The Older I Get, the fewer “real” friends I have

I know I am not alone in thinking, or rather realizing, that as we get older, we have less real friends in our lives. Is it because we are too busy to tend to each individual friends wants and needs? With greater responsibiliites that come with having a career and perhaps starting a family get in the way of our nurturing these friendships? Or perhaps, we all eventually, come to a maturity level that we are willing to see our friendships for that they truly are?

In my case, it would be a combination of things. First, I got married when I was 20 years old and depending on myself and my husband above all other people. I never needed to lean on a friend when I was married to my best friend. At 27, I had my first child and noticed that some of my “good” single friends were not very supportive of my new role as a mother. They didn’t understand that my focus shifted from being a great friend to being a great mother.

This continued as I had my second child 8 months ago. I am focused on my family now. I do not have the same amount of time I once did to take long phone calls, be accommodating to all their needs and have the same amount of flexibility I once had. I have several friends who are understanding even though they themselves are not mothers.

I have on many occasions assumed that by being there for these people that they would surely do the same for me. It was a naiive notion to think that what I was investing in these people they were also investing in me. I forgot that the key word here for most people is “me”, always look out for their own interests.

So really, the question is, did I ever really lose any real friends or did the bad ones just weed themselves out? I think yes.


6 thoughts on “The Older I Get, the fewer “real” friends I have

  1. I think that as we get older, we get more insightful to our self esteem and the obligation to maintain that wisdom unselfishly. Taking the courage to accept that some friends may depart is natural, but also remembering that some friends do come back because they really are your friends. Only time will tell. 🙂

  2. I think we could sit and talk about this topic for hours. The healthiest way I’ve been able to deal with this issue is to understand that it’s ok to have different categories or levels of friendship with different people, and to be thankful for the people who’ve touched my life, even if they are no longer apart of it. I agree that having children changes everything, including friendships. Now that I’m a mother, I have no time for “friends” who are unfriendly or emotionally unhealthy. But definitely cherish the friends who choose to be apart of my life; and tend to focus my energy on relationships that are healthy, reciprocal and authentic. We owe it to ourselves, our children and our spouses to surround ourselves with friends that will encourage us to be better in all aspects of our lives. 🙂

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