Seven ages of friendship
We have become so used to making connections with the click of a button that it might sound odd to suggest that anyone still longs to make friends in real life. Yet the disturbing truth is that the number of people we feel we can turn to falls rapidly after the age of 25. We might think Facebook and Whatsapp are saving our relationships, but they only slow the rate of decay. And we need to work hard to maintain friendships we want to keep. “There’s something about seeing the whites of people’s eyes that really makes a difference,” says Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University. But it’s not all bad news. Although we might find we have fewer friends when we are older, we often end up feeling closer to the ones we keep, with more shared history and fewer inhibitions than we had when we were younger. These friendships are often deeper and more fulfilling.