How to Make Friends—at Any Age

A new city and a new job left one writer wallowing in social solitude, until she embarked on a month of platonic speed dating

by Meredith Maran
friendship image
Photograph: Greg Clarke

Starting from friendship-scratch in my seventh decade brings complications I didn’t encounter when I was young. It’s challenging, catching up and being caught up on the 50 or 60 years of each other’s lives that my new friends and I have missed. Memorizing new casts of characters would have been no picnic at 30; at 60 it’s scrambled eggs on the brain.

But now I have an extra-sharp appreciation for the infectious giggling binges, shopping sprees and late-night tell-all sessions I thought I might have sacrificed when I gave up my old zip code. Towing my own frailties in my U-Haul of failed relationships helps me forgive the flaws I find in my new friends. More than I could have at 12 or 30 or even 50, I treasure the chance they offer for a friendship makeover, which beats the hell out of the alternative I feared: that for me, the love and laughter of friendship were over.

Meredith Maran is the author of A Theory of Small Earthquakes and Why We Write. Find her on Twitter at @meredithmaran.

Next: How to Find Happiness at Any Age

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First published in the June 2013 issue

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