One of the things that I value most about the Internet is that through it I’ve been able to make a lot of friendships with people, who otherwise, I’d likely never meet in real life. Well, thanks to the Internet and parenthood, it’s been easier for me to make new friends, or friends beyond those that I made in college or high school or grade school.
Even while making lots of great friends, I realize now that the kinds of friendships that I have now in my late twenties is very different from those I once had, and thought I valued.
Today at the park, I watched my toddler make a new friend with a five year old. “Do you want to be my friend?” the little girl with strawberry blonde ringlets asked. To this my toddler said, “yes,” and they went throughout the park, holding hands, sliding down the slide, and digging through the mulch that surrounded the new trees on the perimeter.
“If only it were that easy for me,” I thought. If only I, as an adult, could meet someone without knowing anything about them but that they looked interesting and say “let’s be friends.” Now, my friendships are based upon often complicated shared interests and trust and a whole host of other things that sometimes make casual, hey-let’s-be-friends kind of friendships harder to come by.
And while longing for that kind of random, casual friendship that I witness my daughter make today, I also am pleased with the thoughtful friendships that I’ve come to keep, make, and hold on to in my older age. Friends, true friends, are harder to come by as you get older, but when you’re older, it’s easier to make the kinds of friendships that will last, that are meaningful. I think.
Do you have many new friends as an adult? How have your friendships changed over the years? How have your values for a potential friends changed over the years?