Love

Your connections to others you care about

Friendship

The people you choose to care about


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As children, a lot of us learned the nursery song that beings, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.” The older we get, the truer this message becomes.

Old friends get older, and while sometimes they drift away, or sometimes leave in anger (or we do), our old friends are our best links to our past at a period when our past is increasingly becoming the largest portion of our life. The best of our old friends are gold indeed, and if anything they only gain in luster. Yet as they age, and we age, we may need to make more effort to hang onto them, and to reconnect with some that we have misplaced.

Sadly, though, part of aging is losing old friends to illness and death. They cannot, of course, quite be replaced, but our ability to continue to make new friends, no matter how old we get, can end up being central to whether we age happily in the company of others, or bitter and alone.

Friendship relates to other areas of Love:



Friendship relates to other areas besides Love:



Friendship Sub-Topics and Resources

As we age, we inevitable lose friends – some die, some move away, some go into residential care facilities that are too far away for us to visit, some become impaired in other ways that make visiting or oral communication difficult, and some just drift away from us for no particular reason. If we don’t continue to make new friends, we become more and more isolated. Putting some effort into establishing new friendships is arguably the most valuable investment you will ever make.

You might also be interested to know that according to one recent study, having good friendships appears to be even more conducive to health and longevity than having good family relationships (see “To Increase Longevity, Friends Are More Important Than Family” on About.com).

Some of us are not naturals at acquiring friends, though. We look at other people who make friends effortlessly, and wonder how they do it. But even if you are shy, or you just have a less extroverted personality, you can still make new friends in ways that do not have to make you uncomfortable.

The internet can help you find people who share your interests, and can help you keep in touch with people you already know. “Social networking” sites enable you to connect with other people who register at the same website, and there are many such sites devoted to particular interests, as well as some that are open to just about anyone – so you can pick the one(s) that suit you.

Email is also an easy (free) way to keep in touch with most people – and although it can seem impersonal and cold if you haven’t tried it, most people find that it makes it easier than ever to stay in communication with almost anyone, and especially people who are far away, hard to reach by telephone, or that you don’t feel comfortable calling or who are not likely to respond to cards or letters you might send by regular mail.

If you don’t have your own computer with an internet connection, most public libraries offer free use of computers. If you use one of the free email services, you can usually send and receive email on public library computers. It's still private, because you'll have your own personal password for your email account.