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Friendships?
Old 06-28-2019, 06:48 PM   #1
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Friendships?

From the earliest days, we have all had friendships... some short term, some long term.

The question comes from our own experience. The older we get, the fewer contacts we have with those who were our closest friends. Year by year, a natural loss of those who have passed away (we're 83), but statistically, about half of those with whom we have lived in our retirement, are still alive. In just the last 30 years since we retired, we have lived in five different social circle communities, plus the previous 50 years of living... schools, workplaces etc.

As close as we were, with perhaps several hundred or more friends, the number of people with whom we maintain more than a once a year email has dwindled to a few dozen.

Of course we have many, many new friends in our current location, but virtually no contacts with primary and secondary school friends, just a few college friends and almost none from the 20+ moves since marriage.

It's definitely a factor of age, as even into our early 70's there were many cards and emails.

Wondering what your experience is... and the effect of distance and age has had on the the number of "friends" with whom you still have some degree of contact.
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:10 PM   #2
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I am not good at making friends and I have exactly 0. I wish I had some friends and I know it is entirely up to me to make the effort, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I am a big time INTJ and it's just really hard for me. Fortunately I have 6 brothers and sisters who are all married and we all have kids so I have a big family I interact with frequently. In fact, a bunch are coming tomorrow for our annual 4th of July pool party.
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:24 PM   #3
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We still maintain a relationship with folks from our last 4 neighborhoods, over a 40 year period. Only one couple from way back then (and 1200 mile away), but many from our various neighborhoods in MO.

And then there is DW, who is still best friends with a gal she met before kindergarten almost 60 years ago, and another gal she has only known 50 years. FWIW, I consider the two husbands my best friends, so something is working.
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:25 PM   #4
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Since we donít have children and we have small families who live far away, our friends are very important to us. I maintain contact with a few grade school/high school friends, one college friend, and many who live nearby that Iíve known for 25+ years. Friends are one of the major reasons we havenít left So CA.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:17 PM   #5
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I am still friends with my friend from first grade and 4 from high school. Now that we are in our 60’s we see each other every 2 years despite living across the country. We have many local friends also.
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:10 AM   #6
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I live in the same house my family moved in to in 1960 when I was 3. Same thing for my friend across the street who is one year younger. I would not say that we are close friends but we've seen each other at all life stages, gone through parents decline, but in their own homes. If one of us goes on vacation the other looks out, that kind of friend.

I will miss being able to look out of my front window and see her doing yard work.
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:55 AM   #7
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I'd lost touch with many of my friends from childhood, but was able to reconnect through Facebook. This led to participating in a couple of class reunions and getting together semi-regularly with a couple of my closest friends. We chat regularly through messenger.
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Old 06-29-2019, 09:33 AM   #8
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Thank you for opening the topic, Bob. A lot has to do with geography. My sis lives on LI, and is still in contact with old neighbors, and even friends from college. IMO, that is an East Coast thing.
As soon as I graduated, I moved to the West Coast, mainly to escape that mindset.
It was not until I was in my 70's that I established a friendship.
We shared an interest in flying, and he was my copilot for a number of years. Our friendship grew from that start.
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Old 06-29-2019, 11:40 AM   #9
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I only have two friends left, and I see them once every year or two years. We exchange emails about once a year, to see if we are still alive I guess.
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Old 06-29-2019, 02:23 PM   #10
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After reconnecting with friends, classmates, cow-orkers from the past on Facebook, I recommend letting sleeping dogs lie...
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Old 06-29-2019, 02:26 PM   #11
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Friends are the reason I wouldn’t move. When I broke my wrist and my husband was out of town I had so many people coming over to help. It takes a long time to build a network like this.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:16 PM   #12
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These days my wife is my best and only friend. I have reached out to a few old friends over the years, but other than a brief "how ya doin" message or two it never went anywhere. The fact that none of them ever reached out to me kind of confirmed it was a dead end. No biggy, I generally prefer being alone anyway, and don't really have the time or desire to socialize.

I'm not a big Facebook user, but do follow a few old friends there. Honestly, after reading some of the drama in their lives, I'm glad we're not friends anymore.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:09 AM   #13
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Friends are the reason I wouldnít move. When I broke my wrist and my husband was out of town I had so many people coming over to help. It takes a long time to build a network like this.
Good for you! I was told by an Aunt, if you can count your true friends on one hand during your lifetime you are a blessed and rich person. As stated by others my wife is my best Friend and we spend time with our immediate Family for the most part.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:23 AM   #14
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DW and I have come to see the whole friends thing as you have "friends of the road" and "friends".

Friends of the road are the people (co-workers, neighbors, church members, etc.) you are friendly with as you conduct you daily life. You likely know their children's names and a bit about their lives, may play golf or tennis with them, may take food to their house when there is illness or a death in the family, etc. But when life's circumstances change (mainly a move by either party), the friendship fades into the sunset.

Friends, OTOH, transcend geographical location. We have a few of those, but not many. We do both have close families in the same geographical location. We aren't isolated in our new rural-living situation. I think it is important to have (a few) "friends of the road" wherever you are.
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:16 AM   #15
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I think it's fair to say one can be friends with family members. I'm my DH best friend and call my SIL and DB best friends. Yet, I can share my deepest thoughts and ideas with friends outside the family easier than with a few friends I've kept in touch with from high school.

It's somehow easier, maybe less judgemental to test the waters of a new friendship with personal information. It's easier to walk away if it doesn't work out. I find immediate connection with certain people or personalities and try to stay connected. How does one define friendship? Is is a moment in time or does it have to be a long term commitment?
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:27 AM   #16
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DW and I really value the friendships that we have made over the past 30 years or so. In our case it is probably even more important given that there are no offspring and no siblings in our lives.

It is one of the reason that I have no desire to relocate to a new home in retirement.

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Old 06-30-2019, 08:01 AM   #17
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Only one of my sons lives locally and I am very close with him and his wife. My 2 stepsons don’t live here either although the one we are close to is moving back. Not much of a relationship with my siblings either. The thing I have noticed about men is that if married they tend not to have many friends or none.
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Old 06-30-2019, 08:54 AM   #18
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I still have lunch with two friends that I met in 9th grade. Though to be honest one I really enjoy time with, but the second not so much. I still meet a few friends for lunch that I worked with before retiring. It is sometimes 'fun' to hear about work and to know that I do not miss it one bit.
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:23 AM   #19
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I have one friend from high school that I have regular contact with... we have lunch with his a half dozen times a year and have him over for dinner occasionally. No one from college... I talk on the phone for about an hour with my roommate for 2 1/2 of the 4 years a couple times a year. I do have a few friends from the first job after college... we do an annual bass fishing trip and I see one of them, who was my best man, more often... perhaps a half dozen times a year.

Most of the friends I see most often are post-employment from golfing... there are 5 couples (including us) who were in the same golf groups and were near to each other in the summer and in the same condo association in Florida in the winter... unfortunately, two of the guys passed on over the last couple years so it has become 3 couples and 2 widows.

I have one other classmate from high school who I have regular contact with.... we knew each other in high school but were not particularly friendly... but I concede that she is a bit of a bed hog.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:14 AM   #20
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A first grade friend of mine I still know today. He was my roommate in college and we ended up working for the same company. We were not always the best of friends throughout life as we had different interest, but stayed in touch. He retired several years after I did so we kind of lost touch for a few years. But we occasionally text each other now.

Another good friend from my childhood days moved to AZ with her family in 1970. Other than my mother staying in touch with her mom, that was the only contact we had. But 3 years ago she stumbled onto me on Facebook and we correspond that way today.
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