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Join AARP at 1 p. Learn more. By this point in your life, you've got plenty of friends, from the mom you bonded with when your now-grown kids were in kindergarten to the convivial neighbor you met when you moved to your new condo. But how do you maximize the health-enhancing, stress-reducing, fun-increasing potential of your friendships?

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10 Ways To Make Your Friendships Closer Than Ever Before

Like any relationship, friendships take effort and work. As people hurtle toward the peak busyness of middle age, friends—who are usually a lower priority than partners, parents, and children—tend to fall by the wayside. Our increasingly mobile world also strains friendship. In one study that longitudinally followed best-friend pairs, people moved 5.

This matters because when people move, their families may come with them, but they leave their friends behind. And even though extended, remote social networks are more accessible than ever for anyone with an internet connection, proximity still makes a difference. Moving is associated with shallower relationships , and people who move frequently are more willing to dispose of their friends, perhaps because they get used to losing them.

As people get married later, and the ranks of single women rise, more and more books and television shows have been exploring friendship dynamics. But even if someone wants to make friends a high priority in their life, unlike with romantic relationships, for friendships there are fewer cultural scripts to follow to do the work of befriending someone, or making a friendship closer. Later, they hope to use what they learn to fuel some sort of business or nonprofit venture aimed at better facilitating friendships.

Kitestring recently put out a report of its findings from around 20 in-depth interviews, and 50 smaller interviews. The first was that the more points of connection you have with someone, the stronger the friendship will be.

A friend who you see in only one context—the office, for example—is likely to be a less close friend than someone who you see in many contexts, and connect with over many different things, rather than a single shared interest. The second takeaway was actually borrowed from existing research on romantic relationships.

I see friendship as an ongoing conversation. A way of literally coauthoring the story of our relationship. If you want it to be a bigger, deeper friendship, you need to repot it to a bigger context. You might need to bring them to your house. Regardless of the chosen metaphor, Rawlins has some similar advice. A lot of things about modern life make it easy for the air in a friendship to overtake the intention.

They both have a point: Technology can make friendships shallower, but it can also make them stronger, depending on how All it really means, Harris says, is putting effort into a relationship. And the fact of that effort is probably more important than the exact form it takes. In a study that Harris did, the quality of the time friends spent together—specifically their self-reported depth of conversation, and the amount of self-disclosure—was linked to higher friendship satisfaction.

Sometimes life is so busy that people may not be able to keep friendship from falling to the bottom of their priority list, much as they may desire otherwise. It can be a challenging needle to thread. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Skip to content. Sign in My Account Subscribe. The Atlantic Crossword. The Print Edition.

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How to Have Closer Friendships (and Why You Need Them)

Like any relationship, friendships take effort and work. As people hurtle toward the peak busyness of middle age, friends—who are usually a lower priority than partners, parents, and children—tend to fall by the wayside. Our increasingly mobile world also strains friendship. In one study that longitudinally followed best-friend pairs, people moved 5. This matters because when people move, their families may come with them, but they leave their friends behind.

Last updated on February 12, Scientists at Stony Brook University in New York have designed a method where 2 strangers were able to become close friends in less than 60 minutes.

The conversation goes something like this:. We may start to feel uncomfortable over time and even avoid seeing people we really like because our words and actions and energy and desires, for that matter! However, every now and then someone new comes into my world, and I follow the approach below to intentionally build a wonderful new connection over time. This may sound like a catch, but you can think of it like exercising: The less you exercise, the lazier and more out of shape you will feel, and it becomes harder and harder to get to the gym.

How Friends Become Closer

I have friends who like to hike, and friends who like to chat over coffee and friends who live far away but whom I talk to a few times a year. But close friends? Not so much. A childhood friend and I had a falling-out, never to be repaired. Another close friend moved away. But the research is clear: Close friendships are necessary for optimal health and well-being. Levine said. True close friendship unsurprisingly does not need to be quite as extreme. Chen said. Reciprocation is also a key element to creating intimacy.

How to Become Close Friends With Anyone

Building friendships takes time, and can often be a struggle for those who are introverted or shy. The next step is to forge closer friendships. Be Yourself Sometimes, the last person you want to be is yourself — you feel shy and awkward and completely uninteresting. When it comes to making friendships and getting closer to current friends, do your best to stay true to yourself.

Sometimes, you and the person just click, and you immediately become joined at the hip.

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5 Ways to Get Closer to Your Friends

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8 ways to bond with a friend to become even closer

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Jan 17, - Chances are good that you, like many people, have that one friend in your life who you love to be around and talk to, even if you can't call them.

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How to Get Closer to Someone & Become Real Friends

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