Thoughts on Making Friends as an Adult
Well apologies for the blogging break there, I was on SUCH a roll. And then I got ill, then June got ill and basically it all went to sh*t! I shouldn’t apologise really, but I just want you to know how serious I am about making this a place for you to come back and revisit and find useful musings from myself on a weekly basis. Anyway, I am here, I am back and everyone is in good health, so let’s get started.
A couple of weekends ago I was feeling really low, and it wasn’t PMS related (I don’t think, I mean who honestly knows), I think the root cause of it was loneliness. If you were to look up my life online, you’d think there’s a girl who has loads of mates, and knows how to have fun, and yes I do. I also have a boyfriend and a daughter to hang out with on a daily basis, so I can’t possibly feel lonely. But what I was truly missing was my friends, there’s a feeling like no other than time spent with someone who truly gets you (not saying Jack doesn’t, but as him and I have discussed with each other before you can’t be everything to one person) it fills your soul up and makes everything right with the world.
It got me thinking about my friendships, and more importantly my part in these relationships. I have some of the best friends in the world, that over the years I have been lucky enough to forge a bond with. Some have been permanent fixtures since the day we met, some have been there for a season of my life, and both kinds I am extremely grateful for. What I think we lack as we get older are the opportunities to make new friends. I thought about if I was looking for a new sexual or romantic relationship, that I could download an app and make a match and probably have someone to meet up with in 48 hours. I’m not saying that the other person would be my soul mate, but my point it’s easier to find someone to do this with, than to have a cup of tea with and chew the fat of life.
Looking back at school, 6th form, art college, uni, it was easy to make friends. Ok it might have been awkward in parts, and taken me a while to find my people, but there were lots of opportunities in which to begin that journey. And what I have noticed about adult life, is these opportunities seem to be fewer and further apart. What if you haven’t found your people yet? It might seem that everyone around you has friends for life, a BBF, not enough hours in the day to catch up with their pals, but what if you haven’t found yours yet.
I have moved towns a few times, from Lincoln to Kent, to London, to Margate, and back to Lincoln, and one thing I have noticed is the uniqueness of when I moved to Margate. As so many people are relocating there, mainly from London, it’s a bit like Fresher’s week. Most people seem to be happy to chat, to invite you to join them for a coffee or out for lunch. I also think having a baby really helps sometimes too, they are a great conversation starter, and it gives you something else to open with instead of the weather. But now my baby is nearly two, and I’m back at work and not cruising around with the buggy to baby groups, where do I meet people?
I know there are apps for people looking for friends, including Peanut, Mush and Bumble, but personally I can’t get on with them. And I am sure there are some single people screaming at the screen saying how you can’t get on with dating apps either, probably for all the same reasons. Judging someone on their looks, especially a friend, just doesn’t sit well with me so to the trash they go.
Another place you might meet friends is work, and I can already see some of your faces now. Some of you might’ve made your best friends at work, but what if there’s no-one there you click with. Or like me, you’re self-employed and work from home? It’s back to Jack and June again, and I spoke to them earlier. Also trying to explain a funny meme to Jack, or for him to get excited about something that happened on Grace & Frankie…well it’s like when he tries to share something with me about football, it’s just not the right target audience.
I read something online, and it really changed my outlook (as did the arrival of a few sunny days) by Sarah Von Bargen talking about scheduling fun. On this Instagram post here she talks about how we need to prioritise it, otherwise it’s 6 months before you see that friend again. And do you know what, she’s absolutely flippin’ right. After reading that I’ve got a brunch scheduled in with one of my best friends, planned to take a trip up to Scotland to see one of my other close friends, and actually invited people out for coffees who I would describe as acquaintances, but if you don’t take that next step how are they ever going to be more than that?
I’m still thinking of new ways to meet new people, especially people that live closer. I love a pop in, a cup of tea and a good natter over the dining room table….just like on Coronation Street. I think Instagram can be a great tool for that, if you’ve had a few exchanges with someone and know they live near you, then maybe take the first step. Make the effort, you never know how much it might mean to the other person. Last week an internet friend who I have met a couple of times and get on with like a house on fire, DROVE 100 mile round trip to spend the day with me, she in face insisted. And how I am glad she did, it’s so easy to brush people off, not pin down dates, and let plans go awry. Of course there’s life to contend with, and some of this is easier said than done but I just wanted to share this and ask how have you made friends as an adult? It’s a reoccurring theme for me, that keeps showing up in my life and something I don’t have all the answers too, but one I am putting a hell of a lot more effort in that I have before.
Let me know how you’ve found making friends as an adult in the comments, I would to hear from you!