As children, most of us found it effortless to make friends. Simply sitting next to someone in class and deciding to be best friends forever was a breeze. However, as we approach our 30s, establishing meaningful relationships seems more challenging than ever before. Let's explore the reasons behind this shift.
1. Vicinity plays a big role
As an adult, you're less likely to form close friendships with your neighbors. You may like the woman who lives upstairs or the quirky guy down the hall, but by your 30s, you realize that sharing a community mailbox isn't enough to become best friends. Without frequent opportunities to meet new people simply by stepping outside, it's harder to develop friendships.
2. Family ties eat up a lot of time
In your 30s, many people focus on settling down, having children or pets, and dedicating more time to their home life. This can make it harder to socialize and meet new people, as you may be more likely to fall asleep to a Netflix show than head out for drinks and spontaneous adventures with friends on a Tuesday night.
3. Your idea of quality friends changes
By the time you hit your 30s, the days of meeting someone in the bar bathroom and forming a lasting friendship are over. It's not that you appreciate the beauty of women any less than you did in your 20s, but you prioritize your friendships differently. Regrettably, those brief acquaintances from parties don't usually make the cut.
4. It's easier to focus on yourself
As we grow older, we become increasingly self-centered, a fact that may not be pleasant but is nonetheless true. We are less preoccupied with being a support system for everyone because we recognize the need to focus on our own health, priorities, and well-being.
5. Lack of resources
While there are numerous dating apps available for those seeking a lifelong partner, there are few that cater to forming new friendships. While it's possible to meet someone on Tinder and develop a platonic bond, it's unlikely to be long-lasting. It may feel awkward to use an app to search for non-romantic relationships.
6. Common interests tend to take center stage
In youth, a single shared interest can often form the foundation of a friendship. For example, sports fans gather to discuss the latest game, while music enthusiasts bond over their favorite bands. However, as we age, it becomes more challenging to sustain a friendship based on a single commonality. Adults seek a sense of belonging to a tribe and are less likely to invest time in friendships that don't entirely fit.
7. Straight up fear plays a role
It can be challenging to take the initiative and invite a potential friend to hang out, especially when you're afraid of rejection or feel anxious. This feeling may arise when trying to befriend a new coworker or someone you frequently see while walking your dog. It can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially when you're already feeling drained most of the time.
8. There just isn't time
With the demands of work and home life, it's difficult to find time to make new friends. You must prioritize self-care and attending to your responsibilities, which consume a significant portion of your free time. Ultimately, there aren't enough hours in a day to pursue activities that foster new friendships.
9. You're set in your ways
You have established a reliable routine that you're content with, and you're satisfied with how you allocate your time and resources. Introducing a new person into your life could disrupt the comfortable balance you've worked hard to attain.