Recently, I posted on Instagram about how isolating motherhood can be. Almost immediately, there were a lot of responses from many different people. So many women chiming in to say they can relate.
But here’s the thing: they weren’t all moms. One friend in particular said, “This is so interesting to me, because I was just thinking to myself about how isolating it feels to be one of the only women in my circle who doesn’t have children! How anxious I feel showing up to a conversation because I can’t relate to or participate in kid chatter. I never considered that the same feeling might be happening on the other end.”
It seems as though once we reach a certain age [I’m 34, but started to feel it around 30, so from my experience I’m just gonna say 30 is the magic number…] we find ourselves floating around in bubbles. You know, like Glinda from The Wizard of Oz, but without the wand and ballgown. We can float by each other without really stopping, even those who are our friends. We say “hi” and wave, but because we’re in our own bubble, the wind takes us in whatever direction it’s blowing. We all just seem to pass by each other, because bubbles don’t have brake pedals.
It seems as though suddenly in our thirties, even if we are all of a similar age within our friend groups, the directions we’re going are all so different. Some of us are mothers. Some want to be mothers. Some don’t want to be mothers. Some are mothers in loss. Some of us work 50 hours a week. Some don’t work outside of the home. Some are married. Some are single. Some are dating. Some are too overwhelmed to nurture any more relationships. Some of us are so lonely that we search for connection anywhere we can find it.
So many of our friendships from our early adulthood don’t feel the same in our lives after 30. They often don’t fit the way they used to. But humans need connection and community. We need to feel validated and seen and loved and known; and not just by the people who live in our homes with us. We need good and true friendships.
So with this in mind, here are some of the best (and most underrated, in my opinion) types of friendships that seem to work after 30…
The Group Chat:
I have an INCREDIBLE group chat with four other women who I went to high school with. We have so much history together, but we’re also so vastly different than we were 17 years ago. We have each others’ backs. We validate, hold one another up and strengthen each other. We also share dumb things that our significant others have done and talk about true crime. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Work Friend:
There is no substitute for a work friend. They are a totally unbiased person. They likely have never spent any time with any of your other friends, with your family or with your partner and, therefore, if you need to talk about any of those folks, you know that you’re in a circle of trust AND they’ll always be on your side. Plus, no one understands the frustrations of your job better than someone who works with you.
Let me just tell you this: online friends are real friends. The beauty of creating relationships with folks on social media is singular. I never truly knew how alike our journeys in life were until I started making friends on social media. Plus no one, and I mean NO ONE, will hype you up the way your internet friends will.
Long story short, remember you’re not alone. And, if you’ve hit the friendship slump of near-middle-age, know that the rest of us are right there with you. In fact, let’s get to know one another! Drop a comment below!