Just Another Thing That Gets Better With Age: Why It’s NOT Impossible To Make New Friends As You Get Older

September 24, 2012  |  

A few nights ago I experienced one of the best girls’ nights out I’ve ever had. It was my dear friend, O’s birthday/graduation dinner and it was amazing. I know, it sounds dramatic and over-the-top, but putting it any other way just doesn’t do it justice. Perhaps because it was an eye-opening experience for me.

In my years on this planet, I have had my share of “besties.” Having attended a women’s college back in the day, it was pretty easy to make friends and then again, it was pretty easy to lose them as well. The constant drama and bickering are enough to drive even the most poised women to stark raving lunatic status in no time flat. The stereotype for women, especially black women, is that we can’t hold onto friendships to save our lives and as we get older and more deeply ensconced in our judgmental, angry ways, it’s harder for us to be open to new friendships.

That’s not true though (and that stereotype isn’t everyone’s reality). As I looked around the dinner table, I realized that I had unknowingly proven the theory to be false. We were laughing and talking. I was getting fabulous advice on how to order sushi (that was my first time). We connected through our hair, our faith and just our love of a good time. We ate together like we had been friends from birth. We danced crazily together like we hadn’t just met each other an hour before. I was experiencing great laughs, good times, no drama, fantabulous pictures and even NEW friends that night.

New friends? What? You mean I didn’t stand around analyzing the next girl’s outfit and whispering out the side of my mouth about how jacked up her hair was? You’re darn right, I didn’t. Within the first 3.5 minutes of meeting some of these young women, we connected like we had known one another half our lives.

It got me thinking about all my friendships that hadn’t worked out. I was either completely ill-equipped with what it took to be a friend (patience, openness, etc.), a very poor judge of character, or I overrode my gut instinct telling me that she or he was a no-good, lowdown do-dirty heifer (tell the truth, shame the devil). The truth is that my ability to be a great friend and to become a recipient of great friendship has only gotten better with time and age. I’m no longer stuck in the “These are my girls, I don’t need/want any more” mindset. Nope. If there are good people with good hearts, good vibes and good intentions coming my way, bring them all to me.

Reality television will have you thinking that the older you get the more difficult it is to sit for dinner with other females without somebody getting pimp slapped or tables being flipped/jumped over. Don’t give in to the misconstrued (albeit entertaining) propaganda. Don’t believe the hype, my dears.

Whether you’re 15 or 50, friendship is friendship and it welcomes with open arms, all who are willing to be true to it. Be open and I promise you will experience more “the best girls’ nights EVER” than you can count.

La Truly is a late-blooming Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself and a passion for young women’s empowerment, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change. Her blog: http://www.hersoulinc.com and her Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.  

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