Pick up the phone

So often, I read that it’s not important to have so many friends as you get older.

I don’t disagree with the sentiment, of course there’s no shame in choosing your friends carefully. But I want to explain what growing out of friends really means.

It’s so easy to lose touch with people as time goes by. When you have children, it becomes even more difficult to find time for your friends.

But if you’re currently going down this path and find yourself speaking to old buddies less and less frequently, here are a few things to consider.

One day, you’ll get to a point where nobody calls.

The friendly text messages will stop and invitations to go out will be a distant memory.

That’s okay when you have children at home or people to chat to at work. Your days are busy and not having to leave the house in the evenings is a relief.

But not every day is rosy.

One day, something will go wrong. Perhaps something that your partner doesn’t understand. Perhaps one day they won’t be there.

So who do you turn to?

The friends you used to speak to every week. But every week turned into every month. Every month turned into every year.

Now a decade has passed. It doesn’t seem right to get in touch just because times are tough.

Then there are the times of joy and celebration.

You get a new job, achieve a lifetime ambition or see your child take the leading role in a school play and bring the house down.

You grab the phone, desperate to tell someone who will understand. Then you remember. The phone goes back on the table.

When you do go out, socialising is more difficult.

You used to be able to chat to anyone, you’d pride yourself on it. But suddenly, you find yourself in a social situation and it’s not so easy.

You chat about the children, ask after theirs. Perhaps you’ll find a subject that you both have an interest in.

But there’s no common ground, no anecdotes of shared experience to laugh about.

The people you’re socialising with now aren’t your friends, they are acquaintances at best.

The people who have always known you have their own lives now.

You think about each other from time to time. Maybe even every day.

But you don’t pick up the phone.

The moment has passed, your friendship is all but over.

They have become acquaintances as well.

Perhaps some day you’ll run into them. You’ll exchange pleasantries and go on your way.

Assigning them to your past.

Old friends. The people who supported you, laughed with you, cried with you and shaped you into who you are. But there is no place for them in your future.

And only then do you realise that it’s acceptable to have fewer friends as you get older. But that doesn’t make it any less lonely.

Pick up the phone.

8 thoughts on “Pick up the phone

  1. Maz

    I love that I have connections still to my old friends and that in many ways having families has brought us closer in fact. What a treat for an old friend to turn up having driven a couple of hours so our kids can have a play date, or having internet catch ups with someone who has always been an inspiration to me 🙂 you’re very right, we need our old friends
    Maz recently posted…Seeking aquatic inspirationMy Profile

  2. aNoviceMum

    Indeed, it doesn’t make it any less lonely. Such important points, you have made. It’s so easy to let dear friends fall by the way side and not invest in them. But really, when you think about it, investing in our friends is sure part of investing in a future filled with chatter and laughter, isn’t it. I need to make more effort in this area, thanks for the reminder. 🙂
    aNoviceMum recently posted…Silent Sunday 23My Profile

  3. Sarah MumofThree World

    This really made me think. It’s so true. I don’t see much of my old friends now. There are three of us with our birthdays within six weeks of each other (coming up soon). We used to go out for each of our birthdays, now we just have one night out for all of the birthdays. We don’t have as much to talk about as we used to have as all of our lives are very different. I haven’t really picked up that many mummy friends on my parenting journey to replace them either. The people I stay in touch with best are my online friends!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Science4You Candle FactoryMy Profile

  4. mum to a monster

    This makes me sad as i only really have friends from the last 10years. I dont speak to anyone from school and have found since having J that a few friends seem to have drifted apart.


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