I debated how to tackle this subject of female friendships once you turn 40 (or you may have noticed issues in your 30’s). In the last month I’ve had two significant friendships change. I won’t go into the details of who did what to whom or who’s right or wrong. Those things are all subject to interpretation.
But what is clear: once you turn 40, your friendships are just different. Spouses, children, aging parents, work, health; personal, parenting and professional goals are all pretty overwhelming.
Your time is tight.
Your patience is short.
You no longer have hours to sit on the phone and hash out your issues like you did with your girlfriends in high school. When things get “toxic-esque” you may decide to cut your ties quicker and keep it moving.
Going forward I’m asking God to take the reins on the type of friends in my path.
So here is my Over 40 Friendship Prayer although I’m sure it’ll fit for any age group.
You’ve seen & heard some of the mess I’ve made recently, so I’m asking you to fix my friendships. I have made poor decisions on who to keep close and how to handle disputes.
Give me the discernment to tell genuine friendships from fake.
Let me see who is truly a part of my trusted circle and who is NOT.
Send me friends who are seeking a faithful path so positive people can surround me.
Make it crystal clear who is an associate, colleague, acquaintance or true friend.
Lord, I trust you will fill in the gaps of loneliness from the calls, texts and play date and girl’s night out invitations I will no longer receive. Help me to use my time wisely – to focus on my family and volunteering with worthy projects to fill my time.
Give me the words to explain to my child why we no longer see their friends as often – without bringing him into the issues of adults’.
Lord, work on my heart. And my words. And my intentions.
Show me how to forgive without being fooled.
Help me to a be listening ear and not be a dumping ground for others and their issues.
Let me remember my friends, past & present, in my prayers because they need you just as much as I do.
In Jesus Name,
#FiguringOut40 & #FiguringOut40LA
In case you’re new to my parenting talk show, last year I started the theme #FiguringOut40 to explore my feelings about getting older and still seeking answers.
Last year, I took a solo mom vacation to Los Angeles and fulfilled all of my celebrity gossip addictions like the TMZ Tour, attending a live taping of Chelsea Lately and visiting The Grove. I called those stories #FiguringOut40LA.
Comment below: Are you over 30 or 40? What’s changed about your relationships and personal goals? Are you #FiguringOut40 like me?
I love this prayer! I cannot tell you how many times I have discussed the issue of making friends, keeping friends and prioritizing friendships now that my life is so very different than it was before kids and husband. No one prepares you for these changes. Thanks for making the “problem” real by writing this prayer.
I think the changes you talked about here are accurate. As we get older, we are more set in our ways and our time is precious. There are only so many hours in the day and so many more are needed. It is better to get rid of toxic relationships with friends and live a life one can enjoy. I like that you are allowing prayer to guide your thoughts and actions. Best wishes with the people who make the cut to remain your friends.
Love this post. I am pretty much a loaner and have been for most of my life. As an only child, I learned how to figure out things on my own while comforting myself. I have been blessed to have a few ladies who I call me close friends, and as I get older, have a better appreciation for friendship and loyalty 🙂
I’ll start with AMEN! I am 3 years shy if 40 and I am still searching for me. Life has changed and I find myself sticking to the friends I have had almost forever. But they are thousands of miles away so I also need guidance regarding new relationships. Life has changed since becoming a wife and mom. I won’t lie… I often feel lonely but I’d rather that feeling over drama. This is a great prayer and remember past and present friends is so on point
And painfully relevant to me as I attempt to figure out 50! At 47, I embarked on a fitness journey that has left me almost 40 lbs lighter, and stronger than I ever could have imagined. I am finally comfortable in my own skin. The downside to that is all the hits I’ve taken from my ever shrinking “inner circle.” Words of encouragement and relentless support comes not from those who have known me the longest and witnessed my struggles over the years, but rather from newfound friends (of all ages) who put in the work right beside me, and know for a fact that it’s not easy. Maybe that’s why we like it so much. Because its not easy. Yet, we manage to get through it together.
Thanks again for a great post.
I just turned 34 a few weeks ago, but what you are talking about with friendships now is something I went through in my very early twenties. A good friend of mine, was upset with me and we stopped speaking for a few months. We became friends again but it wasn’t the same. When I started working multiple jobs getting out of college, my budget only allowed a cup of coffee. She took that time to complain about all the things in her life that was going wrong. This was every single time we met. A few years later, she mentions to me in IM that we had grown a part and thought that we should end our friendship. I apologized because I know that life gets in the way but I think sometimes it does for a reason. It was a short time later that I realized that just because people come into your lives, does not mean they are meant to say. She was negative and one should never have to try and convince a friend that you should remain friends. I let the relationship go up into the air like a helium filled balloon left to roam in the open skies.
The details as to what happened and who is to blame is irrelevant but after that moment I reevaluated ALL of the people I call friend. Some people got let go and those who matter, that is where I spend my spare time. Life is too short to spend it with people who are not really your friend or that let their negativity spill over.
Your friendship prayer will help us all! #YouAreNotAlone
Love this! Once I hit 30 I had many of these realizations and am noticing that the dynamics of my friendships are seriously changing. I’m growing and just don’t have the patience and/or times for some things. My prayer has been for patience, understanding and discernment. There are relationships I’ve been directed to let go of and it hurt but it was necessary and I felt physically and emotionally lighter afterwards. The friendships that I do have seem to have been taken to a different level over the past few years – we get that we’re focused on our families, careers, etc but we realize the importance of taking time out for ourselves, too. We’ve committed to making time for ourselves and each other on a regular basis to ensure we don’t become burned out, tackle depression issues and just be supportive when necessary.
I think as we grow and mature in life friendships will always change. I was a mother very young, so my priorities shifted way before my friends. I still have friends just starting family when I have a child old enough to start his own family! I definitely can relate as I’ve seen my fair share of friendships change and waver. As I’ve grown older, I understand this and continue to want the best for these people regardless if the friendship continues. Handling those relationships with grace and humility makes the severing of ties much easier and loving from a distance helps as well.
I’ve been fortunate to have best friends from high school who have remained extremely close over the years. Priorities change, but they are still the same. I do understand not having a lot of close friends locally, though. This prayer makes me think that there might be some other folks here that I can put more effort into spending time with. <3
I’m not close to 40 yet but my life has changed a lot and so did my friendships once I started having children. My priorities has changed once I had a family so no longer could I just hang out with friends whenever I wanted to. Some friends understood that and some didn’t and I’m perfectly fine with that.
I’m almost 40 and have noticed that some friendships are falling to the side while others are getting stronger…and I’m perfectly okay with that! Since I’m shy, I’ve never had an abundance of friends. But, as I get older and more comfortable in my own skin, I’ve started to let other people in who are not a part of my immediate family. I’ve learned to love and appreciate my friends in spite of their flaws, knowing that they most certainly love me in spite of mine! It was really cool to connect with some of my grad school friends who I haven’t seen or really connected with in 5-10 years and find that we can still chat like old times. And yes…it is essential to figure out in which category (friend, acquaintance, associate, etc.) people fall to have appropriate expectations. Looking forward to continuing to see what you learn as you figure out 40.
I’m only 25, but it’s important to be aware of things as I do get older so I can learn from other’s wisdom and not make mistakes that others have already made!
I love this prayer! I’m over 40 and a lot of it applies.
I used to say, I’m over 40. Now, to myself, I accept it’s okay to say, I’m in my late 40s. I’m realizing I have to filter what I say. Sometimes, I’m in a group and people just speak their minds. Freedom of speech is one thing, but most messages have different ways to be delivered. Usually there is a classy way, that respects others’ feelings. Thanks for sharing.
beautiful spoken word.
I really enjoyed the proverbs. I’m not too far away from 40.
I am over 30 and am about to start #FiguringOut40. My personal goals are alot more serious as I get older.
I am over 40. I have always been very discerning when it comes to choosing friends. What I have found is that a lot of people that I THOUGHT were friends, really weren’t. I have also found that a few of my friends are what I call “lifers” who have been with me for 20+ years and are here to stay. Not everyone is meant to stay in your life. I cherish the lifers and forget the rest. Easy. Nice prayer and post! Best wishes to you!
So much changed once I turned 40. I almost instantly became 100% comfortable with who I am. I also got rid of the BS in my life and began to focus on what mattered to me most: my relationship with God, my peace of mind and my family.