Written by: Larissa Parson
One of my favorite people and closest friends is, on the surface, my polar opposite. She’s pearls and heels and dresses, I’m t-shirts and leggings and barefoot as often as possible. But we have such good conversations with each other that we started a podcast. Most of our texts look like this: “I’m reading this interesting thing, can we talk about it on our next walk?” I don’t start podcasts with all my friends, thank goodness, but doing so has led me to reflect on how we make friends, once we’re adults. I’m not alone in this pondering. There have been a bunch of essays published recently bemoaning why it’s so hard to make friends once you’re past the age of living in a college dorm, or if you have kids, once kids are school-age. Two years of an isolating pandemic on top of a polarized political environment will certainly make you think more deeply about who your friends are.
I’m defining “friend” narrowly for the purposes of this article: I don’t mean that person you’re Facebook friends with. I don’t mean that neighbor you chat to when you both happen to be in line at the coffee shop. I mean it to describe someone you deliberately make time to connect with, in whatever way works for y’all. That person who seems to always judge everything you do, or you worry they’re judging everything you do? They’re not your friend.
I’m going to tell you the terrible truth up front: Making and keeping friends in middle age requires a lot of something we all seem to lack - time. And it takes work. Overwhelmingly, when I asked around on Instagram last week, lack of time was the number one culprit of destroyed friendships. Number two? Getting tired of always being the one reaching out or making plans. And of course there’s “we just grew apart.”
Of course, the hardest part of making and keeping friends is the making friends part. I’m sad to say that this takes effort, too:
1) have something in common
2) Reach for the connection
3) Take it slow
5) Vulnerability exchanges
6) Keep going
Read the full article and more on each way to make and keep friends as an adult inside RELATE, our spring special edition of SOULACY.
Excerpt from How to Make and Keep Friends as an Adult by Larissa Parson inside Issue 13 · RELATE Special Edition · April 2022
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