Yesterday I spent some time exchanging e-mails with a colleague. We were both lamenting how difficult it is to make friends after 40.
A friend is defined as a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. (so possibly this colleague is actually a friend? Although a friend who lives too damn far away). We all have them, have had them, effortless to find in our youth and even more so in our twenties but apparently there is then a breaking point.
“The pool of friendship opportunity when we get into our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s is a smaller pool,” University of St. Thomas professor Dr. Carol Bruess says.
We are not talking “Facebook friends” we are talking about living breathing people who you interact with. Social Psychologists point to the age of 30 as the tipping point when making friends becomes a bit more of a challenge and there certainly is a stigma to being someone who is well past 30 and looking for friends.
We have our social needs fulfilled with work relationships, with spouses or partners, with children, with extended family so it gets kind of difficult to say hey I am going to choose new friends. That lack of time narrows the outer layer of friends on its own.
What also happens is you start to get picky. I don’t have time to deal with drama or other BS. I just want ONE or TWO people who share my twisted sense of humor. Who I can laugh with, share a drink with, talk with. Maybe even work through some life problems with. But at the end of the day, No drama.
To help myself and my friend/ colleague I’ve come up with a LIST of places to Meet People and Possible form a friendship.
– At the Scene of a Crime. Hopefully not a violent crime. But atlas you have something to talk about!
– On A Date I knew someone who went on a blind date and accidentally approached the wrong guy. They ended up hitting it off!
Sharing a Taxi on the way to the airport after a conference. With all the time we spend speaking at various conferences, this may be the ONLY time I get to talk to anyone!
Jury Duty- although you are not supposed to talk about the case you are on. Maybe you can plan the perfect crime!
Leave a trail of beer/ wine bottles to your house. If they were full- I would totally be there (too desperate?)
On a Roller Coaster (or waiting in line for roller coaster). Why not make a new friend moments before you plunge to potential death.
On a tour bus– what else are you going to do as the bus shuttles you between attractions?
At a museum- You have a common interest.
Group Therapy Session- You already know they are messed up! Wait, I guess you are messed up too!
Any 12 step Program– At least you know their problem.