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Do friendships change with age?

(52 Posts)
NainFron Wed 17-Jul-19 08:16:55

Last night, DH and I went out with an old friend whom we'd not seen in a while. It was a pleasant enough evening, but we're not in a huge rush to repeat the experience, mainly because of (minor) irritating personality traits that have not softened with age!
This morning, we were discussing how we used to have frequent dinner parties with various other friends too, but have now fallen out of the habit of doing so. We don't miss it - I'd rather go to a restaurant these days.
Have your frienships changed? Do you have more or fewer friends? Have uou noticed changes in other people?

Harris27 Wed 17-Jul-19 08:26:25

Yes change happens. As we go through the years different things happen to us that we share with old friends but sometimes our lives go in different directions and we have to walk away from old friendships that don't feel the same. It's just life.

M0nica Wed 17-Jul-19 08:36:24

I tink looking back we can see how friends have drifted in and out of our lives.

People who were close friends when our children were small, have now drifted out of our lives because we have all moved and apart from our children we didn't have much in common. The same with people who were friends when we worked etc.

However, I think, like most of us, we have a small group of friends, who we have known since childhood, who are like family, we know each other, our relations and children. With these we tolerate some irritating habits, because our friendship is so deep and so close and intertwined that separating from them would be impossible.

And lets face it we too have our irritating habits that are getting worse!

sodapop Wed 17-Jul-19 08:47:26

People do tend to come and go in our lives but as MOnica said there are one or two enduring friendships. As we now live in France we have found that friends of our own age want to travel less, we feel the same way. Technology helps us keep in touch but its not quite the same as meeting up.
Absolutely no irritating habits here - ha smile

Sara65 Wed 17-Jul-19 08:54:15

Agree with M0nica

We’ve had friends over the years that we’ve seen lots of, and then for various reasons we’ve drifted apart. I was part of a very close group of parents at one time, when one of my children was very involved in a sport that took up a lot of time, we all knew each other, and each other’s children really well, and were quite close, we all vowed to keep in touch when school ended, did we? No! I had lunch a couple of times with a friend, and even that fizzled out. But some friends, whatever the circumstances, are friends for life

Urmstongran Wed 17-Jul-19 09:59:33

Thinking about the people in my life over the years - Whether they ‘were there for a reason, a season or a lifetime’

And when they are gone, I’m thankful for the gifts I received from them when they were here—for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Willow500 Wed 17-Jul-19 10:29:43

Yes relationships change. Our closest friends from way back when we were first married and who we spent holidays and weekends away with rarely see us. We moved away and they got on with their lives - nothing wrong - we just have totally different circumstances now.

We've had other friends over the years who have come and gone and some who have resurfaced in recent times. It's all part of life's rich tapestry.

henetha Wed 17-Jul-19 10:59:28

I've been lucky in having some lovely long friendships,, most of whom have now died.. Except one who I still see now and then, not often. She seems somehow different these days and the closeness we had is simply not there.
I've made new friends where I now live and a couple of them are lovely, but it's not the same as those who knew the old me in my younger life.

Pantglas1 Wed 17-Jul-19 11:20:11

I think everything changes with age!

Friendships, bodies, likes, dislikes, work, families, homes, gardens, communities, countries, politics, religion, climate - you name it.

perhaps we should be asking What hasn’t changed with age?

EllanVannin Wed 17-Jul-19 12:04:14

Sadly my closest friends are no longer here but age and the years never changed us at all as we were the same from 1960 up until their deaths, one of them 2 years ago, the other 18 months ago and a 3rd last year. To be honest when they all went I was left wondering at the time if it would be me next as we'd been so close.
I've possibly changed since, personally because I know they'll never be replaced so I'm not as sociable as I could be---------maybe I don't want to be ?

MawBroonsback Wed 17-Jul-19 13:08:59

Friends for a reason - work colleagues, neighbours
Friends for a season - other mums with babies or young children at the same time as you, or school friends perhaps
Sadly I have found this true

NainFron Wed 17-Jul-19 17:30:46

Thank you all, for your insights. It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one to notice such changes.

lilypollen Wed 17-Jul-19 18:23:30

They do as we change as we age and I agree with most of the comments made so far. My best girl friend, colleague 47 years ago, has changed though we still have much in common - also know too much about each other to fall out!! Worked together, had children together but now retired she falls in with her DH all the time whereas I'm so lucky with my DH who has no issues with my friends, interests etc. Funnily enough 2 girls who I now count as good friends I have got to know in the past 10 years. My absolute confidant is my gay friend who was a colleague over 40 years ago, has always been there for me. Yes times change.

cornergran Wed 17-Jul-19 18:30:44

We’ve a friend I have known for over 65 years and one Mr C introduced me to 51 years ago, both are more like family than friends. We share our joys and sorrows. Others we were close to over many years we now find we have little in common with and so don’t share our life in the way we did. There is a sort of ebb and flow in friendships. As distance has grown between us and some there has been space for new ones to take. It seems natural to us.

Ellianne Wed 17-Jul-19 19:01:46

Although we have moved a lot, as well as living abroad, we still have several close friends who go back 30 or more years. We tend to pick up where we left off. We share memories and take an interest in each others' activities.
I was thinking only the other day how diverse our friends all are - creative, academic, practical - and how we manage to enjoy the company of every one of them. Maybe true lasting friendships are those where no one stands on ceremony.

Calendargirl Thu 18-Jul-19 07:26:41

How many of us see the people who were our bridesmaids and best man at our weddings for example?
Wedding guests are a prime example of people who a few years later are a distant memory.

BradfordLass72 Thu 18-Jul-19 08:22:56

I'm too much of a loner to make friend - in the sense that's meant here. I get on with lots of people and I'm closer to some than others but friendship as someone of your own ilk and whom you can rely on, come what may, is not really for me.

However, in the metaphorical sense, my door is always open and people certainly do ring me in the middle of the night wanting a shoulder to cry on or a bed for the duration.

I could never bring myself to do that but am more than happy to help if I can.

Jaffacake2 Thu 18-Jul-19 08:42:06

Quite often now I reflect on the friends I have lost over the years. Not through bereavement but because I didn't put in the effort to keep in touch. My bridesmaid was a good friend but when she married I didn't go to her wedding. I had an 18 month old, controlling husband and it was a long way to travel. All excuses really as I should have gone and lost a good mate. I tried a few years later to reach out to her but don't think she ever forgave me. Lots of subsequent friendships have gone similar ways although I still have one long-term friend who will always be my priority . It's sad to reflect back with feelings of guilt.

Anniet Thu 18-Jul-19 10:44:08

Agree with Sara65. Some friends are friends for life whatever the circumstances. Indeed some of these friendships are deeper than ever.

Gingergirl Thu 18-Jul-19 10:55:19

To answer your question, I have about the same number of friends as I did years ago but they aren’t all the same friends. I think as we change, so can our friends, although it’s lovely to have some friends that you’ve known all your life. The tricky bit is to have the courage to let those people go that you now have nothing in common with. I think I’ve just done that with someone and to be honest, all I feel is relief. It can turn into a pretence when you no longer really enjoy each other’s company, although there is sadness there too. Aging is a time of huge change and I don’t think that’s acknowledged in our society, mores the pity.

polnan Thu 18-Jul-19 10:59:05

Everything changes as we get older, we do, they do.. I know I have changed, thank goodness, I think I am a better/nicer person now.

even good friends can have irritations between them, even our loved ones... surely?

Yangste1007 Thu 18-Jul-19 11:04:03

I would love to have more friends. We have fallen out with a lot of people over the years including family, and now I feel quite lonely. Left to my own devices I would attempt to get in touch with friends from years ago, who I miss, but my husband doesn't see the point and makes me feel awkward about it. I had a large circle of friends, some close, some merely acquaintances, when I got married. My husband was not part of that circle (I met him at work) and I think he feels threatened by them.

Annaram1 Thu 18-Jul-19 11:13:44

I have been friends with my work colleague for about thirty years but we now live apart. We keep in touch by email, and last year I visited her as she had a cancer scare and her partner was away. Fortunately she is cured now.
My husband's best friend was widowed about 7 years ago and my husband said we should always keep in touch with him. My husband died about 3 years ago, and I still keep in touch with his friend, phone him frequently and we go out once a month to a pub lunch... sadly I have nothing in common with him, find him most annoying, and wonder how his lovely wife (who was my best friend) ever put up with him for over 40 years.

Larsonsmum Thu 18-Jul-19 11:19:08

Yes, friendships definitely change. I've ditched quite a few friends for a variety of reasons, especially in the last few years. I feel all the better for it - some were draining me, some were utterly selfish and demanding, some were non-stop moaners.

Apricity Thu 18-Jul-19 11:42:54

Urmstongran, I love that saying, "friends for a reason, friends for a season or friends for a lifetime". It just says it all.

Some people walk with us for parts of our life journey but very few join us for the whole or even most of our journey and they are very special. I am not religious but I do rather like the image of the pilgrim's progress through life.