on making friends

April 21, 2010

you'd think it would get easier to make friends as we get older.  but it doesn't.

that's a dirty lie right there.  see when we were younger there was school.  it's a whole lot easier to make friends when you're trapped with the same people for 7 hours a day.  you're usually bound to make friends with at least one or two people in your class.  and then in college, same thing.  there are roommates, classes, activities.  it's a little harder but there's still that forced "togetherness".  in the adult world that forced "togetherness" comes in the form of the workplace.  but if you work alone, from home, or with people vastly outside your age range (me), it really puts a damper on the friend-farming.  plus you know, at work you're actually supposed to do work.  not fun things like rubberband fights.  unless you work at a really cool place, which i don't.  it was always easier to make friends when we had that required contact pushing us together again and again.  i had the best luck when i was waitress.  spending double shifts with people my own age trying to assist crazy people will bring you together like nothing else.  but like many friendships, most of those have faded away over time.  without the constant contact it's difficult to stay in touch.

the crazy recluse in me is often reticent to reach out to new friends unless i have to.  what i'm getting at here is that i find it difficult to make new friends.  and a lot of the women in my life that i've spoken to about it echo the same thing:  i don't have a group of girlfriends, it's hard to meet new friends.  it's a big step to go from the friends you've had forever to feeling out a relationship with someone new.  plus now the added obstacles of adulthood: jobs, bills, family, commitments, schedules, errands.  on top of that we're now older, wiser, and more bitter.  we've all been burned by friendships-gone-wrong before.

every time i walk by a playground i wonder if i will be able to make any "mom" friends.  i was blessed recently to have met quite a few new friends, thanks largely to this bliggity bloggity and twitter, whom i adore.  and though none of them are actually here in the city with me i can feel the air around me... cheering up.  we're weaving a little support net of new-ness and fun-ness.  it's not quite the same as being able to cruise over to someone's house for a playdate, but shit yo, i'm digging it.

there are still those "breaking in" a friendship pangs.  did i say the right thing?  did i do something wrong?  does she still like me?  i haven't heard from you in a while, are we still doing this whole friends thing?  as friendships grow it's difficult to get past that first getting-to-know you strain and some of those relationships won't survive.  it's a fact.

i've been on a personal quest recently to make overtures of friendship to someone in my own real life.  it feels a little bit like i'm that desperate kid on the playground trying to get the cool girl to play with me.  i don't quite know what i'm doing and i'm putting myself out there in a way i'm not used to.  it feels scary.  do you want to be my friend?  i'll let you come over and you can play mario kart and drink all my soda and my mom will make us pizza rolls...?  if only it still worked that way.  if we could go back to our gradeschool methods i'd just put up a giant trampoline in my yard and be the most popular lady around.  giant trampolines are the shit.

so, friends!  i'm making some!  i'm probably talking about YOU.  yes, you, right now!

how do you do it in your life?  do you have an easy time making new adult friends?  do you play it safe and stick with your tried-and-true group?  have you recently met a lovely group of ladies that you shamelessly adore and cross your fingers they feel the same?  i have.




Truth be told, most of my "real-life" friends are people I've known for at least 10 years. My husband is actually my newest friend.

I do have a group of girlfriends I met through a now-defunct parenting site that are my go-to girls. We "talk" nearly every day via a private ning site we set up for ourselves. In the past few years we've known each other, we've traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles to meet face-to-face, and that has been wonderful. In fact, one of the girls is coming to spend my birthday weekend with me in a couple of weeks. She and her daughter will be staying with us from Fri-Sun. It's pretty cool.

Personally, I can strike up a conversation with just about anybody, but becoming friends with someone takes time. And I make friends with men a lot easier than women.

hand pecked debb

I finally made two awesome possum close girl friends after about 25 years of life and then they both moved back to flipping Ohio after a couple of years in DC area. It's a case of real life friends who became internet/phone friends. It was a great experience that I was glad I finally experienced even though I miss them like stupid.

Yeah I keep trying to find real life people to regain that level of fun and creativity I had, but still, no such luck so far and I think I'm content with the blog/twitter friends who can be more compartmentalized to cater to my whimsie at the time whether it be tentacles obsession, hockey, raising chickens, fashion, etc.


I LOVE my BBS girls! I dont know what i'd do w/o you guys. I also have a hard time making girlfriends, for me it's a trust issue....most girls are evil.

HOWEVER, I am friends with Handpecked in real life, and she is an exception to most rules. I liked her from the instant I met her and she has been a constant source of encouragement and positivity in my life ever since!

I usually let people come to me b/c I consider myself a weirdo. HOWEVER, I can talk the bark off a tree and can/will talk to anyone. Long-lasting friendships though? Those are harder to cultivate because it's like any other relationship, it has to match up on a bunch of different levels.


UGH - I just wrote the awesomest, longest comment and it didn't publish. UGH.

Basically, I agree - the bliggity bloggity friends are amazing...and tho they aren't down the street, they ARE in constant contact with me - much more so than any RL friends, and they're like the greatest security blanket EVER in that fact. They will celebrate with me and vent with me, all in the same breath. It's wonderful.

That being said, RL friends are important, and I feel ya wanting to have a girlie down the street...I'm working on 2 friendships right now...girls I could walk the dogs with, laugh with, or shotgun a beer with (you know, the important stuff)...and yes, I keep having moments of "OMG DID I SAY THE WRONG THING?" or "OMG WILL THAT OFFEND HER?"...but really, if either of them are going to judge me for being me, I don't need their friendship anyway! So far so good... so yeah, keep on putting yourself out there, and eventually you'll find that adult RL BF down the street that you've always wanted.


Ugg, I struggle with this. All of my friends are people I have been friends with for years, from high school or from college. No "new" friends because it's just too stinking hard! I've become quasi-friends with a gal that I met at a craft show a year ago, but we haven't hung out together. I keep thinking that I should organize a meet-up, but then I get all nervous that it'll be awkward and I end up not wanting to plan anything.

My husband is a teacher so he's made some friends at work - but I work in an office where everyone is 15 to 30 years my senior. It's hard to want to hang out with people that are close to my mother's age, ya know?

I've been wanting to try to start a book club ... just a small one to get people together and then if other friendships blossom out of it, bonus! But then I get all nervous about who I should invite - what if I invite them and they think I'm a dork and don't want to come? What if I want to be their friend but they don't want to be my friend? I need to just stop being so self-concious and just DO IT!

hand pecked debb

I secretly think Biz-money, in real life, only likes asians upon first look. Everyone else has to go through a series of tests to win her over.


I have a very soft asian spot in my heart. You cut right to the core of me Debb...

Ashley, the Accidental Olympian

This is so weird, I was talking to Adam about this last night.

I completely agree.

After graduation, still living in the city where I went to college it seemed that my friends and I were able to live in this fantasy land of post college lovely. Then people began to move away and before I knew it I realized that with a lot of them gone, this post college world I lived in was a lot less shiny and wonderful because I hadn't made a single new friend since graduation. With people leaving I finally realized how hard making friends out of school actually was.

Now, living in a new city I know exactly what you mean. If you aren't lucky enough to meet people at work (poor Adam) then your options stagnant unless your willing to really really put yourself out there.

No matter how you look at it, adult friendships feel oh-so much more like dating than I'd EVER imagined.

I'm at this place too where I feel like having something as simple as new and budding internet friendships are enough to make this world seem a little less lonely.

Great post Grumbles.

You can come over any time to play my Wii. I'll even make you cookies.


Ooh, girl, this came at probably the most poignant time....ever for me. Quite honestly, my girlfriends here? Suck. Hard. My closest girlfriends are AT MINIMUM 3 driving hours away, and let me tell you, that takes a toll. Because it IS hard to make new friends. This is why I like sitting at bars alone. Never know who you're going to meet.

My bloggity gfs I consider my RL friends, but ones I just happen to have not met yet. YET. Because they are there, just like the ones I've been able to hug are. A phone call, a text message, an email away.

YOU are my real life friend. So are the rest of the BBS girls. Swears.

And Biz? Nice Anchorman reference.


We're moving soon and I can't believe I have to make new friends all over again. It's bloody hard! When we moved here I found a wonderful group of women at the local LLL. To this day there is a core group of 5 of us who get together once a week for drinks, walks, whatever. I'm going to miss that. Anyway, when we move I plan on getting myself to the nearest LLL meeting and hopefully it will all work out again. And I'm actually thankful my 3 yr old is still nursing because if she wasn't it might be just that much harder.


I hear ya. I have a really hard time making friends. I am.. awkward in social situations. I have been told over and over that people think I am a stuck up bitch at first. I don't know how I exude that or really even how to fix it but apparently I do. I just want to scream at people when they tell me that. "What?! Why?!". Probably shouldn't though...

I actually met an awesome group of women on a mommy social site called Cafemom. As weird as it was at first to meet up with internets people, we clicked right away and have been great friends since our babies were little. I can see how something like that would be harder while working though.

Don't give up though. And if you invest in that giant trampoline I might come visit. Cause they really ARE the shit!


Ja. Finding close girlfriends is a beastly difficult To Do. Sadly, my very best friends from high school drifted when we went to different colleges, my college friends drifted when we went our separate ways after school, and my all grown up and adult single girlfriends were put off by my transition from foot loose and fancy free singleton to wife (and, soon after, mother).

But you never know where you'll meet a dear friend. I found myself chatting with a woman in the soup aisle of the grocery one day and here we are, 10 year later, and we are still in touch (though, sadly, she's moved across the country since we met). Opportunity abounds. I don't know if that makes it better (could happen any day!) or worse (didn't happen today).

I've been invited to a local book group, which I'm excited about. Automatic subject to discuss, chance to see how others live (we meet in each other's homes), but little pressure to connect if there's nothing to be had. So far, it's fun!

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama

I have a hard time making friends now that I'm a mama. I think it's because we always talk about our kids, so the friendships feel very surface. I have been trying to cultivate closer friendships by inviting different families from my local AP group over for dinner. It's working a little bit better - the adults get more time to talk (over wine!) as the kids play.
It's rough, I agree. I lurve lurve lurve my bloggy friends - I wish I could reach out to some of them more!

Betsy B. Honest

Yeah, it's totally harder to make friends when yer a grown-up. And especially when you have little kids. There's something really isolating about having wee ones.

I'm a really social person who is used to throwing big parties and being at the center of a big network of friends but lately? Not so much. I can't even put my finger on what happened to my peeps.

But all my new bloggy friends? Awesome. It has been a huge and joyous discovery this internet thing.

I'm tempted to tell all my real life friends about how life-altering the internets has been for me lately, but I know it will just sound super creepy.


I am a joiner, and that's how I make friends. I join groups with other moms of young children, for example. The people there usually long for adult company as much as I do.

I can pretty much guarantee you that when you make overtures of friendship other people are relieved. We all want more friends, but it's hard putting yourself out there, so not everyone does. If you do, you've just made everyone's lives easier. And happier, too.

wrestling kitties

Oh, I have never been good about making friends. I have always been very much a loner and awkward around people. Plus I would switch schools every 4 years growing up (K-3 one place, 4-8 another, highschool another, and college) so I just kind of stayed to myself. As I get older I find it easier because I am a BIT more outgoing, but I am still very awkward about it until I get to know you. I try to be what I think they want me to be like instead of myself....because honestly my self can be very dorky! But I am getting OK with my dorkiness because I have some great friends now and besides blogging friends and work, I really see no point in making an effort to make new friends....I just work on the friendships I have. Maybe I will feel different someday, but I like what I have now!

Plus, if you said to me "you want to be my friend? i'll let you come over and you can play mario kart and drink all my soda and my mom will make us pizza rolls" I would be your BFF instantly!


I just came across your blog and this post totally spoke to me. I've been having these thoughts lately and am not sure what to do about it. I'm fine with my select few friends right now, but life would be more fun with a few more local people to play Mario Cart with!


Dang. From the looks of these comments it appears as though I am not the only one struggling with this.

For the first time in my life, I do not have a circle of real-life friends around me. I moved to Los Angeles and BAM - no more friends. Since all I do is work, it's hard to make friends. I am skeptical of forming friendships with too many of the people I meet through work so that leaves me in a place that I've never been in my whole life. It's a very strange place.

Thank goodness for my BBS girls because they are my only source of girl-talk (even though we are worse than frat boys) and encouragement these days. The bottom line is that when the time is right, I will find new found friends and hopefully they'll be worth this long ass wait!

Great topic, grumbles!


Ditto, ditto, ditto. But I can add that my workplace only has one other person in it and he's only just now beginning to speak English :)

I wish you lived near me (do you?? haha). I'd love to hang.


I moved across country after a divorce and found it much more difficult to create those good relationships you had from childhood and school days especially now as an adult.

After reading your post, it made me realize the new ones I do have now have were made through night school classes. Maybe being trapped in the same room or working towards same goals over a period of time really bonds 'like' people.

Amber, The Unlikely Mama

I have just a few real life people that I truly consider friends. One is my BFF, lol, from H.S. who I lost touch with for a long while and found again 2 years ago. Another is a friend of Peter's who I kinda stole. She was pregnant at the same time as me, and we just connected. She's actually the only friend I have that shares some of the same parenting philosophies as me, and even when we disagree...we can do so without hating each other (so rare it seems with new moms).
Almost all of my real life friends have kids...though I don't talk to them about all most of what's on my mind since it tends to cause stress on the relationship. So sad.

My closest "friends" are people who I have met online. People who are willing to listen to my rants even if they disagree. People who share my ideals. People who have come together because of a common interest (or 2, or 3) and I truly care for. It's a shame they live all over the world. I want them all here with me now :-)

All that said, I know exactly what you mean. It's so much harder to find people, IRL, to connect with. Specially after having a baby. You're time outside the home is so limited, there's almost no chance of meeting anyone.

I too thought it would get easier as we got older. That the bs drama from HS would drop off and making friends would come more naturally. Nope, not even close.


I am not alone!

I just went through my wedding with 0 good friends, friends that are couples, some friends with common interests that I invited, but no proper bridesmaids or really close friends. This made it one of the toughest times of my life.

I would love to have some irl friends but still whenever I am tempted to be more friendly with someone I remember what happened with past friendship.

Maybe I should start a blog...

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