This topic is pretty sad because it is true we lose friends as we get older. Some would argue that this is a good thing, but I will not draw a conclusion as fast, it is not the same for everybody.
In this article, we will talk about what are the reasons we lose friends as we get older, if it is a good or a bad thing, and how we can stop this from happening.
Before going to this article, I want to let you know that I lost almost all my friends at one point in my mid-20s. At the moment, I thought that was how it should be, and it was a good thing that happened because I could focus on “more important things in life” like a career. But I found out pretty fast that I was wrong about that, and we really need friends no matter the age, and I had to make some big efforts to make new friends.
So while it is true that most people lose friends when they age, I don’t think that is a good thing.
But let’s see what the reasons are why this happens.
5 Reasons we lose friends as we get older
Having a spouse and kids is one of the main reasons why we lose friends as we get older. Obviously, we can’t spend as much time with friends as we would otherwise, but I would say that we still have to prioritize friends more and do our best to keep our friendships.
Yes, you have to set some new boundaries with friends when you are in a relationship, and they should understand that, but that doesn’t mean you need to ignore them completely. Setting boundaries is in everyone’s best interest and is not selfish.
Read Also: Fewer Friends Vs. More Friends
2. Less time
This is related to the first one, but also our career becomes a more important part of our life as we get older. This is why it is hard to make friends in our 20s or keep the ones we have for this specific reason.
Here is an article about how many friends people usually have at 30 to make a better idea.
So this might make us prioritize only the friends we really want to hang out with, which can be a good thing if done properly, but it can easily make us lose even the good friends because we don’t spend enough time with them.
3. Less energy
This is especially true later in life, the energy is a big problem when it comes to hanging out with our friends. If they don’t live near you and they are also getting older, not having the energy to meet each other might be a real problem.
Every time you hang out with friends has to be better prepared, in a better moment, and under the right circumstances, which makes it harder to do it more often.
Family is willing to come to visit you but friends will not always want to do that, because they are waiting to be visited as well, so if neither of you has the energy and the mood to be a guest, it’s easy to see why losing friends is a natural thing that happens.
4. You get to know yourself better
This might make you pickier when it comes to who you consider a friend. Many times doesn’t make you have fewer friends, but rather, you realize they weren’t actually friends or, at best, they were circumstantial friends.
Also, it might make you be able to say no to different types of activities that you wouldn’t refuse it before, but now you know better what you like and what you don’t like to do.
5. Not prioritizing friendships as much
I heard many people saying that they don’t have friends but like an accomplishment, a weird way of bragging. I know there is such a thing as too many friends, but for most people, this is the last problem they have in life. However, hearing people talking about friends after 20 is a bit sad for me because I realized that many people don’t prioritize friendship at all from that moment.
I don’t say that you should prioritize friends over your spouse, I don’t do that either, but I truly believe that we should be more thoughtful and less ignorant about our friendships.
Not having friends is a real problem and affects our happiness, but it is treated very lightly. Otherwise, there would not be as many people stating that they are glad they don’t have friends and other things along these lines.
Is losing friends later in life a good or a bad thing?
While doing research for this article, I saw tons of titles about why losing friends later in life is a good thing, and that made me pretty sad.
Yes, I know they were usually talking about losing friends that shouldn’t be there in the first place, but at the same time, I’m 100% convinced that people don’t know where to draw a line. With this in mind, I think more people will have to suffer more for losing friends than people who will be better off.
It is hard to realize this because everyone will argue that their decision was the best because it is hard to admit that it was a mistake to lose friends, but when you pay closer attention to most people saying this, you realize that it is not actually true.
It is true that there are some people that prioritize friends over their family, their health, and so on, but it is clear that those are rather the exception, and you shouldn’t say that losing friends will help you not end up like them.
We indeed have less time, less energy, and other priorities as we get older, but we should also put some focus and energy into keeping and maintaining our friendships.
A healthy social life is important at any point in life, regardless of age.
What can we do not to lose friends as we get older?
Realizing that friendships are still important is the first step to avoiding losing friends. When you realize that, you understand that you have to be more intentional in keeping the friendships you have and put in more effort.
It is not easy, is not easy at all to keep your friendships as you get older because your friends will not prioritize this on their end. However, someone has to be the one that is doing it, and the other will start reciprocating eventually if there is a healthy relationship.
I realize that the adult friends that still have a healthy social life and friends to hang out with are the ones that have the initiative and don’t wait for others to take the first step.
It is hard to do that and not feel betrayed when other people do not call you first, but realizing that people just don’t prioritize friendship as much anymore makes it more understandable. It is not fair and can be a bit discouraging, but the alternative is much worse.
Not having friends at all is much worst than being the one with the initiative. You have to make sure that they like to hang out with you, and that it is not a one-sided relationship, but if they usually don’t refuse your invitations, that is a good start, even if they do not have the initiative.
Las thing you can do not to lose friends is to be more realistic about how a friendship should look like when you get older, how often you should hang out or call your friends, and so on.
Having unrealistic expectations from our friends is what makes us lose them. They have their families, jobs, kids, and so on, so you should consider this when you consider how your friendship should look.
Losing friends as we get older is normal; however, that doesn’t mean we should lose all our friends or not prioritize friendships anymore.
Friends will be important at any point in life even if the time spent with them might not be as much as we get older, having several friends is essential for a happy life.