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Why Is It More Difficult To Make Bonds of Friendship in Maturity?

As we get older, it becomes more challenging to make meaningful friendships. Taking care of home and family life becomes a priority. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean we should give up on making new bonds.

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

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Writer Annabel Fenwick Elliott wrote an article in The Telegraph sharing her experience of how difficult it has been for her to make new friends as a 35-year-old woman. Fenwick had been shy since she was a girl. On top of that, throughout her life, the writer has moved many times, making it challenging to have long-lasting friendships. Now she is pregnant and busy dedicating most of her time to family. She aims to make new friends. Nevertheless, her experience getting to know new people hasn't been the best. As she says, "Making friends in later life is almost as bad as dating."

After careful consideration, Fenwick decided to give it a chance to Peanut, an application that seeks to connect women in their various stages of life, from fertility and pregnancy to motherhood and menopause. However, she found it really uncomfortable trying to make new friends.

According to the writer, "It doesn't help that making new friends at this stage is just as awkward as going on a date. Most people over 30 have already established their groups and are not interested in joining new ones."

Making new friends, deep and lasting connections, and unconditional bonds have never been more complex than today for adults, especially in a production-oriented world, which leaves little time for distraction and well-being. Constantly, it is necessary to respond to multiple demands that range from work expectations to the performance of caregiving tasks and house chores. In that order, at what time does a window open to build new links?

Some psychologists suggest that making friends younger is so much easier because when we were students, we spent most of our time with the same people making the bonding more natural. Meanwhile, although adults have friendships, they are no longer the center of our lives. More alarmingly, a study by The Friendship Report found out that the average age at which we find our best friends is 21 years old.

On the other hand, Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas Jeffrey A. Hall calculates that we need to spend over 200 hours for six weeks with someone new to become close friends. Sometimes, friends stop talking, and the relationship naturally falls apart.

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To solve this issue, various applications have been created to contact and meet others in the same city o community to make new connections more accessible, especially in times of COVID-19, where people need virtual communities to have a little more company. One of the most popular apps to make friends nowadays is Bumble, which has 42 million users worldwide. It is estimated that at the beginning of 2021 (when we went from virtual to face-to-face interactions), the average time dedicated to Bumble BFF -the function that allows you to meet new friends- grew by 44% for women and 83% for men.

Although not many people are familiar with this option, it is normal today to hang out with strangers not to have a romantic relationship but to build potential close friendships. Friends are an essential part of our lives, and we should never give up on them.

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