Friendships After 40 - Less Can Be More OR More Can Be Less?

It was Saturday late evening when the phone rang. It sounded like Cristina. ‘Cristina?!?’

And she started talking in her flow as always, ‘Hey, what you’re doin today? I’m feeling so bored. Let’s have a Netflix movie watch tonight’…

Cristina is spending an enviable social life even when she’s in her mid-40's.

Some people like Cristina love to engage their plenty of time in monthly dinners and annual holiday parties with various friends. They love to have a calendar full of trips to foreign cities with co-workers, cruises, and getaways with neighbors.

And that’s exactly how a lifelong social butterfly likes it when you often hear her saying, ‘There's nothing better than having a friend in your life – no matter how old you are.’

Being with friends isn’t just fun for women over 40 and 50 – it’s also essential to their well-being. You’ll not only find your bff next to you sharing pizza in your good times’ celebrations, but they’ll also be there to provide you tissues (– support, of course) during your bad times!

How Friends after 40 & 50 Improve Your Life?

Friendship in your forties is like picking up the phone and saying things like, "Oh my God, my hot flashes have been outta control."

That’s the power of friendship that prevents isolation and loneliness and gives you a chance to offer needed companionship, too.

“Female friendships that work are relationships in which women help each other belong to themselves.” – says author Louise Bernikow

Friends in your middle age can also:

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Boost your happiness and reduce the stress that helps you look younger from the inside out
  • Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
  • Help you cope with traumas, such as the loss of a loved one, partner, job, or financial loss
  • Motivate you to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, such as taking you to the gym or convincing you for a positive overhaul of your wardrobe, etc.

Do Friendships Change as You Get Older?

Friendship has obvious benefits, but as most of us enter our middle age, the number of friends tends to go down. As you get older, common life changes, and forging new friendships during this age may require a little extra effort.

  • By the 40s and up, most of us have forgotten how to make friends; the skills that were so natural to us as children and young adults may have rusted.

And oftentimes, it is more a practical issue. Life chores can take a toll on your social life and, by extension, your well-being.

  • The busy schedules leave you short on time when you’ve the commitment to take your kids to the cinema, see the solicitor to settle the home mortgage, or need to meet the project deadline. In the act of balancing various relationships and responsibilities, friendships are often the first thing to go.

For Some – LESS (Friends) CAN BE MORE

There can be moments when you are both completely fulfilled by sitting on a park bench, sipping coffee, and not saying a word.

Most women still crave a ‘girls’ night out’ and love to connect with other women of their age to breathe some new oxygen into their soul, but now they want it for the deep, meaningful relations (far more than random gossips or fashion chit chat).

For some women over their forties, the number of friends they've on their phones may not matter. The only thing that matters is they've one (or a few) women they can count on regardless of how often they see each other, how often they talk, and how many times they text. They’re the source of joy for them!

45 years old Gabi says she only ever opens social media accounts if she’s hit with a sudden desire to know what Alex, Marian, or Ali from high school are doing with their lives.

Relationships come and go as they serve us. The women that mostly rely on a few people from their inner circle love to enjoy their company—because they find such deeper connections more rewarding with every passing year. They don't fear outgrowing and letting go of what was once comfortable in the past, but it is no longer true today.

Stating that genuine friendship is more precious, more wonderful, and more complicated than a social media transaction — you’re truly a lucky, happy woman if you can count your real friends on one, maybe two hands.

On The Other Side of 40’s Where MORE CAN BE LESS

Social ties are obviously important; they are the "building blocks" of the social world.

For some, having more of these connections means greater social value and more likeability. And showing the world that you've got lots of friends — (for example, on social media) seems like a winning strategy.

Being socially active, going places you enjoy can help you build new friendships. Some women like to join a book club to seek new friends who also like to read.

Other physically oriented women may join a gym or take a class in a new sport (golf, tennis, swimming) to find people with common likings.

But having a lot (and lots) of friends can be a social obstacle!

The problem is that these social links are only valuable if they're reciprocated. Friendship goes hand in hand and always comes with certain implied obligations and expectations. And people with too many friends may not be able to fulfill those obligations.

To make such honest and loyal bonds with a non-ending list of friends, you need to be brave enough and go beyond your capacity to stand the test of time and show your truest self.

Making The Connections That Make All the Difference

So, if you’re thinking, ‘how many friends should I have now when I’m in my forties?’

Well …

There’s no set number of friendships at 40 years old or above a person can have. But this is to admit that quality counts more than quantity.

While it may be good to enjoy a diverse network of friends and acquaintances when you’re in your forties, you may feel a greater sense of belonging and well-being by nurturing close, meaningful relationships that will back you through thick and thin.

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