I know it seems like the older we get, the more difficult it is to make friends, but lately I’ve started seeing things differently. When we’re younger we have more friends out of convenience. For example, we hang on to high school friends and naturally make friends with people we work with. Sometimes we end up with a shitload of ‘friends’ because they are just there. As we get older our priorities shift, our standards get higher and our friendships get more real. I’ve started to randomly make more friends and I’ve noticed, there’s something a bit different about these more “mature” relationships.
Why Making Friends is Better in Your 30s
1. Zero Obligation
You know what I love about the friends I’ve made recently? If they invite me to something, I’m not torn to bits if it’s not convenient or if I don’t feel like going. When I was younger I’d get guilt trips up the ass from my friends if I didn’t venture out, but as I’ve gotten older there’s a mutual, “Dude it’s totally cool if you don’t want to come” vibe. If one party doesn’t end up accepting the invite, no one is butt hurt and we just end up catching up another time.
2. No Sig Other ‘Rabbit Hole’
You know how in your early 20s your friend would get a boyfriend and *poof* she’d go from that fun, down-for-whatever girlfriend to practically nonexistent? Yeah, there’s none of that shit going on anymore. Because the boyfriend/husband relationships are generally pretty established, these friends have no problem making time for girlfriends. In fact, they crave girl time rather than having to make excuses for why they seem like they’ve been chained to his radiator.
3. You Don’t Have to Do Everything Together
Much like the zero obligation point, these friends aren’t like a built in hip attachment. We’re no longer spending all of our free time with a single bestie, we’re generally spreading our friendships with people that have varying interests. Even if we have a best friend, they aren’t mad if we hang out with other chicks and vice versa. They aren’t pissed you did something without them, in fact they love hearing about your adventures when you get together to catch up.
4. The Time Is Higher Quality
Remember when you were going out 3-6 nights a week and it seemed like you had sooo many friends? Life was a party, you were drinking like a fish and there were hardly any fucks to be given. But when the nightlife starts to drop on the priority list, our friends tend to start dwindling as well.
At this age, you start doing other things besides drinking. Like lunch, hitting the gym, checking out a new art exhibit in town, grabbing coffee, doing activities and trying new hobbies. Getting hammered is no longer the center focus and drinking is more like an accessory.
5. The Friendship Is Higher Quality
As we get older we realize it really pays to keep our circle small. We’ve been backstabbed, lied to, stolen from and picked on. We’ve lent money to friends only to watch them take a vacation or go on a shopping spree before they’ve paid us back. We’ve been gossiped about, had our secrets spilled and lived on one-way streets. We’ve been embarrassed, hurt and abandoned.
The friends we keep now are worth having around. We trust them, appreciate them (know they appreciate us) and know if we need anything they’ll be there for us. We’ve whittled out the bad seeds and negative Nancy’s and instead surrounded ourselves with decent human beings—go us!
6. We Have Better Judgment
Much in keeping a smaller circle, we’re able to see the red flags much earlier on than before. We’ve learned our lessons with the deadbeat friends of our younger days, so now when we meet people, we are less likely to dive into a friendship of convenience. We are a little bit more cautious and are able to spot the good from the bad pretty quickly—resulting in more satisfying, symbiotic friendships.
7. There’s Less Competition
Sure, there are plenty of women that continue to compete well past their 30s, but in general, women in their 30s feel more comfortable in their own skin. We’re more confident and have accepted our bodies and ourselves. We need less attention from others outside of us to feel good. So when we’re friends with other women, naturally there is less competition and less comparison.
8. There’s Less Judgment in General
Having been around the block, there are very few mistakes I haven’t made. I’ve run the gamut of situations, problems and issues so when I meet another chick around my age, something magical happens – we spill. Things I might have worried about telling other people in the past are no longer a big deal to me. I love only knowing someone for a short time and sharing intimate details of our lives like we’ve been soul sisters for years.
9. They Come and Go
And it’s okay. We no longer take it personally when friendships don’t get past casual or fizzle out–because we get it. Life happens, people change and move on. We enjoy it for what it is: a real kickass time with another badass chick like ourselves.
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