Let's Talk: Can you find a best friend in your 60s?

So here we are, 60 and over and out of the blue we make a sea/tree change, move interstate leaving behind our friends. Is it possible to make new friends? In particular is it possible to make a new best friend?

What an interesting question – Let’s Talk!

Firstly, let me tell you about my best friend – luckily I’m married to my best friend, so asked could I replace him, the answer would be No. He is the person who sees my real face, knows if I’m in physical or mental pain, knows when I’m to be avoided and when a cup of something is the perfect cure. I can’t imagine embarking on the “dating thing” in my late 60s. I can’t imagine another person being prepared to put up with me, my moods and foibles; any more than I could reciprocate. How can 40 years of learning about each other be replicated in a minute?

Having moved states a few times, I think the older you are, the more difficult it is to make friends of any description. You just don’t share the same memories, the “remember when” moments don’t exist. Also the people you meet are likely to have as many friends as they feel they need; they probably already have a best friend.

I’m rather outgoing and take opportunities to meet people, but even so, making friends is not a breeze. A woman at my library has moved numerous times in her life and we discussed the “friends” question. She admits that as a young mother, she always had the kindy/school to use as her base. As the kids grew older, she found the library book club was the way to meet like-minded people and enjoy good conversations. To her credit she was one of the first people to invite me to join her for coffee after book club – she recognised the signs of a “new girl”.

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I know this, sitting at home in my four walls, I have no chance to make any type of friend, even the one which only lasts as long as the trip to the city on the bus. To make friends, you need to be open to people, perhaps put yourself “out there”.  If someone says “Let’s have a coffee”, say “Yes”! It’s only coffee, not a lifetime commitment. I belong to a group who get together for lunch monthly because of just such a conversation.

Recently on the bus to the city an Indian lady asked how much further to her stop; I told her and we went our separate ways. About a week later, we met on another bus, she said hello and thanked me for helping her – we talked and now I have her email address in Mumbai. It’s unlikely we will ever meet again as she was only visiting for the birth of her granddaughter – but you never know.

The old saying is “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime”.  Perhaps this is the answer, whether you have friends for a reason, a season or a lifetime, cherish them for who they are, accept them warts and all and be thankful that, for a time, they were in your life.

Let’s Talk – have you made best friendships in your 60s and beyond, how did they happen?