My amazing circle of girlfriends is an absolute blessing! My friends are always there for me, and I for them, when we need each other to celebrate something great or for support during tough times. Sometimes we need a chat session over breakfast or lunch, and sometimes a few drinks after work hit the spot! I have shared a lot of good times and bad with these special ladies! I can tell them anything, and they will keep it to themselves, and they can trust me to do the same!
However, some of you may not be so fortunate. As you approach your forties and fifties, you may find that your friendships have dwindled away. It’s a big change from the days when you were attending school or raising young children. During those days, surrounded by other students and parents, everyone was eager to get together for study groups and birthday parties. You may feel like you’re on your own now, especially if you’re transitioning through a divorce or packing your kids off to college. The following are just a few tips for staying in touch with old friends and possibly making new ones.
Tips for Old Friendships
1. Mark your schedule. Meeting up with friends is just as important as following up with business clients; pull out your calendar to stay on track.
2. Take a vacation. Video calls and texting long distances are nice, but they can’t match sitting around the table together after dinner; use your personal and business travel to drop in on each other occasionally.
3. Collaborate on a project. Pursue the same activities even while you’re apart. You’ll have plenty to talk about if you’re both taking gourmet cooking classes, learning a new craft, or training for a charity run.
4. Revive former ties. Perhaps you still wonder about a high school or college classmate you haven’t seen in years; take the initiative to be the first to reach out.
Tips for Any Friendship
1. Reveal yourself. No matter your age, friendships develop when we allow others to know us; share more personal information as you become comfortable with each other.
2. Focus on quality. Having a few close friends beats having hundreds of followers on Facebook; concentrate on meaningful interactions instead of arbitrary definitions of popularity.
3. Exchange support. Giving and taking may be the most important sign of a quality friendship. Move into your golden years with a circle of friends who serve as advisors, sounding boards, and cheerleaders.
4. Accept change. At the same time, distinguish between relationships worth sustaining and those that have run their course.
At midlife, you still have plenty of fascinating years ahead, so find your buddies and have fun. With skillful cultivation, many friendships can last a lifetime. Remember, you’re never too old to find new pals!
Until next time,