As we age, maintaining meaningful friendships becomes increasingly important for our well-being and quality of life. For many over 60s, long lasting friendships are a crucial aspect of their happiness.
However, making and keeping friends can be more challenging in later years as we face physical limitations, changes in lifestyle, and the loss of loved ones. Yet, there are many older adults who have managed to maintain strong and lasting friendships well into their golden years. What is their secret?
Curious as to the key factors that contribute to healthy, long-lasting friendships, a Reddit user implored over 60s to share some tips on how to cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships.
Asking the question, “what is the key to maintaining healthy, long lasting friendships?”
From prioritising communication to embracing new experiences together, over 60s had plenty of sage wisdom to share when it came to keeping friendships strong and healthy.
Among the respondents, one over 60 believed that making an effort was essential to maintaining a robust friendship.
“You have to make an effort to meet up,” they said.
“It’s easy to blow off a lunch or drinks or whatever but the problem is, that gets increasingly easy until it becomes a pain the ass meeting up and you’re eventually just text message buddies.”
According to one senior, keeping lines of communication open ranked at the top of the list.
“Contact your friends even if you don’t hear from them in a while. To have friends, you need to be a good friend,” they said.
One commenter believed that dedicating time to each other was crucial for sustaining a strong bond with friends.
“I saw a friend I haven’t spoken to in 5 years post a photo of his son on Facebook. We live in different countries. I called him and it was like we had lost no time. It was beautiful. You have to make time,” they shared.
Another individual attributed part of their success in maintaining strong bonds of friendship to luck.
“Sometimes, luck: have healthy, long-lasting friends. I lost my best bud in my 30s. Another friend from that time is still hanging in there, but both he and his wife have health issues,” they said.
On a final note, one person explained that the “only way to secure friends is by being a good friend.”
“Before you are fit for friendship you must be able to do without it,” they explained.
Maintaining long lasting friendships is not only possible but crucial for our well-being as we age.
By prioritising communication, being open to new experiences, and taking the time to invest in our relationships, we can enjoy the benefits of strong and supportive friendships well into our golden years.
So, whether you’re reconnecting with an old friend or making new ones, remember that a little effort can go a long way in building and maintaining the relationships that enrich our lives.
*A great way to meet like-minded over-60s right around Australia is at your local Starts at 60 Meet Up event. Hosted by volunteers from the Starts at 60 community, Starts at 60 Meet Ups take place once a month across the country where attendees catch up over coffee or lunch, and most importantly good company. Most events are held at the same location on the same day of each month so you can get to know a group near you and build friendships in your own community.