My goal is to help you create a lifestyle of positivity and possibility. I am smiling!

– Warmly, Honey

The Difficulty of Making Friends Later In Life

credit: Medium

I was going to write a personal story about my love affair with accessories. But as often happens to me, I get sidetracked just as I did today when I saw the headline, The Average American Has Not Made a New Friend for Five Years.

To be candid there are times I have a hard time staying in my lane. Don’t get me wrong, I am as stable as the day is long; it’s my addiction to knowledge, coupled with an uncanny curiosity that pulls me off target, as it did today when the mailman delivered one of my favorite periodicals. 

The Blurb Read

“42% of those surveyed say they are shy and have trouble with social situations… one-third say they avoid the bar scene… one-third say circles of friends have already formed and are hard to break into… 29% say they are too busy with family… 28% have no hobbies that lead to friendships… 21% report moving.”  – Survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by Evite.

The wording of the title: The Average American Has Not Made a New Friend In Five Years, coupled with the statistic that 42% of people surveyed have trouble with social situations because they are shy and find it difficult to make new friends, bothered me because people need people and I happen to be a very empathetic person.

The Average American Social Life

Americans have on average 3 best friends, 5 friends who they like, and 8 people they like but would not want to have a one-on-one relationship with. 

What I found interesting is that half of the people surveyed said their 3 best friends and 5 good friends are from work, old friends from childhood neighborhoods, high school, and college.

81% of those surveyed admitted that lasting friendships are not easy to find or keep. And, there is disloyalty that hurts and disappointments when you need a friend most.

I was happy to read that those surveyed wanted friends who are honest, trustworthy, loyal, kind and funny. 

What Do These Stats Suggest?

I sit at my computer wondering how you would feel after you read the title of the blurb, The Average American Has Not Made A New Friend For Five Years. The first time I read it I was shocked. This is what went through my mind.

“What is this all about? How can this be? How can a person go through 5-years of life and not make one friend?” As I read and re-read and re-read the title, and read the little blurb many times, I began to see clearer.

A percentage of people put family first and did not have the need or time for friends. A large percentage of people used, in my opinion, the excuse they did not have a hobby so they did not have to join a group to make new friends. Or, they moved to a new community and did not want to put out the effort to start from scratch making friends, or they could not see themselves joining an exclusive circle of friends because… who needs that?

Were these people shy and introverted? Were these people lacking the hard work ethic it requires to make new friendships? Or, by chance, did these people find it liberating to feel unencumbered and enjoyed their own company? I wondered. 

Self-Isolation Because of COVID-19

A Case Study… Me!

Over the past five weeks, my Ultimate Concierge, our pooch America and I have self-isolated. We started self-isolating on March 10th before the word self-isolation was the new term in everyone’s vocabulary. I had made the decision to keep Shelly out of crowds; he had been sick and on a Z-Pak the week before.

I found it an adventure not to go anywhere because anywhere was not as adventurous as staying home!

I forgot I had a calendar and I did not miss it. So, I began cooking again and I enjoyed it.

I stopped answering the phone because I don’t like phones and I stopped shopping in stores and ordered from Amazon; a totally new experience!

As well, I walked America in the clean fresh desert air in California. I wrote my musings and established my dream, GRANDwomen with Moxie… Where loneliness disappears, my private Facebook group. However, I did not spend a day in PJ’s because getting dressed motivated me to begin my day. But, I did not wear makeup except, my red lipstick, and I learned Zoom and had a few meet-ups.

I spent time in my yard near nature and I only left our home twice to shop at the market, alone, in the wee hours of the morning. I texted and was in touch with our family and my mom. But, I spent hours alone talking to my Ultimate Concierge. 

Why Am I Telling You This?

Because I did all of these things ‘alone without a friend’ for 38 days and I was happy. I was productive and I had clarity. Darlings, I was given an invitation that I had to accept to self-isolation… to nowhere. And if I knew who to write a thank you note to, I would.

I am smiling because my life stopped hurrying around outside myself and turned inward to my mind and my thoughts… As I said before; clarity.

So, my readers, maybe the stats are too vague. Maybe the people would rather be alone than join a group and have to learn a hobby. And maybe just maybe, the person moving to a new city would prefer to go at their own pace instead of seeking new friends and the group who has its close-knit click. Who wants to work to push themselves into that den anyway?

And those of you who are shy and introverted, you have had time to examine who you are and have depth and maybe just maybe you should consider yourselves a lucky one.

So maybe just maybe when people were asked, How many new friends did you make in the last five years?” maybe just maybe they did not want to make 5 new friends. Maybe they were content to have interesting acquaintances… maybe they were content with their old childhood friends and did not want new friends. Or maybe just maybe, they were there own best friend and that suited them, just fine. I am really smiling. 

If you would like to make new friends or chat with women like you, please consider joining our new private Facebook Group: GRANDwomen With Moxie!

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  1. Very insightful thoughts and so important during this time to self reflect. I am discovering there are almost sacred rhythms that go along with just ‘being’ and finding solace in being with oneself and spouse at this time. We stay in touch with family and friends with Zoom, face time, and Google Duo which gives us much joy. I look forward to the date and being on the next Moxie session on Zoom. Thank you for your spirit of friendship and encouraging comments today and everyday.
    Jeanne Snowa

    1. I look forward to seeing you on ZOOM. Thank you for being with me and the other women. I am smiling.Warmly, Honey

  2. Enjoyed thIs article and can see both sides. I am my own best friend but love having my friends around. I have made new friends in the last 5 years because I decided to put myself out there.
    I love people from all corners of the world because I get to see their cultures through them if I haven’t visited their country. I am very greedy with my time and mostly save it for my family.
    Thank you for your insight.

  3. I love your perspective! I can relate to this long self-quarantine. I try my best to stay positive and engaged in projects. Being alone with out of state children can get to me some days, but I try to re-focus. A short nap always helps! Thank you for your thoughts, Honey.

  4. Thank you for your perspective Honey. It’s the quality and depth of all our relationships rather than quantity that matters most.

  5. Hi Susan,
    I did not realize you have a Zoom meeting with the Moxie group. I would be interested in being involved. I signed up for the Grandwomen with Moxie. Thank you Annette

  6. This such a good article Honey. I have been retired for about 18months now and was getting worried I have not made any new friends outside my few work friends who we always knew would remain in each others lives after work finished. I have made a few internet friends you being one who I value very much and love hearing your views and thoughts on life. I feel more content now with this article making me stop and think about what I need to make me happy. Of cause no one is having dinners and coffee dates at the moment which does really make you look at things in a different life and I have decided for the moment I am really content with how my life is travelling and there may come a time when I might go out and join a new group but I will have time for that in the future, it is such a good feeling to know that life is good and you are happy with it.. Sunniest Thanks. Janne x

    1. I love your sign off…Sunniest thanks. It made me smile.Please join my new Facebook private group on Facebook. It is called GRANDwomen with Moxie. The woman are so welcoming and nice. The Facebook group is only 3 weeks old and over 700 women have signed up.If you do not know how, write to me again and I will help you. Join my group on line and when we all can go back to living a normal life style join a group that you like what it has to offer. That way, you will probably like the women and it may be a good fit. Sunniest thanks for writing to me. Warmly, Honey

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