Losing friends as we age

Oprah Winfrey recently revealed that she only has three close friends. I had to laugh when reading this, because I can assure you that for most, not all obviously, we tend to limit our friends as we get older.

I’m 42 years old and have cut many friends out of my life over the years. It’s hard to say why that is without sounding like a pompous a-hole, but I’ll try, with some recent anecdotes.

To be frank, and this has only grown more pronounced over the years, but I find it really hard to have conversations with others. The majority of people I interact with, even partially, are simple minded and prefer talking about other people, rather than ideas.

Most people are not critical thinkers, and don’t really think about anything else besides their own needs and wants. For instance, I was talking to someone not long ago about ribs, that was the subject. How she was making ribs for her boyfriend. And I was simply not interested in that line of conversation.

If they tend to talk about politics, they hold myopic views, incapable of considering any other arguments outside of the ideology they hold dear. Many, on both the right and left of the political spectrum, believe they have reached moral purity, and questions, criticisms, debate are evil, dangerous, and not worth the time.

The woke religion, for instance, has grown exponentially over the past decade, and here in Canada, it is challenging to meet anyone who doesn’t hold some extreme view they consider to be the correct one. Especially in urban centres like Vancouver and Toronto.

I was at a bar about a month ago when the server was patting himself on the back for banning a man who was wearing a “blue lives matter” cap. He politely asked the customer to remove it, as it was “offensive” and “racist” and when the man refused, the server denied him service.

I asked the server why he did this, why wouldn’t he simply let the man enjoy his beer, he wasn’t bothering anyone. The server gave me his rather insipid reasons, how “blue lives matter” is indication of an impure mind, but I responded that he doesn’t know that, it was simply an article of clothing and the customer probably didn’t even know what it meant, and if he did, so what, it’s his right to support police officers. Perhaps his father or his mother or his brother or his sister or his wife, or his husband or whatever it is, is a COP. The server was under the impression that he was right, any other view was wrong. In fact, he didn’t consider any other view, indicated by his stunned look to my comments.

Interacting with gay men is challenging because gay culture is painfully shallow. I was speaking to a young gay man — when I say young he is in his early to mid-30s — about what he got up to the night previous. He drank, did cocaine to drink more, went to the ‘rippers’, paid the stripper $40 to fool around, then went home, hooked up with another guy on Grindr, and then fell asleep around 7:00 a.m. only to wake up four hours later to start his bartending shift. While in his company he spent the majority of his time talking about himself, his sexual adventures, showing no interest in any one else except for the gay men on Instagram and Grindr, and sometimes would talk about what he was going to order on UberEats. He would show me photos of men he found hot, and that was really all he had to offer.

Here’s the thing: I find nothing about this man interesting. He has extended his adolescence well into his 30s, has nothing to show for it but empty stories and experiences that literally demonstrate how vacuous, vacant and vapid he is. He’s either oblivious to this, or he’s not bothered with being shallow. There’s nothing else he brings to the table except for drama and juvenile antics.

What I find with many of these weak minds is that they have nothing. No savings for retirement, no home ownership, no money in the bank. No ability to have a conversation or to discuss ideas that don’t remind them of them. They live in a Peter Pan type fantasy that they’ll never age, as they are aging. I’d rather pass on having a conversation with any of them, or getting to know more about them, as I think I learned almost all I needed or could know.

Many times over the years, while out at a social function listening to people drone on endlessly about themselves, I try to find a bar where I can sit by myself; that’s my happy place.

I have many acquaintances, but few close friends, which I prefer. I prefer spending most of my time alone, or with one or two other persons, only.

I found over the years this has brought me a lot more satisfaction and happiness.

I do not engage in any gossip and if I learn that someone has gossiped about my personal life from the morsel of information they think they know, I cut them out. I’m not doing that to them, and I don’t appreciate them doing it to me.

I have one life, I am fortunate and lucky, more than most to have the life that I have, to have people in my life who truly love me, and at 42 years old I choose to spend time with quality people only.

This is why I believe as we age, some of us choose to have a small inner circle of trusted friends. Experience has shown us that quality is far more important than quantity.

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