The older we get, the more we need our friends—and the harder it is to keep them. The Atlantic author shares the story of two friends and the painful dissolution of a friendship. 

We tend to lose friendships as we age, primarily because most of our friends we have connected with have been through work. As people change jobs more often, these friends become more distant.

As the author shares, “When you’re in middle age, which I am (mid-middle age, to be precise—I’m now 52), you start to realize how very much you need your friends. They’re the flora and fauna in a life that hasn’t had much diversity, because you’ve been so busy—so relentlessly, stupidly busy—with middle-age things: kids, house, spouse, or some modern-day version of Zorba’s full catastrophe.

Then one day you look up and discover that the ambition monkey has fallen off your back; the children into whom you’ve pumped thousands of kilowatt-hours are no longer partial to your company; your partner may or may not still be by your side. And what, then, remains?”

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