Where did my friends go?

lil boatMy 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.


How to date…AKA, WTF and FML.

In 2015, I took the plunge and downloaded Tinder.  I have since deleted and re-downloaded the app more times than I care to share.  Let’s just go with shit tons.

Generally, I live in that ambiguous, oh not-so-sweet spot of of enjoying being single, but also interested in meeting girls, errr… women.  Duh.

I would love to meet someone and find love, but opt to let it happen organically and not seek that out.  Let’s hang, get to know one another and see where it goes.  I really feel that us humans have more than one love in our life. Different loves at different times of our journeys.

So how do I do this?  Sometimes I meet people IRL, but generally rely on Tinder.  I swipe, match, chat, then meet.

Is this considered dating?  Hanging out?  It gets confusing.  Nobody wants to talk about it, until someone catches the feels and by that point it is most likely too late – make way for ghosting or the “it’s not you it’s me” chat.  I am not assigning judgement as I have acted the lead in both roles.

I have been with women who emphasize the clear distinction between “hanging out” and “dating”. Me, I think I understand.  Then I don’t again.  “Um, so you like me, want to do stuff out in public, meet your friends, not want to be with others, but we aren’t dating?”  “Got it.”  Wait. Um. Huh?  Can I have a cheat sheet please, K?

To recap.  Install Tinder. Swipe. Match. Meet. Hang Out/Date/Whatever you call it. Delete Tinder.  Two weeks or so later, download it again.  Rinse.  Repeat.

I have since added a new wrinkle, the always fun and altruistic, “just focus on me” interlude; which can last for months.  This occurs when the fatigue of the above cycle kicks in and I can’t deal with putting out the effort.  Sometimes this lasts months, or until I hear the the siren call of Aphrodite once again. Or it is spring time.  Or…Either way, I get back on the bike.

Currently bike riding, and enjoying the ride. As always, happy to hear any comments or insights.