I wrote recently about reading the book “We should hang out” and the issue with middle-aged men losing their friendships and having enhanced feelings of loneliness. Since then, I’ve made it a point to reach out to past friends and talk with them on the phone, and to seek out friends from 30+ years ago (High School, College, first job, etc.). Its been an interesting experience.
I can say, however, that I had a major success story this week. One of my best friends for the last 25 years (we shared several similar hobbies and our wives became friends as well) had moved away to Chicago about 10 years ago for work, and while we’ve kept somewhat in touch, it has only been along the lines of 1 call a year. I visited about 7 years ago during a work trip, but not since then.
Well, I’ve been reaching out roughly every 3-4 weeks now by phone, and we’ve had some good conversations and gotten back in touch over the last 3 months. During the memorial day weekend, he was visiting his parents (they just retired in their mid-70s) and he drove up 120 miles to visit his daughter. He took the opportunity to cross the river and see us, talk on our back deck, and then have dinner with us. I honestly think that if we hadn’t been talking somewhat over the last several months, he might have just spent that extra time with his daughter, or tried to drive back home to Chicago.
It was great seeing him again, and both Mrs. 39 Months and I had a good time.
So don’t be afraid to reach out to folks – you might get surprised.
Mr. 39 Months