How's your week been?
There was an article I read by Vice about how men in their 20s tend to lose most of their friends. It's been something that's sat in the back of my mind for quite a while. Something about it bothered me. It was my birthday this week, and as I begin to realize that I'm getting older and grapple with the finality of life, that article popped back up on my newsfeed.
Guys tend to lose their friends in their 20s because, for the most part, they're shit at communicating. It's just not bred into us. Women are portrayed culturally as being more in touch with their feelings, bonding and talking about their issues with their friends. As such, it's become a thing in our culture now that women are better at dealing with feelings. Men, on the other hand, are taught to just brush it off and let it go and never feel them. And as much as we try to get in touch with our feelings, most guys don't really do much about it. They experience loss and other complex emotions and still give the same stony responses. But guys lose friends, and it sucks.
It happens a lot because we begin to understand ourselves more. We're out of school, working, probably living away from home, becoming our own people. Because of that, we're no longer in the similar circumstances that we were in when we were with our friends. Most of a guy's friendships were made in school or some employment capacity and once the shared circumstances are gone (school/part-time work) the only connection you really have is the shared interests and other bonds you've made. So what I'm saying is to maintain friends through your adult life, you've got to put in effort now. The shared circumstances are gone, unless you make new friends at your day job, or become friends through clubs or neighbours.
There's this term I use to describe people who you're friends with because you've been friends with them for such a long time: legacy friends. It's a specific type. Friends you've had from childhood, that you've grown with and continue to grow with are not legacy friends. Friends you've had for a long time and are friends just because you've been friends for so long are legacy friends. It started as a shared-circumstance thing, maybe you sat next to each other in 3rd grade, or got assigned roommates in college and just continued to hang out afterwards, but the friendship hasn't really grown past the surface level stuff. This sort of friendship isn't exactly wrong or bad, it's just not productive in a personal development environment. Those friendships are the ones that, after you think about it, leave you wondering why you're really friends with them. You don't really have a strong connection besides the fact that you two have been friends for a long time.
So the point of this is all to say that you should consider your friendships deeply. Question what makes a quality relationship to you, and seek to achieve that with the people you're close with. A good amount of time, you'll find that others are willing to join you in that journey. It all takes effort and that's the way to maintain friends throughout your 20s, and later on into life. With everyone going off and becoming their own person, the relationships you have now may not be the same ones you'll have in 5 years. That's why it's important to always be aware of those around you so you can live a fulfilling life filled with good friendships. It sucks to be lonely, realizing you've spent so much time pursuing something to realize that a few text messages and a trip downtown might have helped save a bunch of relationships that have since gone stale. Don't make that mistake.