Age Differences in Friendships - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-10-2004, 03:13 AM
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I don't want to imply that you should only be friends with people your own age, or anything like that. 'S ridiculous. (IMHO, of course.) I just wanted some opinions on something.

Now, I'm not social. I don't have many 'friends'. However, there is a woman in my karate/muay thai classes with whom I have a lot in common, and great affection for. I've known her for almost two years now, and lately we've been doing lots of stuff together (mostly training related).

She asked me to go running with her yesterday, and I said sure, so we went running. While we were talking, she said a little about her friendships, and mentioned that *I* was the one person she talked to most in the whole town, including her husband whom she actually *lives* with. Taking into account the amount of real talking I do, I could say the same for her.

It occurred to me later that it's a little unusual for us to be friends, but my only reason for that is that she's 10 years older than me (at 26). I wouldn't know if real friendships between teens and adults are common, so thought I'd ask my peeps* at VB. So, what y'all think?

*Disclaimer: I am in no way implying that the "peeps" at VB are my possessions in any way, shape or form.
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#2 Old 09-10-2004, 03:39 AM
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Hm.. It's not a big deal at all. I'm 18, and I have friends in their 30's, and we get along great.

Being able to relate to people across the board, as far as age goes, is one thing I'm glad I have the ability to do.
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#3 Old 09-10-2004, 03:48 AM
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Yeah no biggie I am 24 (just turned) and have friends who are school age and friend in their 40's and maybe even 50's. I lived with a friend for over a year and he was around 40 (I'm the only one who knew his real age.) At my course at college I got on well with a woman in her 50's who was veggie and grew a lot of her own food. We never did anything more than going for coffee and looking around charity shops but we got on well. Also I have younger friends at work and tae kwon do. I really dont see age as a big deal- it's more about how you get along. 10 years doesn't seem that much of a gap at your age

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#4 Old 09-10-2004, 05:45 AM
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I met my best friend in the whole world when she had just turned 17 and I had just turned 24. I know it's not 10 years (it's actually 7) but sometimes you just can't pick who you click with. Love finds you; you don't find love (love comes in all varietys whether it be friendship, parental, sibling, husband, lover, etc).

I think it's o.k. really. Unless she starts acting goofy and saying things you're not comfortable with. Just keep your eye out for red flags (which isn't a bad idea in any relationship).
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#5 Old 09-10-2004, 06:08 AM
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I just had lunch yesterday with my friend from school. He is 45, I am 23. We get along great. I have always had friends that were older than me. It's no big deal.
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#6 Old 09-10-2004, 08:21 AM
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from working at various folk festivals and being really involved int he very small GBLT community in Regina I have friends that are in there fifties and fourties (two of the most amazing women I know) I'm 20...if there's a connection age doesn't matter.
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#7 Old 09-10-2004, 10:18 AM
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I think the older you get the more natural it is for someone to have a varied age range of friends. When you are a kid, you are usually exposed to other kids your age. Adults tend to be in the position of being teacher, parent, uncle, etc. I might question the intention of an older man who wants to be really good friends with a teenage girl (or similar situation), but I don't think its odd for you to have a female friend in her twenties. Uncommon, maybe. I actually think it could be a great thing. Shes has a little more life experience, but shes probably still somewhat in touch with what its like to be a teen. By that I mean, shes survived the teenage pressures, but the crap is still fresh in her mind. I think a lot of teens could benefit from having a slightly older, but responsible friend (ie-not taking you out to get wasted at stripclubs).
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#8 Old 09-10-2004, 11:21 AM
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Age in lifespan does not equal age of maturity..IMHO. There are people my age that will never raise over the maturity level of a 10 year old, and I wouldn't have squat to do with them. Then again, I've been enlightened by folks far below my years.. I take each person as they come.
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#9 Old 09-10-2004, 12:04 PM
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I would only be concerned if it were like a 30 year-old man who really wanted to be "friends" with a 16 year-old girl. Once everyone involved is over 18, it's a different ball game. But being friends with an older person because you have something in common (e.g., a karate class) seems perfectly normal.

Personally, I'm 24 and my real friends range from 22-30s, with "work buddies" as young as 18.
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#10 Old 09-10-2004, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Jinga View Post

I think the older you get the more natural it is for someone to have a varied age range of friends.

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#11 Old 09-10-2004, 01:34 PM
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I don't see it as odd either. As jinga's pretty normal for your circle of friends to widen as you get older. Once you enter the workforce, in particular, you are often surrounded by people of varying ages (as opposed to highschool).

It sounds like you two enjoy each other's more power to ya.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#12 Old 09-10-2004, 03:40 PM
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I have friends that range in age from early 20's (i'm 25) to mid 50's. And I mean actual friends that I go out with and do things with and call and chat to and exchange gifts with, not just acquaintences or co-workers that one calls friends for lack of a better word. I think its cool, and keeps things interesting!
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#13 Old 09-10-2004, 06:03 PM
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Age differences are sometimes a positive. Some of my friends who are younger (teens and young adults) are special to me because of their age. I get a youthful perspective, and, if anyone's listening, I can pass on some sage advice. I suppose, I am the friend to teenagers that I wish I had had when I was that age. I saw people my parents' age as a bunch of emotionally screwed up losers who needed kids to push around to feel like they mattered. I wouldn't want anyone else to feel that way, so I'm the first to come out and say, "Don't worry about adults, they're as full of **** as anyone else."

I think it's good to have friends of different ages, because people outside your generation often have things to offer that people your own age don't. I think that this idea that all of our friends should be our peers starts with school. Since all of your friends are in your classes, and, hence, your age, you get accustomed to thinking of friends as "people like yourself." Often, it's people UNLIKE yourself that can give you the most.

My 2¢

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#14 Old 09-11-2004, 01:26 AM
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Cool bananas.

Thanks for all the replies, guys.

We're both kind of anti-social so it might take a while, but I think we'll end up being really close. Lots in common and all. Funny thing is, she says she remembers my older sisters, and my younger sister (from years ago when she was my age) but not me, and it's me that she ends up being friends with.

I thought it was weird that she talked to me more than her own husband but come to think of it, i probably see her more than I see my family. Huh. How about that.
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#15 Old 09-14-2004, 10:37 AM
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This is her issue, but I could imagine a spouse feeling threatened if she had another friend she spent more time with and talked with more. There's nothing wrong with having friends, and I applaud both of you for overcoming your antisocial tendencies. But... it's unwise to base your entire life around one relationship. I tend to see it from the other end of the stick--the friend who gets left behind when the boyfriend gets possessive--but there's also a legitimate time to say "Enough friends. I need to go home and get to know the people I live with." You don't choose your friends on the basis of age, and likewise it's silly to exclude family members from friendship.

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#16 Old 09-16-2004, 06:59 AM
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I don't think she's giving up time with him for me - more that, some of the things she used to do by herself, now I'm doing those with her, if that makes sense. I don't *think* I'm intruding any...

Her hubby actually came running with us the other day, that was cool.

What weirds me out some is how similar we are... I swear she's me in 10 years (only, not veg, and she hates kids )
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#17 Old 09-16-2004, 07:55 AM
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My two best friends are 15 or so years my senior. I met them when I was 18. (over the internet GASP!). And I am now 23... So I don't see an issue with it.
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#18 Old 09-16-2004, 11:02 AM
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That's really cool, Gnarly. I love that feeling when you're becoming good friends with someone.

Everyone else here has expressed my sentiments, so I won't be repetitive.
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#19 Old 09-16-2004, 11:08 AM
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I'm 33 and one of my very best friends is a woman I met thru work. She's almost 60. So, we're not a teen, but that's a pretty big age difference.

I appreciate her for everything she's been thru in life and that she still has such zeal for life. We have many things in common too, and that's important in a friendship.


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#20 Old 09-16-2004, 11:12 AM
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i think it's all good. i hang out with people of my own age, in their 20's, mid 20's, late 20's and even early thirties.

my mother, on the other hand, had a really good friend in Ukraine who was 22 when we left (my mother was 35)... and here she became friends with a 24 year old girl .....

so age really doesn't matter.
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#21 Old 09-16-2004, 11:41 AM
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When i started my job i felt strange because everyone was older than i am (19) and their ages range from 28 to 56... at first i looked at them as just people i work with, but now i think of them as good friends, i forget that they r older than i am, we just all act like dorks and have fun! i also have friends that are younger than me. so no i don't think it matter at all what age someone is.
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#22 Old 09-16-2004, 09:49 PM
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One of my best friends from college is 10 years older than me. I met him when I was 18 and he was 28. I tend to get along well with teens myself, even though I'm in my 20's. Similar maturity levels I guess.

Oh yeah, and I 've had friends at work who were my mom's age or older.
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#23 Old 09-17-2004, 11:31 AM
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When I was 10 one of my best friends was a 60 + man who lived down the street. He was always up to something interesting, like making a bird house or planting flowers and he was a very patient listener. He was gentle and easy going and many kids hung around and in his house. However, one day he told me that I was his "very favourite" and gave me a beautiful wooden box, with a sliding lid, that he had carved by hand out of a single piece of wood. I still have it.
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#24 Old 09-17-2004, 04:15 PM
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I think that after a certain age it's fine to be friends with people of different ages. I do think there would be something odd about a 30/40 something being friends with kids (think Michael Jackson).
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