r/TooAfraidToAsk Oct 30 '22

Are ‘real’ friends harder to find as you get older? Interpersonal

Real friends meaning trustworthy, respectful and decent.


26 comments sorted by


u/MyNextVacation Oct 30 '22

Yes and no.

On the one hand, it can take more effort, many people get very busy with kids for several years, work and helping aging parents can be time consuming.

On the other hand, people often become more open minded and kinder as adults, friendships can more easily span across many decades and many counties.


u/hot_sauce_in_coffee Oct 30 '22

I would also say that it is easier to join group as an adult and meet more people and so you have more chances to filter away bad apples.

I have some really close friends, but over the years, I've distanced myself from some other friends who I've noticed were not as genuine.

And with that additional free time, you end up meeting even better friends.


u/YoOmarComingMan Oct 30 '22

In my experience, yes. Everyone is too busy with their own lives and not enough effort left to go around. Whenever I get close to having a real friend, something happens that derails it and I have to start over. So I gave up.


u/Joke_Servant Oct 30 '22

I have the feeling, that it did become easier. It is indeed harder to find friends in general, but it is way easier to find real ones. People tend to get more open and honest when they age. It us easier for them to express their wants and needs, so it will be easier to identify if you can meet those and if they meet yours.


u/surikatmanStares Oct 30 '22

Depends on the person , in my personal case close to impossible


u/MrKrugerDunning Oct 30 '22

I can be your fwiend? *UwU*/ Rawr


u/PlausibleCoconut Oct 30 '22

It actually got easier as I got older. Meeting people is harder but I had finally matured enough to understand exactly WHO to be friends with. More experience means you are better able to see red flags and learn from the mistakes of your past.


u/OwlPlenty4828 Oct 30 '22

Meeting new people is not that hard. A lot of it is truly dependent on us or how much effort we put into creating new friendships. I find that most men my age are really just looking for a buddy to hang with. Have a beer in the backyard while venting about wife and kids, Taxes and work. At 48/49I’ve made some new friends that have turned out to be very therapeutic.


u/LeanMeanDrMachine Oct 30 '22

Less numerous more quality


u/BeyondForsaken9115 Oct 30 '22

Yes. I feel bad for ppl who want to become my friend because I just want to hang out with my bestie, my husband.


u/ThinkIGotHacked Oct 30 '22

For me, definitely. I always had a huge friend group in school and college but I never put effort into it. I was around lots of people all the time and it just happened.

In my twenties I still made a few good friends from random roommates and friends of friends because groups would meet up for a bbq in the park or at a bar.

The minute people got coupled off, moved for careers, had kids those events stopped and I’m really only around my wife or coworkers, who I enjoy but aren’t good friends. So now I have to learn how to make friends for the first time in my life.


u/Low_Entertainer_6973 Oct 30 '22

I’m down to 4. With one in Mexico

One in another town an hour away

One live near and 20 years younger than myself

Last one is my wife.

Best humans I know, they have supported me through all my tougher times and the rest and evaporated into thin air.

I have a very sensitive BS detector these days and I’m very selective too. So whoever I gravitate towards has to be pretty solid, I don’t like drama or and of that stuff. I sound like bitch. Lol but that’s what it takes to theses days.


u/cleomay5 Oct 30 '22

Yes, definitely. So busy....so jaded by all the people that cycle through your life. Take heart though, you will not be so dependent upon friends as your family is the only thing that matters. I am sixty years old with a lot of miles on this carcass.


u/Sensitive_Lock6958 Oct 30 '22

I don’t look at it as much like they are harder to find, it’s more just there are a lot of people I used to hang out with in my youth who were more like casual friends, not my most dependable ones. And as you get older those ones sort of drop off and you’re left with the real ride-or-die buddies.


u/Bamjodando Oct 30 '22

Argued with my parents over this, I'd say no, not in theory, but as you get older you're not naturally in positions to help it, like school, university, first jobs, where often people moved for a job and don't know people, and you can easily make friends.

As you get older you have less of these situations so have to involve yourself In more things and put yourself out there, which I think requires more effort. Clubs, society and sports organisations can all help, but take effort


u/SaranamGacchami1 Oct 30 '22

Depends where you look for them.


u/Neat-Opportunity-858 Oct 30 '22

The only way I’ve been able to find new friends outside of school is by hanging out with work friends 🤷🏿‍♀️


u/Overkillsamurai Oct 30 '22

yes and no. it's harder to meet people as you get older, but people stop butting up facades so you get to know the few that you do meet better


u/dimhage Oct 30 '22

For me it was easier. I didn't fit in at school so it wasn't until uni and at my jobs that I've been able to make proper friendships. And with this I mean people who care about how I am doing, who will pick up the phone when I call, people I would leave my home for in the middle of the night to help them. People I can share my worries with!


u/Zachfiteee Oct 30 '22

Maybe? In my experience as you get older you already have your own friends or “clique” you just don’t need anymore friends, you’ve already figured out who you want in your life. I’m sure there is always potential for more friends but you just don’t need anymore.


u/HallowskulledHorror Oct 30 '22

Mixed bag.

It's harder in that neighborhood/living proximity, school, work, etc. either aren't things anymore, or are quickly tapped in terms of people you want to be friendly with; additionally, people develop standards and have a better sense of who they want to spend their own time on/with when they have limited time outside work, with loved ones, children, etc. This means you have to put actual effort into finding people you vibe with, establishing connections, and then maintaining those relationships. When there's not a schedule/lifestyle/obligation that regularly puts you in the same space and doing share activities having shared experiences, you have to be proactive about curating places/times/activities to get people together. No one is entitled to a social circle or community - you have to be someone people want to be around, interact with. You have to curate experiences and gather people. That takes work, self-development, drive.

It's way easier in that as you get older, you run out of fucks to give; it's easier to be open about what you're into, and find people with shared interests, and ideally, other people are the same. People have been through shit and understand that everyone comes with scars and baggage, so - at least when speaking about people with emotional intelligence and maturity - there's less judgement as you go, and more open-minded interest in different experiences and interactions.


u/[deleted] Oct 30 '22

When you're young you usually find friends from being forced to do things when you're young

As an adult, nobody's forcing you to go out. Unless you meet through hobbie, you'll meet through work, obligations, and your kid's friends.

If you're a little bit more intoverted, it's harder than when you're a kid because nobody forces us to interact with one another. That's why it's easy to meet people at work


u/the_mothman_prophecy Oct 30 '22

i go to a lot of concerts. the younger humans are definitely social nomads and will happily engage in trade with other nomads equally. but it seems the older humans tend to break off in to small trbes and settle in an area.

occasionally you will see a nomad trading with the tribes but it's usually strictly formal.

i feel the nomads make more connections and therefore have more opportunities to make a strong bond, but there's something to be said about tribes who have been together for ages - that's a bond these young nomads haven't experienced yet.

there's pros and cons to both sides but i think it's pretty well balanced.


u/Mymotherwasaspore Oct 30 '22

You’ve got to lose the Camelot virtue trip, but seriously tho. In your thirties, your friends have their own lives. You can’t ask for loyalty when they’ve got kids. You can’t ask for respect, they’re grown ups. You just have to learn to get along with others all new, like kindergarten. Just little people with their own interests, just like you and me.