I was fortunate enough in college to befriend a woman who had come back to school late. I was of regular college age, and she was in her mid-thirties. At the time, I was in a relationship with whom I thought was the love of my life and actually turned out to be a possessive, unstable psychopath. Luckily for me, not only did my older friend recognize this (because she’d been there before), but she found very gentle, tactful ways to help me see the light on my own, leave the relationship, and stay out of the relationship. That’s just one of the things I’ll be forever grateful to her for. All of my friends that were my age at the time thought my terrible boyfriend was just wonderful—but they were young, like me, and didn’t see through the BS, like I didn’t. I’ve since come to find so many beautiful benefits to having an older friend. Here is why you should befriend an older woman.
They can advise you on your career
Do you take that position? Or will it just distract you from what you’re really passionate about? Should you take that cross-country job for six months? It will be a hassle, but it could come with certain long-term perks. Your older friend can see the master plan better than you can. She’s literally a hundred steps ahead of you, so she can easily see 20 steps ahead of your standpoint.
And even make some introductions
Your older buddy can even make some introductions for you! Hey, her peers are now established, well-known, and successful. You never know whom your friend may know who could give you a job or mentor you.
They’ll remind you of work/life balance
Your older friend has learned the hard way about work/life balance. She’s lost good friends because she was obsessed with her career. Or, she may have progressed at a slow pace because she was too busy partying. Either way, she can see in which direction the scales are tipped too far for you, and help you adjust.
They’ll stop you from burning bridges
When you’re young, you’re emotional. You’re righteous. You see things in black and white. And so, you sometimes send some nasty emails to colleagues and bosses who you felt wronged you…that you later regret. Your older friend will calm you down when you’re about to burn a bridge. She’ll help you see the benefit of doing things tactfully.
They know the good spots to eat
Hey, they’ve just been here longer than you. So they don’t waste their time with the trendy places and whatever is currently being covered by the food section of the local entertainment paper. They know the really good establishments that have been around for a while (and that don’t have lines).
And the places to shop
They also know the good places to shop! They probably have some friends who custom make fabulous outfits, or who have exclusive, invitation-only, vintage designer clothing swaps etc.
They have financial advice
They can advise you on what to do with your money so you can be in a good place when you’re their age. They may introduce you to their financial advisor, and even come to the meeting to help you be more comfortable.
They just know more people
When you go out with an older friend, they know people—the bartender here, the manager there, the hostess there. You get special treatment. You don’t have to wait in lines. It’s pretty fabulous.
They can give you relationship advice
They can give you some sound relationship advice. They’ll always spot a bad relationship when you’re in one. Or, they’ll spot mistakes you’re making. They can help you avoid some heartache.
They’ll advise you on feuds with your peers
Your older friend can help you determine what to do or say when you’re in a fight with a friend your own age. She’s been there herself.
They’ll put a stop to your impulsiveness
It’s good to have an older, wiser friend around who will convince you not to invest all of your savings in this absurd business idea of your other friend, or who will talk you out of joining that cult.
They’re down to just relax
When you can’t keep up with friends your age and don’t want to pretend you can, your older girlfriend is down to just drink wine and catch up. She also knows the best spas and places to relax at.
They can give you anti-aging tips
Your wiser companion can probably advise you on mistakes to avoid, that she wishes she had avoided at your age—I’m talking about beauty and health mistakes that you’ll pay a high price for later.
They’re full of knowledge
A friend who has lived longer than you just has more knowledge. Anywhere you travel, she probably has tips on what to see. Any big purchases you make, she probably has advice on how to get the best deal.
Whatever it is, they’ve been there before
Whatever you’re going through, your older friend has probably already been there. She can empathize with you deeply, and that is invaluable. She can give you advice on how to get through it, because that’s how she got through it.
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