Despite having crossed the threshold from youth and vitality into old age and dullness, a couple in their 30s have performed the miraculous feat of making a new friend.

When they were in their 20s, Luc Elderen and Claudia Tardy say, they had no problem making new friends. At times, they had even felt that their social lives were packed with too many dinners, nights out, and parties.

However, that all changed when they entered their 30s, and suddenly making friends became something that needed to be done and not something that just happened.

"We started joking about how hard it had become," said Elderen. "But soon our humor turned into anxiety, fear, and then blind panic when we realized that there was no going back. We were no longer socially desirable."

Tardy says that she and Elderen tried nearly everything to turn the situation around: going out to bars, registering for group Zumba classes, and even attempting to befriend any stranger on the street who had a full set of teeth and did not appear criminally inclined.

"I even wrote and published an ebook called 'Be My Friend – Please, I'll Pay You'," said Tardy. "It was a bestseller on Amazon, but I still couldn't make new friends. And yes, I did try to pay."

A ray of light broke through the clouds last week when Elderen and Tardy got home from work and each announced that they had in fact made a new friend – one who would be coming over for dinner that weekend.

At precisely 7:03 p.m. on Saturday, the doorbell rang, and Elderen and Tardy rushed to the window to check who it was.

"Hooray, my new friend is here," Tardy squealed, to which Elderen replied, "No, that's my new friend."

Entering their apartment was Jean-Paul Schlifft, a pensioner who lives across the street from the couple. It turned out that Tardy and Elderen had, independently of each other, invited him following brief conversations on the sidewalk which the 30-sometimes had interpreted as an overture to friendship.

Surprised that he was greeted with cheers and a glass of beer, Schlifft thanked the two but admitted that he was under the impression he was there to look at a leaky faucet.

"I'll stay because it appears you've prepared a feast and are both dressed up as if you are going to a ball, but I'll need to leave by eleven because I’m supposed to meet some friends at a discotheque," said the 74-year-old.

Elderen and Tardy say they hope to remain lifelong friends with Schlifft – "our dearest Jempy," as they have begun to call him.