The older we get, the trickier friendships become.
After a certain age, our schedules become more compressed, our priorities become more focused, our energies become more limited, our filters become more discerning and our values become more secure.
Meaning, there is a finite number of new relationships we have room for.
And so, we have to learn to approach our relationships with a sense of acceptance and trust.
A few examples.
We accept the changing tides of our friendships. Trusting that certain people come into our lives for a season for a reason.
We accept there will be companions that we outgrow who we don’t know how to replace. Trusting that by letting go, we create the space in our hearts for new ones.
We accept that soliciting new friendship is going to make us feel deeply vulnerable. Trusting that the process will pay dividends in the long term if we put ourselves out there.
We accept that many people are unwilling to accept the burdens and risks of friendship. Trusting that when we reach out to them, it will be more meaningful that just sitting at home perpetuating our own disconnection and loneliness.
We accept that some periods of solitude will be inevitable. Trusting that the more we know what matters most to us, the more we’ll become a beacon to people who are looking for a friend like us.
It reminds me of something a friend once said about moving to a huge city in his thirties:
People come here to make it, not make friends.
Maybe so. But lest we forget, we’re never alone in this world unless we want to be. There are no strings attached except the ones we choose to tie.
Yes, the older we get, the trickier friendships become. And yes, the voluntary nature of friendship makes it subject to life’s whims in ways our other relationships aren’t.
But there’s no reason to sentence ourselves to a destiny of loneliness.
We just have to try harder.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your system for keeping your relationships alive?