In your 30s and 40s, plenty of new people enter your life, through work, children’s play dates and, of course, Facebook. But actual close friends— the kind you make in college, the kind you call in a crisis— those are in shorter supply.
As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, when life felt like one big blind date, are fading. Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends.
No matter how many friends you make, a sense of fatalism can creep in: the period for making B.F.F.’s, the way you did in your teens or early 20s, is pretty much over. It’s time to resign yourself to situational friends: K.O.F.’s (kind of friends)— for now.
But often, people realize how much they have neglected to restock their pool of friends only when they encounter a big life event, like a move, say, or a divorce.
I've commented before, and a few of my friends and I have chatted about, how hard it has seemed to find new people and make 'em stick, particularly in various fandoms. As time ticks on and people wander off to pursue other interests (or just get too damn busy to have any fun), places where I used to go specifically to see my friends have become vast seas of strange faces. This past Further Confusion was the worst case of this yet, with Vince, Graveyard Greg, Buck Turner and I all clumped together for the duration of the con because we couldn't find anyone else we knew.
I'm not sure whether it's comforting or terrifying to learn that it's not just us-- seems it's a widespread phenomenon, at least widespread enough to get books written about it and articles devoted to it. Terrifying that it's a bigger problem than I thought... but comforting to know that there are lots of people looking for a fix, and that there may be some fixes out there.
As I find more answers, I'll post 'em here. Your friendly neighborhood Gneech is on the job!