Think about the last time that you made a new friend? Or maybe grabbed lunch with an old friend? As children, it seemed so much easier to make friends than it does as an adult. As we get older, finding time becomes less and less, yet think about friendships as the equivalent to going to the gym. Friendships are vital to our health and our happiness.

As our lives shift, we can often question our likability. We may even blame ourselves and wonder why we don’t have that fantasy group of friends that everybody else in the world must have. What we must realize is that having a lot of close friends is, in fact, a fantasy for most people. Because we have so many shifts in our lives as we get older, that separates us from our friends. It’s not always easy to make friends as an adult. You feel like you want to make friends, but at the same time, you don’t want to be pushy or seem needy. So you might make a small effort and if somebody doesn’t respond with open arms, you pull back and stop trying. Instead, what we need to know is that we have to be extremely patient.

We all know that we feel better after spending time with a special friend. We feel energized, and even happier. If we have a problem and share it with them, we feel less hurt. This is why friendships have such a profound influence over our health, both physically and emotionally. Friendships decrease anxiety and depression, boost our immune system, and improve our cardiovascular system. Friendships enhance our memory and we sleep more deeply. Friendships comfort us and lower our stress levels.

Communication is so important in friendships, and with every relationship. Feeling connected to someone. It’s important to have people that we can connect to face-to-face that we can grab a cup of coffee with or dinner. Even long distance friends are important, and often, the best way to develop and keep these types of friendships healthy is to be there for the important events for them and their families. It helps to physically see each other once in a while.

Friendships are especially important to our lives and to our health, but as we get older, building and keeping them can become challenging. Looking for someone who is really present, who really pays attention is important. Somebody who is a good listener, who doesn’t try to give advice. A person who is willing to be supportive and not tell you what to do, or how you should feel is also important. It’s extremely valuable to find these types of friendships at any age. These are the people who you will become close with, these are what I like to call those vintage friendships that are really there for you.

 

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