• Keeping Friends

More Magazine: Friends Interrupted

Published: August 29, 2010 | Last Updated: June 20, 2021 By | Reply Continue Reading

Do you ever feel—as the years pass—that you seem to be hemorrhaging friends? Maybe the language is a bit overly-dramatic but most women of a certain age begin to notice that many once-friends, even very close ones, begin to slowly slip out of their lives—sometimes for no apparent reason.

I was pleased to be interviewed by Sally Koslow, who wrote an excellent article on this very topic that appears in the September 2010 issue of More Magazine.

Friends Interrupted highlights some of the reasons why middle-aged friendships are so vulnerable to change. It also offers some creative approaches for stemming the flow. Koslow is the author of three novels; the latest is With Friends Like These.

Sally writes:

I’m a born-again shy person, not the type to buzz through life in a swarm of friends or even a tight group of beloved Ya-Yas. And yet I thought I’d mastered friendship. At my 30th and 40th birthday parties, a satisfying number of warm, wonderful women shared my cake. This seemed providential, given that research tells us friendship may be as essential to good health as not weighing 400 pounds. The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study is one of many bodies of research showing that the more buddies we have, the less likely we are to become ill as we age. So I feel all the more freaked out that lately I’ve noticed friendships becoming harder to start and harder to sustain.

You’d think that as fully vested adults, we’d have this thing down. But no. I keep hearing women lament that relationships they once considered indestructible have become casualties of various life assaults: divorce, widowhood, relocation, the empty nest, workplace bitch-slaps, health problems, glaring schadenfreude or, the most common reason of all, a simple drifting apart. Irene S. Levine, professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine and author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, claims that “the large majority of friendships are not forever.” Say it ain’t so, Irene! But the available evidence supports her conclusion…

You may wish to read this prior post on The Friendship Blog that offers some additional tips for resolving a friendship deficit.

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