Have you made a “bestie” in your 30s? Not a friend you already knew who you grew closer to, but someone completely new – someone you met in your 30s. I think it’s challenging, because you don’t have the built-in network of people your age because you’re not in social settings like school or after-school programs. And the workplace is a mix of people of varying ages and also, they have varying levels of desire to socialize outside of work. If people have families, most of the time they’re going to want to get out of work as soon as possible.
For me, I’ve been lucky because I’ve been pursuing film in graduate school and so, I’ve been around some people my age. But – not many! The majority of my classmates are in their 20s, and I feel a definite difference between us. But that could be my own bias.
I’ve also worked in jobs (including at a film school), where there were people with similar interests and passions, and so that naturally lent itself to friendships.
Can the depth of new friendship be the same, despite the fact that you haven’t known each other as vulnerable teenagers or college students? I answer that question with an emphatic yes! Especially if you’re single, because when you’re single, you generally have more time and radiate more of an openness to talk and connect. You can be looking for a more “serious” friendship if you’re not in a relationship. I realize that sounds a little funny, and so to clarify, what I mean is that if two people are single, they can devote more time to a new friendship – kind of like you did in your school days.
The same way you can find your soulmate at 45, you can meet a new best friend at any stage in your life, and have the same depth of connection. For instance, this summer I took a job at an arts summer camp, and while it began as a one-day temp job, it ended up getting extended to about seven weeks. And during the time, I made some amazing friends, and I am pretty confident I’ll be friends with them for a long time. We met over a short duration, but there was a deep understanding between us that we recognized immediately. I also happened to be in vulnerable stage when I met them and was going through some personal transitions, but wow – when I met them, I knew – I would be friends with them. I felt safe immediately and like I could be myself. More so than I had during my entire two years at graduate school. So, you just never know where and how you’ll meet your next ‘friend soul mate.’ In the same way we romanticize how we might meet our romance loves, I like to think about the magic of meeting a new friend who you just know will be a lifer.