Friendship is as great thing and something that can last a lifetime. However, why do some friendships last longer and new friendships have trouble with their cohesiveness? I remember this one quote on a friend’s wall in their home:
“Cherish your friends
Both new and old
New friends are like silver
Old friends are like gold.”
Something like that. It was a beautiful plaque with a beautiful message. Yes, why are friendships so difficult to maintain after a certain age?
Some answers that I’m trying reach lead me to think about certain factors. Meeting people while you are in a major growth period (school, puberty), in a phase of suffering (boot camp, war, professional school), and simply in the same phase of life (academically, professionally, emotionally etc.) actually makes it far easier to meet and bond with people. You
As adults, most of us have gone through several major growth periods (childhood, puberty, young adulthood) and therefore are more set in our ways. This makes adults (post 25 years old) less moldable, less likely to thrown into processes in which great changes occur while having the opportunity to bond socially with other peers, and for some reason, less likely to have their soul open in order to be honest, vulnerable, and accommodating to another fellow colleague. Maybe the processes in the different phases of life also dictate this as well: usually after 25 years old most adults are settled in their career, have married or plan on getting married, and spend most of their time at work.
Sigh, hit another brain fart and lost my train of thought. Anyway, here is a list of some top opportunities where lasting friendships are created:
1.) Primary school (K-5) – Childhood, innocence, open hearts, open minds, going through same stages of life
2.) Secondary school (Gr 6-12) – Puberty, dating/opposite sex, hormones, suffering, growth spurts, peer pressure, identity crisis/confusion, rebellion vs. adult world – too many opportunities. However, this is a time where many primary school friends split too due to different social and life decisions (ie – smoking, getting into troublne, partying, alcohol, drug use, gangs, social groups, change of behavior due to peer pressure, academics, dating etc.)
3.) College – Another huge growth period (18-23). This is the dawning of young adulthood, independence, identity formation, fear of the future, a taste of the responsibility of the adult while still being able to get away with kiddish acts and without the backlash or consequences of adulthood, exploration, new views of the world, optimism etc.
4.) Military – Boot camp, war, being stationed overseas… everyone is away from their home, family, and friends. Definitely a hotbed for meeting new friends.
5.) Professional School – Yes, I see the pictures on my facebook all the time: pictures of people in medical school, physician’s assistant school, chiropractic school all communing and having the times of their lives! Boy am I jealous!
All in all, I still find it difficult to make friends as an adult and while I attend happy hours and meetups, not all of the friends are lasting. We just haven’t built a history together and we’ve already accomplished large portions of our growth earlier on which is when we form the strongest bonds.
Have a good day! This discussion may be incomplete, but I hope I opened up a forum of discussion with the treatment of the topic! 😀