Social Question

nikipedia's avatar

How have your (platonic) friendships changed over your life?

Asked by nikipedia (27300 points ) May 22nd, 2012

When I was a kid, I thought grownups didn’t have friends. I’m relieved to find that’s not true, but I do think my friendships are different than they were in college, high school, and before.

Have you noticed differences in your friendships as you grew older?

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12 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

Of course. But if you think about it, your friendships are almost always based on commonalities. As a kid, it was schoolmates, neighbors, maybe church associations, or kids of your mother’s friends. High school friends you met in classes, clubs etc. Out in the world it’s work, social groups based on things you have in common. Some are friends of convenience and they may fade away as you lose touch. You change; they change. You value what you had at one time. Some stick even though you are no longer near, but when you get back together, you just start where you left off. Not much in life stays the way it was.

marinelife's avatar

I have a bunch of friends that I have been friends with for more than 30 years. We live all over, but our friendships are just the same whenever we see each other.

I have close women friends as I did when I was younger and close men friends too, but my spouse is my very best friend.

JLeslie's avatar

My closest college friends are my forever friends. I love them intensely. There are three who are my closest and dearest, and a few more who I still consider friends, love to see them, but the relationship is not as close as those core three. We talk about living like the Golden Girls when we are older. We all wish we lived near to each other, could spend more time with each other. I can’t imagine being this close with a male friend. Something very special about girlfriends. With the one exception of my husband. He is truly my closest friend. I love spending every day with him, but I don’t think you are looking for that sort of answer. Anyway, these long term friends get better and better, because in my experience people get more caring, more generous, and more supportive of the people in their lives as they/we get older. Young people can be hurtful, competitive, and selfish, a lot of that goes away with maturity and all the positives of friendship is magnified.

I do have friends I have made as an adult, and I have a great time with them, but the level of sharing initmate details of my life is different. I have travelled with new friends, many of them come as a couple and my husband and I are friends with the couple. Dinner out, travel, common interests, helping each other. Friends will be a part of my life forever I hope.

Coloma's avatar

I’m only in touch with a couple of old time friends these days, let lots of people go over the years as needs, lifestyle and various measures of growth and emotional health shifted.
Reasons and seasons, hold on loosely. :-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I relate to my friends differently from others, I think…I don’t really believe in platonic or romantic as the only two options…so my best friend and I are ‘more than friends’ but ‘less than lovers’...which makes no sense but has to because it’s not a ‘regular’ friendship…it’s much more intense…but I think many people’s friendships are like that, like relationships w/o sex or with some flirting…I have no clue what I’m saying anymore, I’m brain-friend from final papers.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not too much. I have several friends decades later that I made in childhood and since. What we all are aware of is that separated by distance to where we don’t see each other as often or even talk on the phone as we once did, we still feel emotionally close. When we see each other in person, we’re able to pick up comfortably as though little time has passed.

wundayatta's avatar

I thought my closest college friends were my forever friends, but then I did something to my wife that seems to be more unforgivable to him than it was to her, and now I never hear from him any more. And he’s not the only one who has disappeared. Still, surprisingly, some others have not completely disappeared.

My real friends these days are those I made locally. My dance friends.

I’ve also made one or two friends over the internet. People I talk to more often than most other people in my life. But I rarely or never see them in person. Not that I ever see my old college friends in person. So I guess it’s about the same. Brave New World and all that.

flutherother's avatar

Old friends are best and I am pleased I still have a few from school and college days. When we meet, which is seldom, it is as though no time has passed since we last saw one another.

Blackberry's avatar

Yeah, my high school friends are having kids and some are quite immature, so I feel kind of lonely when I visit home because it’s not the same anymore. I still have a couple of high school friends that I’m compatible with, though.

I didn’t go to college, so I have mostly friends through the military. There’s 2 or 3 I hang out with. Then, I also have friends of the friends through the military that are civilians. We’re all older so we’re more mature and don’t have to worry about one of us doing something stupid.

cookieman's avatar

As kids, my friends and I were inseparable. I didn’t have many, but the few I had were always around. We constantly hung out at the park, at school, in the square, etc.

Sure the cast of characters changed through the years – through high school, through college — but we always made time to be together, multiple times a week (despite classes and work). Of course, we also stayed up all hours of the night.

Once we hit 30–35 it all changed. Now everyone has kids, and is too busy, or too tired. We’re lucky if we see each other every few months – sometimes even just once a year.

It’s really sad.

xnightflowerx's avatar

When I was younger, like elementary through high school, I realize I didn’t really choose most of my friends so much, they all just kinda came to me. Not that I didn’t decide to be friends with those people, but many of those friendships wouldn’t have happened or lasted if those people hadn’t taken the initiative to be in my life. I had a lot more social problems back then though.

I didn’t get to go to college. So I don’t have everyone’s typical college years/friends.

Now that I’m older (22) and more assertive and more social and much more aware of how the people in my life affect it, I’m much more selective about who I will develop close friendships with. And I’m also very aware these days of the benefits of having a lot of casual friendships as well. Before whoever came up and start talking to me/wanted to hang out with me that I got along with alright ended up being good friends. These days, I meet lots and lots of people. And I slowly get to know them, and if I feel like they’re someone I want more involved in my life I’ll let them in more. But also, if I start spending some time with someone and I realize they’re not the type of person I want to be super close with I’ll keep them in the casual friend pool. Usually I’m a good enough judge to initially know if I’ll even want to hang out with someone at all.

I still have a handful of my older friends, though many are not in my life a whole lot because more of them have moved away or been busy with their own lives or already lived far away and are busy. I still keep in touch with them all and see them when I can. I really appreciate those relationships a lot now. But I also have come to really appreciate new friends and garnering new relationships with people that I really choose to have in my life and get close to.

And many of these newer friendships have been much more positive connections in my life then ever before and its nice to have people like that who aren’t always going to see me as the old me. I’ve had a few really close friends I had to basically cut out of my life because they just could not let me become the person I was turning into. Or they did something to make it clear we just could not continue being friends. Which is when I realized old friends can be nice but they aren’t welcome in my life if they can’t accept that I’m a different person now. And I’m not going to forgive things they did that crossed a line for me, the old me would have let it slide ‘cause I didn’t have many friends so I held onto to everyone tight. New me usually has more friends then I can manage, and much more self-confidence and self-respect and I don’t care how long I knew someone, if they make it clear they’re just going to be a negative force in my life then I’ll be gone.

seekingwolf's avatar

I had a few friends growing up. I didn’t have too many in college though because my priority was studying. Now most of my friends are people at work or couples that my bf and I hang out with. My boyfriend was a several year platonic friendship turned relationship. He is truly my best friend since I considered him to be my best friend long before we dated. We are one of those couples that spends oodles of time together. I’ve never been that close with someone.

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