Developing friendships at ages 5 and 35

A couple days ago, my daughter walked all the way home from school holding hands with another Kindergartener that she met only a month or two ago. They quietly hung back behind the rest of us, talking, holding hands, and examining all of the interesting nature trinkets they could find.

It got me thinking about childhood relationships and how easy they were, generally. You meet someone and just start playing. You have fun, run around, chase each other, tell each other secrets, and decide that you are Best Friends Forever after an afternoon of play.

It’s not always so easy as we get older huh? Not only do you have to decide if you and potential friend have enough in common to get along, but there’s also those other subtle, unspoken “tests” that friends have to pass.

Tonight I was reading a great article about making friends over at The Art of Simple. The author shared a part of a New York Times article that described a few of the secrets of making close friends:

“As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other, said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college, she added.”

It’s pretty hard to accidentally do that these days, especially for stay-at-home parents. Let’s be honest, there’s not too many “unplanned interactions” for moms of multiple young children. Even going to the bathroom can be a calculated decision! So what does it look like to invest in others at this stage in life?

I think the author of the article brought up some great ideas (eating together, texting one another throughout the day, meeting needs before they’re spoken, teach each other things, etc.)… what would you add to the list?


3 thoughts on “Developing friendships at ages 5 and 35

  1. I think there has to be a “spark” as well… Some kind of chemistry. I have been praying for God to bring some new friends into my life, women that are interesting and delightful and honest. I realized I have been trying to force friendships with people who are in close proximity but aren’t compatible with me. I think there is an element of praying for friends and then taking the step to go to MOPS or soccer practice sidelines or whatever where there COULD be awesome friends lined up.

    Just my ramblings bc I am on a very scheduled phone veg out break right now!

  2. Bethany, that is so true! It can be so hard to find those compatible friends, can’t it? I miss college too 🙂 Friendships were way easier there- so much proximity and time and common interests in one place!

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