Misadventures in Friendship: Personal Essays on Making Friends in My 30s (Intro)

Photo by Kari Sayers

One of the most surprising things about adulthood that I’ve learned in the last decade is that cultivating meaningful, adult friendships is hard as shit.

As a kid, a teenager, and even as a young adult, I had no problem building and maintaining friendships. Hell, one might even go as far as to say I was a “popular” girl.

But when I hit my late 20s, got married, and started having kids, the business of making friends morphed into an exhausting process that often times left me feeling pissed off, empty and alone.

No one warned me that getting married and having kids might knock my entire world of friendship off orbit.

No one warned me that when relocating to a new city, I might have a hard time infiltrating iron-clad cliques of friends (not unlike the cliques present in junior high or high school).

And I certainly did not realize that I would have my feelings hurt so much as an adult woman when it came to making friends (I’ve had to put on my “big girl panties” and “suck it up” more times than I can count.)

I’ve tried a couple of different approaches to friendship-making in the last 10 years. Here are a few of my friendship-isms:

  • Volunteerism
  • Sorority-ism
  • MLM-ism
  • Church-ism
  • Coffee Date-ism
  • and the list goes on and on.

Some of these memories make me cringe to think about, while others just make me chuckle at the absurdity of it all.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how my friendships (and approach to friendships) have evolved over the years.

I thought it would be fun to share some my personal stories in a series here on Medium. I’m calling it Misadventures in Friendship.

If you’re a 30-something woman who has experienced your share of bad luck when it comes to making new friends, you might get a kick out of these stories.

My goal is to add 1–2 stories every week…so be sure to follow me and follow the series so you know when a new story gets added.

Lastly, I hope my stories make you chuckle and feel a little better about yourself. Most importantly, I hope they let you know that you’re not alone if you too struggle to make new friends.

Story #1 — The Bad Sorority Experience

Story #2 — Wonderland and the Unlikely Office Friend