Making Friends as an Adult
I’ll admit: I’m 31 years old and I still don’t have the core group of friends that I desire. And it looks like I’m not the only one either.
Don’t get me wrong: I have friends. I have a lot of them. But our lives are constantly evolving and sometimes the relationship we have with the people around us change.
People move away, get married or even decide to start a family. And in many cases, that means that their priorities shift too.
There are certain friendships that I haven’t been able to attain for a long time or so it seems. And tonight, I went searching for them through Meetup — a website I used to use for meeting people when I was in between cities.
Making friends is a lot like dating.
We have to go out, make ourselves available and sift through large groups of people until we decide that we have found the one.
And it’s not always easy. Striking up conversations is one thing. Seeing that person again and meeting up for coffee is another.
I live in a city that is known to be aloof and sometimes it’s not the most social. You smile at someone on the street and they wonder what the hell you’re looking at.
There has to be a mutual connection.
I love being able to make new connections and join events that are fun and interesting. However, it’s not always reciprocal.
Over the years, I’ve realized that some people are okay to have a virtual relationship with you. That means that they’ll continually text me, comment on my Instagram posts and say things like “we should catch up soon!” when they see me on the streets.
But when it comes down to making a plan: they flake. Suddenly they’re too busy to meet for lunch and you grow tired of trying to set something up.
People don’t have the same friendship needs.
I understand that as adults, we get busy. And I’m not someone who expects to see the same friend every two weeks.
But there are people, especially introverted ones, who are perfectly happy to catch up every 6 months.
While this is an acceptable friendship to have, I am still searching for people to do spontaneous things with. People that I can message on my day off and know that they’re up for anything.
And sometimes they can suddenly disappear.
Things are fine and dandy between the two of you until someone gets a significant other. And then they vanish.
For me, I like to remain friends with people no matter what stage of life I am in. And oftentimes, I want to share it with those I consider my friends. But that’s not always the case for others.
While I enjoy being in a relationship, I always found that keeping a balance between my friendships, career, and personal interests a healthy thing for me. I will never abandon someone just because I made a few changes in my life.
Drifting away from your friends is a natural thing and it’s nothing to be taken personally. However, I understand how hard it can be as an adult when you are yearning for a particular type of friendship.
Even for someone like me — a full-grown woman who has her life together and is friendly and sociable, I still feel friendless at times.
And while I have many people in my life, there are moments where I miss the feeling of saying things like, “hey — remember the time when that happened?” Because those are the moments where you are marking a new memory in your friendship.
Friends are great to have. And they’re even better when you can look back and laugh with them. But sometimes they existed to fulfill a certain part of your life or theirs. And yet there’s nothing you can do but to simply move on and make new ones.