The Benefits of Age-Gap Friendship

Are your friends all around your own age? Many of us “seasoned” folks might likely answer “yes.” But, why? Probably because we feel a little hesitant about forging friendships with people from different generations.  Probably because we think we won’t have anything in common.

When you stop and think about it, however, there really isn’t much logic behind the assumption that different ages have little in common. Plenty of interests are shared across generations. Besides that, there’s plenty of information and life experience that can be shared between people of different ages.

Age alone does not predict the quality or strength of a friendship. A good friendship of any kind adds something positive to our lives. Friends who are not exactly like us can bring a new perspective into our lives. They can enrich our lives in ways that someone who has lived a life similar to our own may not be able to do in quite the same way.

The truth is that a friendship of different ages can bring unexpected and welcome rewards for both people… younger and older. A friend of a different age can expand our horizons in much the same way as a friend with a different cultural background.

So, the next time you make a new acquaintance and feel like you really connect with the person, do not let an age gap stop you from pursuing and building a friendship. A random circumstance like age should never get in the way of what might become a deep and lasting relationship.

Here are a few benefits of an age-gap friendship…

  • An age-gap friendship may squash misconceptions. It’s very easy for younger and older people to have inaccurate or misguided ideas about the other generation. Bridging the generation gap through friendship can be enlightening and change false impressions.

  • As an older friend, you can share your wisdom and experience. You’ve got a lot to share with a younger friend whether you realize it or not. You have a range experiences, accomplishments, and even missteps that have taught you lessons about lots of things, like career, relationships, and finances. You’ve gained insight over the course of your life that could benefit a younger friend.

  • You can learn from your younger friend. Let’s face it age does not provide all the answers to life. For example, with the onslaught of technological advances taking place over just the past couple of decades, there seems to be something new to learn every day. A younger friend can teach you about all the new technologies and advancements like texting, social media, smartphones, tablets, etc.

  • It’s easier to stay current in our youth-driven society. As we get older, it can be challenging to stay up on popular culture and trends of the day. A younger friend can help keep you in touch with what’s going on in the world around you. Just because we are seasoned doesn’t mean we should live in the past or in a bubble. Staying current can help keep us feeling vital and youthful.

  • An age-gap friendship may open doors to new interests. Friends from different generations can introduce each other to music, hobbies, people, and activities they might otherwise miss. For example, younger friends may not be familiar with music and performers from the past while an older friend may have no idea about today’s latest hits and music genres. A younger friend may enjoy learning about something like knitting or fishing from a seasoned friend, and an older friend may like to learn about the hobbies and activities a younger friend enjoys.

  • You may embrace new outlooks and ideas. Friends from different generations can open each other up to different perspectives and looking at things a fresh way. Whether young or seasoned, it’s easy to become tied to specific beliefs and opinions. But, just because we harbor a certain view about something does not mean that the view is set in stone. No matter our age, we grow as people when we open up and allow our beliefs and attitudes to evolve and grow.

  • You may be inspired to be more active. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as we age is important. Part of a healthy lifestyle is staying as active as possible. Younger people tend to live a more “on the go” lifestyle than a lot of us seasoned folks. While we may not always be able to keep up, there’s no reason not to join in when we can. An age-gap friendship may offer opportunities to be active in ways you might otherwise miss out on.

Let's find all the joy in aging. It fuels the spirit!

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