5 Ways Women’s Friendships are More Meaningful After Forty

3 – You Feel More Secure 

Friendships in our 40’s are decidedly different than those in your 20’s or 30’s. You will feel much more secure in who you are, and therefore much more confident in developing and sustaining meaningful friendships, as well as in the subtle art of letting friendships go.

Mariam, a university lecturer says, “I was much more willing to put effort into relationships that were not ultimately worth the effort. Now I am happy to let go without feeling like a failure and invest the time in people who I care about. Even if it means I have less friends.”

 This is the age when you accept people more freely. Your younger years come with expectations of being with the “in-crowd,” or having a lot of friends.

Compatibility mattered, of course. And you sought out people who were more like you. I recently found myself at a book event and was seated next to a lady who was probably around my mum’s age. We got on like a house on fire because we shared a common interest: books. 

When she asked for my number at the end of event to keep in touch, I was taken aback but now our monthly coffee meetups are something I look forward to. The age gap does not bother me at all. 

4 – Less Drama 

You’ve seen it and heard it all, and who has time for drama? Your friendships in your earlier years had a lot of miscommunication, sometimes petty exclusions, weird power dynamics and plenty of drama.

In your 40’s your friendships are straightforward. We get together because we want to, and we say what we mean.  There’s no space in your busy life for drama mamas

5 – Express With Ease

I’m an introvert. A misconception of introverts is that they tend to steer clear from relationships and people. This is not true. I have found that as an introvert I want my relationships to have a deeper connection. And when I have this I find that being around people I value, can re-energize my soul instead of draining it.

Having a deeper connection means  you can express what you feel with no apologies. I have learnt this comes much easier to me at this age. I want people to know upfront how I feel about them. There is no facade. People see the real you, without filters, so you connect on a deeper level which in turn makes your friendships stronger. 

Gratitude for the people around you and the friendships you have cultivated is something you should always have. Every friend has their role and this something you may only realize later in life.

There will be your lightweight friends and your lifelong friends, everyone coming with a different depth which you will learn to value and appreciate. It can only get better from this point.

First published: December 2019

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About Fatima Bheekoo-Shah
Fatima Bheekoo-Shah is the author of "Saffron" (A collection of personal narratives by Muslim women), a freelance writer and book reviewer. She resides in Gauteng, South Africa. A book nerd and avid reader, Fatima is always looking for her next great read.