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Maria Shriver on the importance of making friends in midlife: 'You want to keep growing'

The TODAY special anchor reveals why she's open to new friendships at every stage of life.

Maria Shriver is always in the market for a new friend, even if she already has a great group of gal pals whom she's known for ages.

During a chat with Shriver on Wednesday, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager brought up the topic of "girl tribes" and the fact that some women stop seeking out new friendships later in life.

"I think sometimes people feel like, 'Well, I have all the friendships I need and I’ve had my friends since (I was) young, and now I'm this age and I’m not really in the market either for new friends or to have a big tribe," Hoda said.

But that's not true for Shriver.

"I’m in the market!" the TODAY special anchor replied.

The 66-year-old said it's always a blessing to find new friends, no matter how young or old you are.

"I think it's great to have friends from high school and grade school and college and so on. But you want to meet people at different parts of your life because they bring different things to your life," she explained. "You want to keep growing and keep going forward, so why wouldn't you want to add new friends to your life?"

Jenna agreed and said she's also been thinking a lot lately about how important it is to connect with the people who are already in her life. She also went on to reveal that many studies have suggested that having a girl tribe makes you happier, and Shriver could see why.


"I think connecting with people — real, live, living people who care for you, love you — that's what actually fills you up. That's what makes you happy," she said. "Go to dinner with somebody, call them up, be there for them."

The trio of pals also touched upon how challenging it can be to unexpectedly find yourself "breaking up" with a friend because you're not aligning with them anymore.

For Shriver, it's been more about friendships that have faded away rather than ended with a big bang, and she said it's important to stay open to finding a new friend in the aftermath.

"When somebody else steps in, that's such a great joy to meet somebody at midlife," she said, adding that she met Hoda at that stage in her life. "I've made friends in midlife, and I think that's a great gift."