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Changing Social Life

Page history last edited by Holly Swyers 6 years, 6 months ago

In what ways does social life change as you move into adulthood and as you get older?


In contrast to your student years, where most of your social life usually involves people your age and the place your parents have chosen to live and socialize, adult life creates opportunities for new social circles. Work plays a large role in the life of an adult and spending so much time in an area ensures the creation of new social relationships. You will create bonds with your coworkers. If you have children or a significant other, they will create both a new family social circle and will connect you to their work and school lives. 


Change in frequency and convenience

As people get older, they tend to drift away from being friends with a lot of people and shift to a smaller setting of friends. If this happens for you, the smaller group of people will have more in common with you but they probably were not as easy to find as friends were in college. Adult life is often busier than student life, and your old friends will likely not live as close to you as they did. You need to put more work into maintaining the relationships so you and other people start to value the relationships they invest into. You start to prioritize different relationships depending where in life you are. The kind of social interactions you are seeking are changing as well. People start seeking quality time vs superficial interactions. For the most part, people will hang out with others who have similar relationships status. Single people have friends who are single while couples spend time with other couples. People have fewer friendships of greater value. 


Effects of dating/ marriage/ kids 

Having kids has a significant impact on most people's social life. People who have kids tend to prefer to spend their time with other people who have kids. This can widen your social circle because you make new friends with other parents though kids. A spouse or significant other is also a large source of social interaction for many adults, as each partner brings their friends, coworkers, and family into a couple's social circle. Often establishing a family changed the kind of entertainment people seek. Instead of going to the club, people stay and spend weekends at home with their significant other and children. 


Work relationships 

Work plays a large role in the life of an adult. Because you spend so much time at work, you are likely to create bonds with your coworkers. These relationships often become very important because your schedule is less flexible and you will likely have less time for socializing. Work life can interfere with your personal life and negatively impact personal relationships. However, the presence of a job can also have a positive effect on the social life. You meet new people and make connections while interacting with people at work. 


Old friendships 

Life long bonds are created in college and even from your childhood. You will have to manage interaction with this final group, which also may be hardest to contact. Most of the friendships will slowly fade away. People have new connections and build the families; this pushes old friends further down the priority list. For some people, though, old friendships mature into lifelong friendships. This tends to be the case if you have many shared interests and experiences and if you both are willing to work to stay in touch.


This page was developed from interviews with:

Fiona Lovecraft, Larry Huxley, Fred Caldwell, Mainiac





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