Thoughts on Friendships

Hubby and I have moved several times throughout our life together, either following his career or mine. In most places, I had a hard time leaving behind friends. In other places, there wasn’t anyone I missed all that much.

During my seven years in Boise, I’ve made some really great friends that I cherish dearly. I came into town scared and alone, having never been here before. I had no family and knew no one—or so I thought. After the move, I found out I had a second cousin once-removed in the area and a friend from high school in town. Grabbing onto those threads plus having new co-workers that were welcoming and friendly made it easy to make good friends. I have more friends in Boise than I’ve had in one place in a long time. I’m feel very lucky about that. Friends are one of the greatest blessings a person can have and I thank God for all of my friends and family.

Now the conundrum. Hubby and I are tossing around the idea of moving closer to family. It’s just an idea; nothing for sure. Even so, the thought of leaving my friends hurts my heart, but other considerations are coming up. Aging parents are taking more time and it’s a long ways from here to go to check on them. But our grandson is a days’ drive from here. Flying to check on parents is an option if you have money, but since I retired, that funding source has pretty well dried up. My winning-the-lottery plan is not working out as I’d hoped.

We really like Boise, but we really like being with family. Too bad they’re not all close proximity to each other. So if we decide to move (and it’s still a big if), leaving friends is only one of the things that is hard. I’m so thankful for technology that allows close contact with family and friends to continue across the miles. Distance does not undo a friendship. It stretches across any distance.

Moving close to family would be a good thing, but leaving friends and making new friends is a hard thing. Having moved quite a bit, you’d think we’d have the process of making new friends down to a science. No so. So I’m wondering, how do you make new friends? Living in one place all your life is the best way, but not an option for us. Meeting people at church is also a great way to find friends. Work is a good place to find friends, but that out of the question when you’re retired. Where are other places to meet friends? Hubby and I don’t drink alcohol so that cuts out a lot places. And we don’t give parties that include alcohol. In fact, that alone has squashed a number of friendships. I don’t understand why some people think that the only way to have fun is drinking alcohol. It’s not.

I’m mostly curious about two things: 1) how other people meet new friends and 2) is it harder for men to make friends than women? I’m beginning to think that our best option is joining a senior center or something like that. I like doing volunteer work so maybe that’s a good place.

No matter where a friend is made, the best way to find a friend is to be a friend. And once you have someone that you have a lot in common with and can confide in, then you have found someone pretty special. Treat them well because having friends makes life so much better.

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