This Is What Friendship Really Looks Like In Your 40s

I talked to my best friend last week for almost three hours. We haven’t spoken since before Christmas. Of course, this was not by choice but we know how this works–talks have to be scheduled since we are both busy moms in our 40s who are trying to fit it all in and get some sleep on the side.

We’ve been exchanging choppy text messages for months.

“Can you talk Friday night?”

“Nope, I’m taking the kids for pizza then I promised Anna we’d watch a movie.”

“Are you free this week to talk?”

“Sure, call me whenever and we’ll catch up.”

Only another week goes by and my friend was too busy to call, and I was too busy to notice.

This is a time in my life when I feel true friendships and can let other relationships go. (Twenty20 @crystalmariesing)

I love my friends but we are all busy

I love my friends and I try not to use the excuse of being busy but we all know there are many times it’s a fact of life, not an excuse. 

My friend knows she’s important to me and while we are both busy that doesn’t take away from our friendship in the least. We aren’t letting our friendship die because life is getting in the way, instead we have a mutual understanding that if we can’t connect it’s okay and our feelings won’t be hurt.

And last week when I had lunch plans with a friend and she called just as I was about to leave because her 20-year-old son was in town and unexpectedly needed her, I understood. 

“Family first,” I said. “Especially now since I know you haven’t seen him very much.”

This, my friends, is friendship in your forties.

What women friendship in your 40s looks like

  1. You know you will connect at some point or another and there will be no resentment because it didn’t happen sooner.
  2. You know it’s going to take some scheduling and finessing to make it work and you are confident you will come together when things slow down enough to finally have a conversation.
  3. Friendship in your forties means picking up the phone and saying things like, “Oh my God, my hot flashes have been out of control.”
  4. Friendship in your forties means you may hide up in your room and lock the door because you need to connect with other women your age in order to breathe some new oxygen into your soul.
  5. Friendship in your forties means you may only talk a few times a year but that’s okay because you make those conversations count.
  6. Friendship in your forties is concentrated with a shared understanding of how confusing this time can be– the inbetween stages where your kids are growing up and you are wondering what’s next for you.
  7. Friendship in your forties means you look at the woman next to you and realize you’ve both been through four decades of life and you both carry a lot around with you.
  8. Friendship in your forties means there are times when you are both completely fulfilled by sitting on a park bench sipping coffee, not saying a word. 

I still crave a girls’ night out but now I want it for the deep, meaningful conversations

While I still love a good girls’ night out, now that I’m almost on the wrong side of forty, those moments aren’t the ones I crave. I crave the deep conversations, the hours sitting in a restaurant talking, the quick phone call when one of us has a question about a product that will help us sleep. 

When you are in your forties, the number of friends you have in your phone doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is you have one (or a few) women you can count on regardless of how often you see each other, how often you talk, and how many times you text.

This is the time in your life when you are able to feel a true friendship and you have no problem letting everything else that feels forced or fake fall away. You aren’t afraid of being accepted or liked. You are looking for people who let you be your organic self, always.

I don’t know what I would do without the women in my life

I honestly don’t know what I’d do without the precious women in my life I’m lucky enough to call friends. They are getting me through mothering teens, menopause, finding a good night cream, and they get it (like no one else) when I tell them something is off and I’ve felt a shift deep inside since I’ve turned forty.

They don’t try and figure it out for me because they feel it too. They don’t know exactly what this life shift is about and that’s okay because a true friendship in your forties means you are past trying to solve each other’s problem. You know by now the best thing you can do is vent to each other, listen to each other, and remind each other that we are more than capable of figuring things out.

Whether you have these conversations once a week or a few times a year, they mean everything and will always be enough.

More to Read:

I’m in My 40s and I Feel Like I’m Waiting for My Life to Begin

About Katie BinghamSmith

Katie Bingham-Smith lives in Maine with her three kids. She is a Staff Writer at Scary Mommy, shoe addict and pays her kids to rub her feet. You can see more of her on Facebook and Instagram .

Read more posts by Katie

Don't miss out!
Want more like this? Get updates straight to your inbox.