In America, studies have shown that older women tend to feel invisible and largely ignored, both in regards to themselves as people and in regards to their experiences. In most other countries, young and old freely mix together, with several generations often living under one roof. In America, Millennials and baby boomers tend to stick with their same-aged cohort, rarely associating out of the office.
“A lot of people think if they’re mothers they can only be friends with mothers; if they’re single they can only hang out with single people,” said Shasta Nelson, 41, the author of “Frientimacy,” a book about deepening friendships that was published in 2016. “But research suggests that it doesn’t matter what commonality we have, only that we find a couple of commonalities. If I say, ‘I’m in my 40s and I only want to meet people in my 40s,’ it’s as much of a predictor of friendship as saying I can only be friends with people born in September or who like Madonna or who have my name.”
According to Ms. Nelson, only three things are necessary for a relationship to flourish: positivity (it has to feel good); consistency (you have to be in touch on a regular basis); and vulnerability (you have to feel safe with each other). None of them has to do with age.
“A friendship is any relationship where two people both people feel seen in a safe and satisfying way,” she said.
To read more about this interesting idea of intergenerational socializing, please read this article in the New York Times.