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Friendships we 


as an adult

(The carefree days of carefree friendships are over once we hit that 30 milestone. Read what a reader shares as he/she reflects over friendships that we develop at this stage of life.)

Dear desideewar,
On a cold icy day recently, I read an article in new york times about the challenges of making friends as an adult, and enjoyed reading it. Thought your readers may find it interesting to ponder over friendship.

Here are my thoughts after reading the article: 

  • It is more about the stage in life (less bandwidth) than being in your 30's and 40's. We may end up making friends more easily in the empty-nester days--who knows? At this stage of life, close friendships develop only when we meet often--meeting once in six months just does not result in building a close relationship, unless you already have an old long established relationship.
  • We use the term "friend" too loosely--most of the people we call friends are essentially social acquaintances or Facebook "friends".
  • Agree with most relationships being "situational friends"-- Lisa Degliantoni has downsized expectations in trying to make new friends. “I take an extremely efficient approach and seek out like-minded folks to fill very specific needs,” she said. We all do this in some way or the other. For example, a friendship with a family whose kids are in the same pre-school or live in the same neighborhood. We get some value from those relationships for a certain period of time.
  • Friendships we have developed in this stage of 


(Photo Credit: Raashi, The Carefree Days Of Carefree Friendships)

life that have stood the test to time and have resulted in close bonds generally meet the following criteria:

1. Have met very often over an extended period of time - and then continue to meet often, even though not as often. e.g., friends we have gone for walks with, met for a weekly playgroup/class, etc.
2. Share similar values.
3. People who are not too "hard to get" - meaning if they are such "busybodies" that they have no weekend free for you, then forget them. Basically, don't try too hard to reach out to people--look around you to find those people who reach out to you--sometimes we forget them.
3. "Manipulators, drama queens, egomaniacs: a lot of them just no longer make the cut". - we have no tolerance for people like this, including those who are "money-minded", self-centered or play mind games like "one-upmanship".
4. People who are large hearted- go out of their way for you--go that extra mile above and beyond. Because, as we grow older, we tend to value people who have these qualities - the "cool" and "entertaining" folks just don't cut it anymore. Think of all your friends who check in on you when you are alone, for instance, or those who insist on driving, knowing that you are tired.
5. People who are generally open with you -- not hiding simple things-- like those who tell you they have a "prior commitment" rather than saying "we're going for a concert" are not going to be your close friends.
Enjoy another icy day and reflect...
Let me know your thoughts--would love to hear what you'll think...
desideewar comments-
Well, Anonymous, we couldn't have said it better!
And we're sure our readers will agree.


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