I WAS reading recently that it's impossible to make new friends after the age of 30.
Something to do with work, maintaining your relationship and looking after children. People just don't have time for new friendships. They don't have time for the weeding out process.
There is a formula for friendship that sociologists have been using since the 1950s. In order to let friendships bloom you need proximity; plenty of unplanned interactions; and a backdrop that allows you to open up and confide in one another. That's basically school and university then work. After that you're forced to mingle with folk based on your children's preferences rather than your own. Unless you're prone to hobbies. I hope this isn't true. While I have a fabulous bunch of fabulous chums, I want to hope there are still friendships to come.
What I mostly hope for is the other friendship truism said about your 30s: that you become much better at panning. You become far more discriminating. In your teens, you're delighted simply to be able to move as a pack. It's a numbers game. The more you have around you, the more it confirms your place in the scheme of things, and your worth.
In your 20s you'll put up with any old tomfoolery in order to have someone to go dancing and share gin with. It makes for some wearying times.
But I'm told on good authoritythat it gets easier to rid yourself of the soul-sapping, time-wasting kind. I tend to be the sort who waits to be dumped. I had a friend who treated me like a lady's maid and counsellor. I endured it until she mistakenly thought I'd started a rumour about her and then posted all sorts of extraordinary nonsense on Facebook and Twitter.
I had a flatmate who stole from me. Of course, I simply sat that out until it was time to move house. The lesson was to quit while ahead.
But in your 20s you're stupid and sometimes you get it wrong. TSR, a chum with moral backbone, heart, wit and a luscious baritone, was accidentally dropped after a misunderstanding. Patching it up was relief greater than a windfall.
Apparently, after 30 this navigating all gets easier. You separate the wheat from the chaff. Somehow, people become reasonable.
You place less emphasis on quantity and more on quality - for both number of friends and time spent together.
Friendship after 30 sounds like glory. I don't believe it's true but I'm looking forward to finding out.
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