Sep 22, 2017

Mid-life, Friends, Family and Life

It’s often assumed that those of us over 40 are completely in control of our lives. We’ve had years to settle into our careers. Our families are solid. Our children are out of their infancy and ready to launch themselves in the world. We’ve travelled, had relationships, successes, failures, life experience.

And in many ways, all this is true… except when it’s not.

Precisely because we’ve settled into our lives so completely, change can shake us up more than we expect. Everything from the empty-nest syndrome to divorce and retirement can hit the unprepared over-40 hard.

Empty-nest syndrome

Empty-nest syndrome is not new. This feeling of grief and loneliness parents (especially full-time parents) may feel when their children leave home for the first time, such as to live on their own or to attend a college or university, has been recorded since the 1960s.

After years of defining yourself as a parent – a provider and a carer – it can come as a rude shock when your children declare themselves ready to be independent, and move out. Whether for education, career, or just to find themselves, it’s a reminder that they don’t need us any longer. And while you’re proud, it’s also rather disconcerting.

The time you poured into caring for them is suddenly wide open – and if you don’t fill it with new, interesting, productive activity, you’re left alone and lonely, a prime candidate for depression.

The situation isn’t dire, though. It only requires you to find new, different, and rewarding things to do and to meet and connect to new people, in a social club setting such as Mozaic Club.

Try out new experiences with your partner, or with old and new friends. The time you suddenly have is a reward, not a burden. Just remember to treat it as such!

Divorce and the over-40

One problem all empty-nesters face is having to re-orient themselves within their marriage. The divorce rate for older adults has doubled over the past twenty years, according to one study. Often, couples who’ve identified themselves as ‘parents’ for years suddenly realise that they no longer identify as ‘partners’.

Other issues, including evolving priorities, not enough time at home, illness, reduced libido or even existential crises might also impact the strength of a marriage – no matter how long-lasting.

Therapy and religion can help re-orient them to focus and work on their marriage. However, the most crucial thing they can do is to find something new to fill their lives, together. 

Sharing a hobby can bring couples closer together again from the brink of separation, even after years of poor communication and misunderstandings. Expanding their social circle with a social eClub like Mozaic Club.

Mid-life Friendships 

Divorce brings with it other issues too. Years of marriage could mean that your circle of friends has shrunk, or often merged with your partner’s. Friends are impacted by divorce, too – just as much as they are by marriage!

A wedding is an occasion when friends on both sides come to wish the couple well, but very few friendships may survive a wedding in the same shape and form.

While not everyone gets married or has kids, as we get older our familial and career responsibilities keep increasing. Parents grow older, jobs get more stressful.

Friendships tend to take last place in the hierarchy of relationships. It’s easier to put off catching up with a friend than it is to skip your kid’s big game or play, or an important business trip! However, studies show that friends are crucial to happiness, as someone to talk to, depend on, and enjoy your time with.

As adults grow, they demand less of their friends. They expect politeness on both sides. They understand that everyone has other priorities, and don’t expect to be put first any longer.

By middle age, people accumulate friends from different jobs, different cities, and different activities. A few decades ago, travel and increased familial and career pressures could have ended friendships entirely. Today, with the number of social media and other communication outlets available, it’s easier for friends to stay in touch.

It’s harder to make new friends, though. With less time available to invest in a friendship, it’s not easy to make new friends in a new place, especially when you are not exposed to people in a social setting any more, as you might have been during your school or university years.

That’s where a social platform, such as Mozaic Club helps out.

Try Something New          Mozaic Club and the over-40

Mozaic is the only social meeting and Social Expansion brand in Hong Kong focused on over-40s looking for genuine friendships and an expansion of their social network, giving you an enriching and engaging social schedule.

People can expand their social circles within our eClub. They can meet other like-minded Hong Kong residents with similar interests and experiences. Our eClub gives members the opportunity to join on-line and meet other members off-line, organically.

Our founders are empty nesters who realised that as they got older, thier social status changed. Children left home, friends retired or moved away from Hong Kong and some people divorce. They wanted to connect with new friends and expand their social circles; but found that Hong Kong had limited options for people like them to meet other like-minded, over-40s, and so, Mozaic Club was born!

There are sometimes obstacles in the way of accessing new experiences and making new friends, past your 40s. There’s no denying this. It’s time to break past these barriers now and make the time to meet new people in new settings. Try something different!

For more information on Mozaic Club, an exclusive social eClub with great opportunities for you to meet new people, online and offline, and have new experiences, please visit our Social Calendar.

Interested in joining us? Get in touch today!

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