard silk skirt–one that perhaps you did or didn’t think (after a comment of mine not too long ago) that I personally would love, but I did. Sometimes it is the little things that friends do for one another that make us smile. . .

My best friend is one that I made “randomly” when years ago, we sat every week in the waiting room of a music store while our boys had lessons. . . We hit it off so well that we began to spend time together on purpose and now, 25 years later, and with many states between us, we are still besties. Another very close friend in my life came through a close friend of my husband’s–they married, a later in life love, 3 years ago. We gradually began to spend time together, with a weekly hike. Just Saturday evening, she told me that I have become her very best friend, and she truly is one of my best too. We never know how and when we will have the opportunity for friendship–we just have to have open hearts.

Reply
Vicki

The unexpected friendships, those that take us by surprise, are wonderful…
Thank you for your reflections, Linda :)

Reply
Stephanie

Vicki,
A song from my Campfire Girl days still “rings” true to me; “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver the other gold.”
So many thoughts running through my mind right now. I cherish my childhood/high school/ college friends. It continues to amaze me the friendships that have remained through laughter and tears, love lost/love found, marriages and divorces, children and grandchildren.
I have the most wonderful group of life long friendships who continue to “balance” me in every aspect of my life. I also have new friends who have taught me that even in my sixties my heart can be open to new friendships.
Friendships (God Bless them) can come in so many different forms. But, most importantly my friendships not only inspire me but in a sense “keep me “real” through the good times and the bad times.
I have been blessed in my life but nothing will ever compare to the blessings I have received from my friends (gold or silver; old or new).
I had lunch with one of my “new” friends the other day. We were laughing how comfortable we were with each other; how we actually see more of our “workout” group (daily) than our “old” friends. We both agreed we actually have the best of both worlds. The “safe” feeling of “old” friends; the excitement of “new” friends.
Isn’t life lovely for those of us who open our ❤️ to others?
Such a lovely and heartwarming post Vicki. Thank you!

Reply
Vicki

the “best of both worlds’ is a perfect description… not one and not another is better or less than each other :)

Reply
Eileen

I separated from my husband last May and have been spending 90% of my time alone. I am comfortable with that as it gives me time to sort out my life, my thoughts. Not so much chatter in my head, stopped watching tv. I have become more spiritual and thoughtful in my thinking. Paradoxically enough, it has allowed me to open my self to the small group of friends and acquaintances that I have. I feel kinder and am practicing making a conversation more about them than me. If I hear myself saying “I this and I that”, it’s a signal to stop and start listening. I almost never discuss my situation. I don’t want to make it into my identity and the ones who do know respect that. Through it all, I have received the gift of quiet. I have control back in my life and am open to being kind without expecting a payback. But..maybe that’s how friendship comes.

Reply
Vicki

Listening is the greatest gift and being a listener so underrated… Others and what they have to say is so important – I always believe our turn comes… I am married to the best listener on the planet.. he’s quiet but just when you think he isn’t there… he will flaw us all :)

Reply
LA CONTESSA

I Believe it is HARDER to make FRIENDSHIPS as we grow older.AT least that is how I have felt for the last 10 years or so!People are set in their ways have family and friends and do not have the TIME.This is where I have found the social media has JUMPED IN as we FIND OUR TRIBE HERE!Women with similar interests and Hobbies.I have SO enjoyed Meeting YOU and others from our Blog world and Instagram!I even opened up my home last SPRING and gave LUNCHEONS to meet MORE of my Instagram Followers!Have to say it was MAGICAL!XX

Reply
Vicki

You are a wonderful Instagrammer, Elizabeth and always so brilliant at connecting people… Your natural personality is so vivacious and you welcome others so readily… it’s a true talent :)

Reply
Donna

It is NOT easy to make new friends as you age and it is NOT easy to keep your friends as you age. Very often people are happy with the friends they have and if they have a spouse that seems to be enough for most. I have friends who won’t do anything without their husband and won’t let their husband do anything without them. Oh and if there are grandchildren, well often people are so in love with them that they become caretakers . I am not interested in hanging out with other people’s grandchildren. Many of my friends have moved away which also makes it very hard…nice for getaways but not for just getting a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. I probably sound terrible .

Reply
Vicki

Not at all!
I understand and other people forget their own families are not of huge interest to their friends… however wonderful they are… ;)

Reply
Jeanette

This is a lovely and thought provoking topic with interesting responses. I have always lived in a small state, where old friendships are relatively easy to maintain and are valued. However, over the last few years, through being part of a couple of committees I have made a few very “new” friends, and I value them. To make new friends as we get older is very special.

Reply
Vicki

Friendships born of common interest and connection is special… I definitely feel that more and more as I get older :)

Reply
anitapelayorivera

Good morning dear Vicki!

I’m late to the party, school work and all that… but this is a very important subject, close to my heart. In sum,making friends is easy for me. Having transplanted from city to city over the last 31 years however, gives having or making “friends” a new meaning. Where I’m originally from, school mates and family provided the foundation for my “besties” but when I moved to Boston, where the “climate” of society was different, that is where I first experienced the feeling of exclusion. Having then moved here to the midwest, the good part is that I’m older now. I have matured, and the phenomenon of not fitting in is no longer a bad thing, but reality. My reality however, is that making friends begins with BEING A FRIEND.Whether the other party accepts me or not is no longer as great of an importance, but being that friend is. There will always be someone out there to love me back.

Reply
Vicki

Very well said, Anita… being a good friend is not always easy and sometimes I think we forget to be just that. We all get wrapped up in our own lives and forget to be as receptive or intuitive as we can.

Reply
Kerry

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while now too and came to a new realisation I’d love to share. I realised that the people I work with could be friends too. I work for a local employer with about a thousand others, who mostly live locally too. I hadnt thought about this group as poetnetial friends until I was out at the shops and ran into Jane from Procurement. We had such a great chat, not like how it is at work, much more open and personal. It showed me the potential of what is right under my nose. Now I look at my colleagues as potential friends, not just someone else who works here. I think it will have the biggest reward when I retire and see Jane from Procurement of Harry from Finance at the shops and say hello. I’m so excited by this that it has made my workplace much more engaging!

Reply

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