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Column: Neuroses of adult friendships

Friends. How many of us have them?

The Serial Shopper is Salute Magazine’s  weekly column authored by Managing Editor Money Jensen. The Serial Shopper is a weekly look into the mind of our quirky and eclectic Managing Editor and her thoughts on fashion, books, music, culture, and controversial topics within.

Friendship is something many people cannot go their lives without.

True friendship is a meaningful connection that many of us share with a select few. Looking back on life, many of us find that meaningful friendships were easier to make below the age of 25.

Circles get smaller, and people change throughout the seasons of life this is a given. But, what makes it so hard to garner meaningful friendships as we age? This question has been on my mind for some time now. Are the struggles of being an adult keeping us more guarded as we age? Or, are people losing touch with how to interact with one another.

In the digital age, it is easier to get in touch and stay in touch with other people than it ever has before, yet time and again, people say that it is harder for them to make friends. Why?  There are different levels of friendship this is true. There are acquaintances, work friends, mutual friends, friends you enjoy music with, friends you work out with, and the list can go on for days.

However, what happened to the type of friends, you can call in the middle of the night? The ones who you can bare your soul to without judgment? The friends you can 911 when the world is most definitely falling apart? Those friends, those people who are family without the blood ties, are hard to find especially as an adult.

Maybe it is the disconnect between “the real world” and our digital world that blurs the lines between friendship and acquaintances. Now more than ever, people are putting their lives out on the net for all to see. This can bring fame and opportunity for many, but also it can bring out the opportunist in others. Not that everyone is “Instagram Famous” but it is harder and harder to navigate who truly wants to be your friend because you’re a good person, or because they want something from you.

This concept has always been around, there have always been people who are out there to suck the light from others, some just don’t know how to create their own light. The tricky thing to learn as an adult is how to recognize these people before they try to drink from your well.

As the years pass, the most significant lesson you can learn from friendships is that you cannot be everything to everyone, and you cannot let someone sink your ship. There is always a balance of give and take with friendship, that is a given. But, there are people you have as friends, that will always need your help, and as time progresses, you will notice they are sinking your ship instead of paddling along with you. In some cases, hopefully not many, those are the people who are drilling the holes you keep patching.

Having a small circle is something you learn to embrace, at the same time, if your circle is spread across the globe, how do you navigate it? Teleportation devices don’t exist yet (hint, hint. Elon Musk). We can’t always clear out a week to visit our favorite ginger in Glasgow, or jet to Costa Rica for an overdue tan and laughs with another beloved friend, so how do we navigate the space between?

People who love being social sometimes have the hardest time finding friends that are loyal. You cannot expect everyone to have the same level of loyalty because people are different but in this world full of wandering souls, when did the standard become so low?

Is this something that comes from a person’s environment? Is it the lack of loyalty or openness an effect of our social climate? Or is this something that has just developed over time?

Ask yourself; Do you find it harder to gain meaningful friendships as you grow older? What makes a real friend in your eyes?

Although there is a lot to look out for, when you find your tribe, it is indescribable. They might not all live in the same place, or even on the same continent, but they are out there. Keep searching.

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