“Make New Friends”

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Here the neighbor boy and I think about interacting over a pan. I am not sure if I have just removed it from him or if he is about to grab it from me. At any rate, it shows that all our lives making friends requires both give and take. An old camp song goes,”Make new friends, But keep the old, One is silver, But the other gold.” I have been reflecting on this lately.

We moved 3000 miles away from my circle of friends 17 years ago. But my closest friends are still those I made then. Fortunately we can talk for free now that long distance rates have plummeted. We can even see each others’ faces when we talk, though no one wants to look at the other early in the morning, so we don’t. Fortunately also, each friend has come out several times for long visits or trips together.

But while I remain committed to making new friends, in those 17 years I have managed to really connect with only two women. It turns out that making friends in one’s 60’s and now 70’s is a lot more complicated than just saying, “Let’s be friends.” I was encouraged yesterday by a long lunch with a new friend-to-be. It would be lovely to have a new friend. But it took at least ten years to really establish deep friendships in the past. So I hope that it is still possible. It’s worth the effort for sure.

13 thoughts on ““Make New Friends”

  1. I found this very interesting, Elizabeth. My family moved a lot when I was a child and I attended 14 different schools. As a consequence I have found that I do not form deep relationships with people and find it quite easy to let them go. I only have about two real friends and one of them is immigrating [sigh!]. Due to Brexit our own immigration plans have had to go on hold.

  2. I can relate to this in so many ways, magnified tenfold because I’m thrown into a completely different culture with no cohesiveness and therefore no consistency. I can’t begin to tell you how confusing that is for outsiders. 😳

    The friends I talk to every day are the friends I made in Jamaica. We are spread out all over the world from Japan to Vegas to NYC to New Jersey to Britain to Miami and Atlanta and on and on. I should ask them if it’s the same for them or they’ve managed to make new friends.

    I have read somewhere before that’s harder to make new, lasting friendships the older you get. Apparently, it kicks in early for me!

    1. Aren’t you thankful it isn’t breaking the bank to stay connected? When I was growing up long distance was so expensive it was a once a year event. Letter writing was our substitute, but not nearly as satisfying as hearing an old friend’s voice.

  3. I can relate to your observations about making friends later in life. I have lived in Chicago for 13 years, and, while I have many friendly associations and encounters, I’ve really only been able to grow about 2.5 friendships, here (one person I just met this year!) I am grateful to still have a number of longtime friends with whom I remain in touch. Unlike you, my hometown in less than 400 miles away – not 3000!

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