“The surest sign of age is loneliness.” Annie Dillard
Having girlfriends for our support system is important as we age. Quality girlfriend time creates more serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and gives us a feeling of wellbeing. Just being able to call a girlfriend and “rant” can release anxieties especially when we have family members or partners who don’t see it our way. Hanging out with good friends is very good for ones health; jogging or playing tennis with them is even better.
Don’t be afraid to get new girl friends. As our lives change, you need to not only keep the old, but add new girlfriends. Often when we become single again our married girlfriends don’t seem to fit any more. As our needs change, so do our friends. If you are back in the single dating scene, we find it’s more fun to go out on with other single women. The conversations will be different. They will go from kids and what brand of toilet tissue to clothes and shoes.
Your old girl friends will see you differently. Once divorced and back into the single scene, I went to the Christmas party my best friend has every year. She spends hours decorating and preparing; the food is delicious and always a generous flow of selected wines. Can’t tell you the number of years I have been invited. My life had changed as I was now single again, and so looking forward to the night, a chance to be with friends. However, the last time I went, I was not invited back. The following day, my girlfriend called to tell me that if I’m coming next year, I must bring a date. It seemed that the wives complained that my being single was threatening to them. They felt their husbands were spending too much time with me. And when I thought about the evening, I realized that it was true, the husbands found me more interesting as I had fresh ideas and fresh information to bring to the conversation. And I also realized, I had little in common with the married wives, in their “old lady shoes”, talking about bunion surgery or muffin receipts. I was not flirting. It’s just that the men were more interesting. But the wives saw their husbands enthusiastically chatting with me and were jealous. They did not like having a single girl, in stilettos and pencil skirt, at the party. And my interests had changed, my lifestyle had changed. I found the married women at the party and me were coming from a different planet.
To make new friends, you need to know yourself. To connect with new people, you need to reconnect with yourself. What passion that you have put on the back burner do you want to explore? What sport have you let slide into non-existence? What’s important to you now?
Get a buddy who understands your new goals and actively supports your efforts to expand your horizons. This buddy may “not” be your long time best friend. A good buddy mitigates bad habits and helps jettison unfavorable qualities. Like going to a new hairdresser to have a different eye look at you, so too, a different perspective can offer new suggestions. Then again, if it’s been your best friend trying to tell you to make changes in for lifestyle, then that best friend might be the perfect buddy.
Pick a buddy who will be honest and yet will laugh at the slip-ups–kale and dirty martinis don’t mix, yet we need a taste of both.
Girlfriends can help us with stress reduction. Stress reduction is deeply ingrained in becoming ageless.