I am 34 years old and despite living in a city literally brimming with people, I find that I have few friends.
In high school and college, I was very extroverted and had an inner circle of close friends and a wide circle of friends and acquaintances to hang out with.
After college, I stayed in my college town (Gainesville, FL) for 3 years working and each year, as happens in a college town, many of my friends would graduate and move away and I would have to start over and repopulate my friend group.
Then, at 23 years old in May 2010, I moved to NYC by myself. I knew exactly one person in NY and he moved away a month later after losing his job.
I worked and made some friendly acquaintances at the office, then lost those when I moved onto a new job.
Just 4.5 months after moving to NYC, I met my now-husband.
Between work and a new boyfriend, I didn’t have much time to work on making new friends.
My boyfriend had a circle of friends he’d known since middle school and luckily, they adopted me into the group. They were and still are wonderful people. It feels like we all grew up together — and we did. Those early 20s to mid-30s years are ones of growth and life experiences. Several of us got engaged and married at about the same time, a couple of the group have kids now.
I tried not to think about it. I had my husband’s friends and my 3 best friends back “home” in Florida, and I had “work friends” that I could share a laugh and a lunch with.
In my 30s.
At the beginning of 2017, I was 30 years old, and I quit my day job to be a full-time writer and editor.
That is when I realized how few friends I have. Working from home is isolating and that isolation remains even now — of course, now we’re in a pandemic and I can use that as an excuse, I suppose.
I tried joining a book club a couple of times. I enjoyed the people but not always the books and meeting once a month does not foster real friendship.
I figured when we had kids, I could make “mom friends.” I figured when we bought a house, I could make “neighborhood friends.”
But then we couldn’t/didn’t have kids. And we bought an apartment in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn we’ve lived in for years.
While this is something I think of regularly, quarantine has really brought to the forefront how few real friends I have as an adult.
It’s not just me! I’ve spoken with many other 30-somethings who struggle with the same issue.
We should form a support group and be friends!
It’s absolutely normal to make and lose new friends over a lifetime. I have heard from many others my age that they aren’t sure how to really make new friends outside of work anymore.
I guess this is less of a how-to and more of a question for all of you: how do YOU make new friends as an adult? Not just acquaintances, but develop real, deep friendships?
Most of the advice I’ve seen online is joining clubs, finding a hobby, and being more open.
I am open and happy to talk to people and even be vulnerable. I love chatting with people and learning about them. As a writer, I just adore hearing their stories. But if I just start a new hobby or join a book club again, how do you go from book-club-friends to hanging-out-on-Friday-night friends?
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