An article in today's New York Times (July 15, 2012, "Sunday Styles" section) caught my attention: "Friends of a Certain Age." The Web page bears the somewhat more informative title "The challenge of making friends as an adult." I have been thinking for a long time about this topic, for reasons that I will mention below. First, though, just to give an idea of what I am talking about, here is an excerpt from the article:
In your 30s and 40s, plenty of new people enter your life, through work, children’s play dates and, of course, Facebook. But actual close friends — the kind you make in college, the kind you call in a crisis — those are in shorter supply.
As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, when life felt like one big blind date, are fading. Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends.
No matter how many friends you make, a sense of fatalism can creep in: the period for making B.F.F.’s, the way you did in your teens or early 20s, is pretty much over. It’s time to resign yourself to situational friends: K.O.F.’s (kind of friends) — for now.
But often, people realize how much they have neglected to restock their pool of friends only when they encounter a big life event, like a move, say, or a divorce. . . .
As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other, said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college, she added.
I wonder whether other men who are well into their adult years have difficulty in making new friends--by which I mean close or important friends, not mere friendly associates--and, if so, what they do about it.
To tell a bit about why I raise these questions: I have always been disposed rather to develop a few close friendships than to maintain more casual ones with a larger number of people. This seemed to work all right through much of my life, but in recent years, the loss of two important friends has made me much lonelier. One loss is perhaps not so troubling, first, because the friend in question was not as close as he might have been, though his friendship was very important to me for a time; and second, because he has not died, but has simply acted toward me in a way that has made it impossible for us to be friends any longer. The other loss, though, was of someone who had been not just an important influence in my life but also my closest and most loyal friend since I was 20 years old (I am now 51), and the loss is unequivocal, as he died two years ago.
I am sometimes inclined to think that it is pointless to try to make new close friends at my age, for the reasons outlined in the last paragraph of the quotation above: the ways in which people's lives go in advanced adulthood make it impossible to form bonds comparable to those formed in one's late adolescence and early adulthood.
On the other hand, I also tell myself sometimes that one should simply aim lower, and that, in the absence of an all-around friend with whom one can share most of oneself, friends with whom one shares comparatively small bits of oneself--specialized friends, one might call them--are better than nothing.
Anyway, I wonder what sorts of experiences other men have in this regard.
I've been wanting to make some new freinds and my circle of friends I realized at some point are more acquintances than friends. I called up a "buddy" recently and asked him to pick me up from the mechanic had to drop my car off. He was too busy...playing xbox.
I realized most of my friends are not reliable, are not true friends, etc. There's a good country song not sure if its the title or just the chorus but its you find out who your friends are. There's a line about your buddy will hop in his car in the middle ofthe night and drive out to get you no matter how far and not ask for a thank you or money.
I am seeking true friends people you can count on and rely on. It's hard to make friends as you get older but it does happen just put yourself out there. I recently met a new friend at a bar. I was out by myself sitting at the bar watching a game even though it was a more clubby bar. dude came up and sat at the stool next to me, started talking which struck me as odd dont ask me why. Anyhow he asks me to go to another bar with him kinda outta the blue. At first I thoguht i was getting hit on but he winds up telling me he was meeting some girls over there. I went with him, had some drinks, he winds up telling me he just moved to chicago from arkansas, doesn't know anybody and is finding people to be cliqy. I now go out with him from time to time and he's a pretty good wingman and a fun guy. You cna meet friends even when you get older
I got plenty of friends. They go by the names of Jack (Daniels), Paddy (Power), Jim (Beam), Basil (Hayden), Glen (Grant), Johnnie (Walker), and Samuel Adams.
Best friends a man can have!