The Joys of New Friends

5 ways to keep expanding your social network

by Linda Bernstein • Next Avenue
three women laughing image
Photograph: Shutterstock.com

This is another surprise: New friends can be quite younger — and older — than I am. When you're 30, a 10-year age difference seems a chasm. It is, after all, one-third of your life. Now that I'm over 50, 40 seems not so far back; 65 not so far ahead. Ann, whom I met running around the reservoir in New York's Central Park, has grandchildren not so much younger than my kids, but she can run at my pace and keep up a conversation, largely recounting the previous night's comedic monologues. (Which means I have developed the capacity to laugh and run at the same time.)  
 
These new friends aren’t only of the female persuasion — though I believe that if you’re married and a new male friend isn’t part of a “friendship couple,” it may be harder for the two of you to hang out. Yet I can spend hours on Skype with Maxwell, who lives on the West Coast, without making my husband jealous because (a) Maxwell is all of 40, married to a dynamite woman and clearly not interested in me in “that way,” and (b) we talk about things like html code and subjects way too tech-geeky to enthrall the philosophy professor I married.
 
When Maxwell was in town recently and we met for a drink, my husband begged off, knowing he would be bored, bored, bored and confident that nothing would happen IRL. 

(MORE: Why Girlfriends Are Good for a Woman’s Health)
 
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