My Dad who reads the Boston Globe daily sent me this article today. It’s about middle-aged men and why they lose their friends.
Here’s some more reading on the subject if you are so inclined. Apparently, I am not alone.
What timing Dad. I have been contemplating this for a while now; “Why am I so bad at maintaining friendships?” “Do I have friends?” “What does friendship mean?”
It’s almost as if I made a conscious decision at each milestone of my life to destroy the past. Perhaps I’m oversimplifying and exaggerating, but at the heart of this discussion I believe there is some truth.
Here’s my friendship life-cycle summarized.
- Go to school, make friends.
- Go to high school, make new friends at cost to some of my older friendships
- Go to college, slowly and unintentionally cull high school friends.
- Graduate college, live in parents’ house for a year. Lose contact with college friends, and simultaneously re-establish friendships with high school friends.
- Move to Seattle, lose contact with majority of high school and college friends, make new friends in Seattle
- Get married, maintain friendships with Seattle friends (and partners/spouses as they are all either married or in relationships)
- Focus on career and soon kids, start to lose Seattle friends.
- Make some new friends at work – (thinking of one job in particular where I made some new, great connections and am currently trying like hell to hang on to these friendships.)
- Lose contact with Seattle friends, see them once or twice a year at a bbq or group gathering. Focus is on family and work.
- Get divorced. All friendships are now mostly acquaintances, with some exceptions.
- Date/Hang out with women. End things with the promise of friendship. This sometimes works.
What to do about it?
- Make plans, don’t flake
- Reach out and continue to reach out
- Call instead of text
- Make the effort
- Share everything
- Talk about it
- Listen and be present
I will let you know how it goes.