The Trick to Keeping Friends as We Get Older

The Trick to Keeping Friends as We Get OlderIt’s Hard to Maintain friendships and make new ones but it’s crucial.

*This article originally appeared in November in the Wall Street Journal.
By Diane Cole

Two or three times a week, Alan J. Fink, 64, the owner and manager of a box business in Baltimore, listens as his mother wishes out loud that she had good friends to go out with. That is worrisome for his mother, who is 88—and for himself.

“I don’t want to be in her position in another 20 years,” Mr. Fink says. He frets that his circle of friends should be wider, “so that, down the pike, we’ll all be available to each other—if and when we need each other.”

A growing body of data confirms that friends are essential to our medical, psychological and social well-being as we age. Yet many people find it difficult to maintain their circles of friends as they grow older.

“It’s not that we’re deliberately neglecting our friendships,” says Ryan Hubbard, principal at Hinterland Innovation, a Melbourne, Australia, company that researches friendship and social innovations for modern enterprises. Losing friends, Mr. Hubbard says, is often more a function of our lives being complicated.

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!Take a Minute This Season and Call an old Friend

The final phase of the holiday season is officially upon us and things are busy, busy busy! It's easy to forget why we do all this rushing around and spending every year considering the stress we put ourselves through. There is really no better time in the year to finally make that call to your Gamma Upsilon Brother that you have been meaning to make and no better time to help the Chapter. You never know when that simple call or text to an old friend this time of year could make all the difference in the world.

Read more: Happy Holidays!