Did you know that Australian Gen Xers – those of us aged roughly between 40 and 55 – are in the midst of a ‘friendship drought’?
New research from Carnival Cruise Line has revealed that while over 30% of us claim that our friends live close by, we never have time to see them due to work and family commitments. Half of us say that we have loads of friends on social media, who we never see in real life.
What’s more, over half of us – 57%, to be precise – say that we would like to spend quality time with our close friends like we used to. You know, back in the good ol’ days.
Two in three Australian Gen Xers feel that, over the years, our friendship groups have diminished, and we’ve held onto a handful of close friends. 60% of us think we had more friends in the past, before our work and family lives took hold.
So, what to do to overcome this friendship drought? We’ve got a few ideas.
Take a trip
Carnival Cruise Line have reported that 45% of their current guests in the Gen X age group are leaving their kids at home when they travel, opting to globetrot with friends instead. It’s a great way to reconnect while trying new things and making new memories – memories that will last a lifetime.
Start a class
Nothing keeps you accountable like pre-paying for a series of classes. Whether it’s a fitness class or learning a new skill like pottery or painting, find a hobby that you and your besties will all enjoy and stick at it, week after week. Extra points if you choose something you can chat during, like boxing, horse riding or bridge.
Sign up to a challenge
Whether it’s an ocean swim or a fun run, signing up to something that requires weeks – or even months – of training is a great way to bond with your friends. Meet up for regular sessions and bond over the nerves and excitement of the impending challenge, then treat yourself to a fancy lunch or dinner when you finish it.
Start a book club
Let’s be real: book clubs are only partly about books. Gather your girl gang once a month – or more frequently, if you like – and catch up, under the guise of discussing your latest literary adventure. Bonding activities that involve wine and cheese are our personal favourites.
Just stop by
There once was a time where popping into your friends’ houses just to say ‘hello’ was totally commonplace – and in the world of mobile phones, it’s never been easier. Swing them a text to make sure they’re home, and just bring some tea or coffee and plenty of gossip. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to organise once you start getting into the habit.