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To think friendships in your 40s become hard

(16 Posts)
Happyhappyveggie Wed 06-Dec-17 15:59:36

I’ve always been very sociable with a wide network of friends including a group of friends that I have known for 30 odd years who I meet up with every year.
But increasingly I find all my friendships hard to sustain. My best mate doesn’t have kids and has just moved away from the town we live in so we see each other sporadically. It’s hard to find time to see other close friends with work/ kids etc. as finding a mutually good time is tricky. I socialise with ‘mum’ friends at the school fairly regularly but increasingly I find I am too tired after work & kids & life to see people.
Aibu to think life can get in the way a bit of friendships in your 40s or is it me? I’m finding it all a bit sad & depressing! I am naturally sociable and love getting together with people I care about but i’m really finding it hard!

RochelleGoyle Wed 06-Dec-17 17:19:38

I'm 37 and I identify with what you've said a lot. I've found existing friendships have changed too and since becoming a parent I'm far less tolerant of other people's bullshit! YANBU

Dexywexy Wed 06-Dec-17 17:33:25

I am in my 40's and am really struggling to keep my friendships going. When I do meet up with my oldest friends I find we don't have anything in common now and don't really enjoy seeing them which makes me sad.

SmileChuck Wed 06-Dec-17 17:36:24

Sometimes it's worth going out even when you're 'too tired'.

It's usually much better than I think and I'm ok once I'm out.

You have two choices really. Be too tired and see no one or press on anyway and keep friends.

PaxUniversalis Wed 06-Dec-17 23:54:06

I'm in my late 40s and I find it hard to form close friendships with people where we live. DH and I moved from London to a small town 12 years ago. We do know lots of people here and we have a small circle of friends, however I find it hard to get past the 'small talk' stage with people, even with the local friends we have here. I can do small talk well but I don't have anyone I can confide in. I don't have a 'best' friend. I wouldn't know who to talk to if I wanted to discuss a serious issue (other than DH - but it's not the same, sometimes I prefer to talk with another woman about certain things). Also I don't seem to have too much in common with people we know.

My guess is that a lot people already have their own established social circles and they may not want or need new friends, or they may not want to invest too much in new friendships.
None of the women we know around here ever meet up for coffee and a chat, or ring each other to catch up, or go shopping together, or go on a day out, or anything like that. As far as I know. Well, they may do, but not with me.

DH and I don't have children and perhaps the women I know are busy with parent/grandparent duties when they're not at work? I don't know.

I'm going to join 2 social groups in the new year. I'll see it that makes a difference. Fingers crossed.

JakeBallardswife Wed 06-Dec-17 23:59:25

Well I’m 45 and have a new Work friend. It’s most uplifting and it’s a man. Normally I’m only interested in being friendly with women other than husbands of existing friends. He’s great,we’re both happily married and I really like him. Refreshing but it’s taken over 6 months of chatting to feel totally comfortable and connected.

ButteredScone Wed 06-Dec-17 23:59:48

Friendship in your 40s is just harder. Basically, we've learned not to bitch and gossip and our lives have settled down and conversation is much duller. There's less to get excited about than there was in the fast moving period of our 20s when friendships were everything and all life was possible.

I'm polite to everyone now, when I was younger I was ruder or more gushing or funnier or just, more! And so were all my friends. We've all toned everything down which makes social interaction easier but the substance a bit more dull.

JakeBallardswife Thu 07-Dec-17 00:00:18

So my point was, could you befriend a man?

notacooldad Thu 07-Dec-17 00:02:50

I found it easier to make and maintain friends once I hit my late 30s and 40s tbh.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Thu 07-Dec-17 00:07:36

I am 45 and agree. People are very busy at this age. Businesses and ageing parents OP.

Also...I'm frigging tired! grin And DH and I both find suddenly that we don't want to go to our friend's get-togethers as much. They still drink heavily and we don't...we both stopped and so there's not much fun to be had amongst a load of drunk people when we're sober.

I don't have friends who like to do what I like....which is walking and going to junk shops.

Apart from DH that is!

It's just middle-age.

MakeItStopNeville Thu 07-Dec-17 00:14:24

I feel the opposite. We had our 4 in our 20's and very early 30s. So we spent most of those years where our friends were fellow parent friends because it was easy. Now we're early 40s, we go out for dinner etc much more than we have in years. The teens can look after themselves and we have made more effort finding friends we actually want to hang out with, rather than because they're the parents of our kids' friends!

Conversation in your 40s gets boring?! Eh?!!!!

PaxUniversalis Thu 07-Dec-17 00:18:16

our lives have settled down and conversation is much duller.

Exactly this. I don't know if it is part of small town living or age but I find that, apart from the getting past the 'small talk stage', the friends we know here don't seem to be up for doing things outside their comfort zone. E.g. a day out to London, going to a gig, or a dance performance, or a play, or some other event (beyond the village limits). I know it involves effort (and money), but one doesn't HAVE to go to London to see a performance, there are other large towns within reasonable distance that offer good entertainment. I'm still up for all these things, but I'm on my own, sadly.

How nice it would be to have a friend who would ring me (or I would ring them) and say 'hey, are you free on xxxx evening? Let's go and have a bite to eat and catch up '- (nothing fancy, a pizza and a glass of wine will do).

PaxUniversalis Thu 07-Dec-17 00:24:55

So my point was, could you befriend a man?

Of course I could befriend a man, but there are certain things I'd prefer to discuss with another woman. Also, I'd prefer to do things like shopping with another woman rather than a man. I don't even go shopping with my own DH let alone another man.

I have some male friends, most of them still live where I grew up.

Rooooooood Thu 07-Dec-17 00:41:11

I find sport a great way to make friends as it can be such a fun and playful way to spend time together.

I find it harder to meet people now but I've got some lovely friends. I don't have many friends but the ones I do are fun, kind and loyal. They are a better quality of friend than those I had when I was younger.

I have found that increasingly enjoy spending time on my own. When I was young I'd never not see people every day but now I can happily spend the odd day on my own.

PaxUniversalis Thu 07-Dec-17 08:40:11

I find sport a great way to make friends as it can be such a fun and playful way to spend time together.

That's right, I have some relatives who are into sports (playing tennis and running) and they are open, outgoing people and they have lots of friends.
I'd like to join our local gym but I don't know how 'social' that kind of environment is to make new friends. I used to go to the gym 3 times a week years ago but there wasn't a lot of chit chat going on.
I don't really like team sports.

Rooooooood Thu 07-Dec-17 20:34:36


I find one of the most social sports is badminton. I think it's because its not too hard to play with mixed ability groups and because the games are short. Tennis doesn't work half as well if there is one weak player or one strong player. Badminton's more forgiving.
There are plenty of drop in, mixed ability badminton groups in my area - I presume there are all over the place. It's an inexpensive sport too.

I've found it a great way to socialize.

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