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Old 02-20-2021, 11:49 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Default Dwindling friends

Hi guys,

Any of you losing friends as you age? Not from them dying but just because your relationships have faded away?

I had three good friends in high school but our life paths diverged when I left our hometown at 23. All three friends are now divorced with kids. Two spend their days drunk and high though they have kids to raise. We pretty much never talk, maybe a text every couple of years. The other friend, despite living about a half hour from me, hasn't talked to me in 15+ years. He's probably still pissed that when his marriage was failing apart due to his ongoing bad behaviour I flat out told him that he was wrong and should do whatever it took to get his wife back. All three have longstanding fidelity issues. I fully realize that it is their lives to live but I can't relate to them their current states. Our lives are in completely different places.

I have some "friends" at work but for most part I rarely talk to them and pretty much never see them outside of 9-5 Mon/Fri.

I'm very lucky that I have one best friend of 46+ years that I'm in contact with weekly. We started playing guitar together and we pretty much see life in the same way. We chat a couple of times a week, a lot of the time about music and gear but also family, careers, household stuff, collecting and a wide range of topics.

I'm also very lucky that I'm happily married with 2 teenagers and we get along famously for the most part so I have that to enjoy. I also have a brother who I chat with at times. My other brother is a thief and liar who preys on family members so I'm happy we don't talk.

But essentially I have one friend. I know I'm a bit of an odd duck so I can see how my personality has contributed to this. I know I don't fit in around the AGF either so I often consider not coming here anymore. I guess at 48 it's what I have and I should thank goodness for that.

How about you?
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Old 02-20-2021, 11:53 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Actually, my closest friends are my three brothers, only one of whom lives nearby, but we talk on the phone fairly often and usually for at least an hour.
I also have a friend here in town who doubles as my playing partner in our duet.
We have a great relationship and feed off each other well musically.
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:16 PM
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Covid has certainly put a strain on "friends" that you see all the time. My best friends are my golf buddies, and in MI that means a phone call ever couple weeks during the winter months to make sure we are still surviving.

As far as friends from school etc, I've been single all my life and have made gallant efforts to keep in contact with many of them over the years. Of course, most of them have chosen a different route with families (kids and now grandkids) and it made it tougher for them to travel to see me. Almost all of them have thanked me at one point for keeping up the effort to keep us "together"

Regarding friends that I "go out" with - even before Covid, that is not something I really do. I have one couple that are former clients that in normal times I'd go out to dinner with a couple times a year, but not really anyone else local that I socialize with. My work is very social (one on one with clients for several hours a day) and when it's over, I become a home body for the most part.

At 58, I've lost WAY more than my share of good friends, starting with my own brother about 15 years ago, they've been dropping pretty rapidly. Just this last spring I lost 6 good friends in a matter of a couple of months (none due to Covid)

Makes you take stock of your own life and mortality.
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Doug View Post
I know I don't fit in around the AGF either so I often consider not coming here anymore.
Hey Doug. I don’t get why you say this, and you have said as much in the past. It may be how you feel, but I doubt it’s how you’re perceived. You’ve been a regular contributor for a long time, including sharing your fine playing. Even if you feel that way in your “real” life, forums like this allow us to have friends without the baggage. There’s no need for you to leave...self-imposed time-outs when we feel we need a break can work just as well.

To your question, there have been some friends of mine who have dropped by the wayside for reasons similar to what you’ve experienced, but in the scheme of things, I have a good number of long time friends going back to the late ‘60s through early ‘80s who I’ve always maintained contact with and even see on a semi-regular basis. I’m blessed that among my good longtime friends, more than a dozen, none have passed away, ranging in age from 60 to 70.
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:20 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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My close local friends are the people I (used to) get together with to play music. Haven't done that for about a year now.

My coworkers are enjoyable enough to spend a series of 12 hour shifts with, but for the most part we don't have common interests outside of work.

My two brothers and two sisters live several states away, and even before current events were not inclined to travel. Visits were always me going to see them. Now that our parents are gone I'm no longer inclined to spend the money and effort (especially when its not reciprocated).

I have two great grown kids who each live about 3 hours drive away. They are my favorite people in the world (along with my wife of almost 34 years). We get together with our kids a few times each month.

I will risk an edit here to say that the political situation of the last few years here in the US, and people listing every thought in their head on social media have resulted in my knowing far more about others than I wanted (and they also about me). This has ended a few relationships of mine.
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:04 PM
lfoo6952 lfoo6952 is offline
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Not me. I will be 69 this year. After I joined a local bluegrass jam group about 2 years ago, I have made more new friends than ever before. Then this spread out to meeting more new people at bluegrass workshops, concerts, and other jam groups. Even during the height of the covid spread last year one of the BG jam groups met weekly. Sharing the love of music together is a powerful motivator to making new friends.
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:20 PM
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Hi J-Doug,

Yepper. And the pandemic hasn’t helped. I’ve managed to keep in touch with some folks.

I sobered up 21 years ago, so I lost a few drinking buddies. But that’s not the main ways I’ve lost friends. A lot of changes happen in the course of ageing. Folks grow different. And I’ve moved around a bit—from NC to Va to Ga. Life seems to have kept me busy to the point that my time seems pretty limited. I do have some friends at work.

I really miss the folks I regularly played guitar with. I hope to get back with them in the after times.
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:22 PM
AmericanEagle AmericanEagle is offline
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My best friend is my Al-Anon (not AA, for those who donít know what Al-Anon is)
sponsor. I have distanced myself from the toxic people in my life.
The few that remain are healthy relationships.
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:40 PM
buddyhu buddyhu is offline
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I donít have any friends from high school. Iíve only got one friend from my college days. So in that sense, I have lost friends, or abandoned them.

However, I have also made friends through the years...friends that I chose to develop and maintain after I had matured, and when I could make choices that were more conscious....rooted in my increased knowledge about who I was and what I wanted in my friendships.

I have 4 really good friends that have ďrealĒ conversations with....folks I respect and love and enjoy. I talk with one every 10 days or so, two I talk with every couple of months, and one I talk with maybe twice a year. One has been my friend for 45 years. They have all been in my life for a minimum of 12 years.

I also have another circle of friends that I enjoy, but are not quite as close to. Maybe a half dozen jamming buddies and a couple of hiking buddies, and two couples that my wife and I share meals with every three or four months (pre-COVID).

And there are a few folks that I talk to more casually and less frequently...maybe once or twice a year. But I stay in touch.

Last, their are some people who Iíd readily welcome back into my life if they put more energy into our friendship...I get tired of chasing after folks who donít initiate contact.

Interesting to see this thread. I was just having a conversation with my wife earlier today, mostly focused on how difficult it has been to deal with the way COVID has disrupted my friendships.
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:49 PM
AX17609 AX17609 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Doug View Post

But essentially I have one friend.
Thatís one more than me. I appear to be the least likable person on earth.
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:14 PM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Thanks for the insight and support guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyhu View Post
I get tired of chasing after folks who donít initiate contact.
This part of the equation as well for me. I just can't do that to myself anymore.
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:38 PM
MikeB1 MikeB1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Doug View Post
Any of you losing friends as you age? Not from them dying but just because your relationships have faded away?
Hi J-Doug,

I’ve lost friends due to both. In my view, this is simply how life works. In high school you have a lot in common, life is simple. Then life gets more complicated, people pursue different paths and therefore, grow apart when there is nothing left in common.

I did go to a 40th reunion and four of us who had not kept in touch, found that we had things in common NOW. So for the past 5 years, we all take equal responsibility to call, schedule a lunch, or a road trip to look at guitars. Of course, having that history is a plus, but it wouldn’t work unless we had something in common now.

As for your one great friend, yes, you should be thankful and cherish that relationship. I had a friend who was a brother to me for 40 years. Similar to you, we had many things in common. He passed away 3 years ago.

So what’s left to do? I volunteered at my church and made new friends that have interests that are relevant to me. I go to a bagel shop on Saturday’s and socialize over coffee. I made friends with 3 guys who were of similar age and had similar interests as me.

I’m grateful for the wonderful people God gave to me during my lifetime. But I’m cognizant not to miss out on the present. For me, that means cherishing the people and the life I have now.

Best of luck to you and thank you for bringing up an important topic.
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Last edited by Kerbie; 02-20-2021 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Fixed quote
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:48 PM
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I don't look at friends as being binary. I also have some kind of loose hierarchy system I use for the term 'friends'. They are relationships and as a relationship there are narrow outlooks and wide outlooks. I have what I call a best friend that I have had since we were seven years old. When we can we go out and have dinner with him and his wife. Weekly sometimes. We've gone months and maybe years without speaking. It's been sixty years now. We just have that thing where we know each other. If I want to hang out and have a couple of beers he isn't anyone I would be able to do that with as he is a non drinking alcoholic. I have people I consider friends that I would not care to talk with for over ten minutes at a time. I have friends that exist in different social worlds. I have snooker friends and musician friends. My work friends I left in the working world when I retired. I'll be friends with anyone if they are friendly and can relate.
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:57 PM
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Doug, you're one of the members who is on my "must read" list so don't think you aren't accepted here.

About the friends.... I'm mostly keep to myself, but we have several acquaintances/friends who we have known for years and before C19 we would meet up a few times a year for dinner and drinks and generally laugh our butts off all night.
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Old 02-20-2021, 03:15 PM
NormanKliman NormanKliman is offline
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Friends from my teenage years? Thereís just one Iím still in touch with and am proud to consider a friend. Heck of a guitar player, too. Iíve contacted others but have either gotten no response or no follow-through. A few friendships from more recent years feel like weíve always been friends.

Ultimately, all paths are divergent.

And everybody changes. After so many years, all your cells have regenerated, so youíre essentially not the same person. With age, most people develop a more precise definition of what theyíre not willing to put up with (ďbeen there, not gonna do thatĒ) and some, probably far fewer, become more accepting and open. Some change during difficult periods in their lives and some drive right off the cliff.

J-Doug, it sounds like this has got you down, and itís good to see all the nice responses upthread. I recently heard someone say that he can be friends with 1 in 50 people. Heís from the town I live in and he was complaining about all the screwballs here. I think those odds might be 1 in 20 anywhere else, in the best of cases. Itís kind of depressing if you think about it, so I try not to think about it. When Iím having a great day, everyone seems like a friend (itís the nice thing about this town), and, if I have a few of those days every week, I donít feel lonely.

About those odds, when I was younger, I could probably go through 20 failed friendships in a few months and not think much of it. Now it would take a lot more time, effort and patience.
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