Today, I want to get your opinion on something important. The question that I have is deceptively simple, but, it gets to the heart of what it means to fight loneliness after 60. What makes a true friend?

In previous articles, I’ve discussed the difference between trying to add more people to your life and looking for the right people. But, what exactly makes the right people? How will we even know them when we see them?

How Many of Your Friendships Were Accidental?

Part of the problem is that many of the friendships that we form during our life are accidental. As parents, we interact with other moms and dads on a regular basis. We see the same people at work every day. Some of these people become our “friends.” Many of us get married to our “best friend.” Some of us still keep in touch with people from our high-school or university.

 
 

But, how many of these friends did we choose? How many of them simply entered our lives because they were placed in close proximity?

I ask these questions because loneliness is both a challenge and an opportunity. When you are feeling lonely, it negatively impacts every aspect of your life. On the other hand, it can also spur us to change. One of the best examples of this is that loneliness give us the chance to choose who we let into our life.

The secret to fighting loneliness is not looking for more people to add to your life – it is looking for the right people, who share your passions and values.

So, what makes a good friend to you?

Is a good friend someone who shares your interests and passions and is eager to discuss them with you? Or, is a good friend someone that you can be yourself with? Or, is a friend, perhaps, simply someone whose company you enjoy?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What makes a good friend to you? How would you describe the ideal friend? What would their personality be like? What values would they have? What would they like to do? How would you spend time together? Please join the discussion.

Let's Have a Conversation!