Monday, 4 June 2012

How do you make friends?

When you're a kid, making friends just sort of happens. You turn up to a new place with a load of other new people and you just start talking, play together, go to each other's houses etc and soon enough you have a group of friends and a 'best friend' you can share all your secrets with. This might last for a week (on holiday, for example), a year until you move into different classes or even last until you're both grown up and spend all your time talking about relationships, weddings, babies and the cost of milk (or rather, discussing how you should be talking about those things but are still out getting drunk every weekend).

But, when you are an adult, friendships don't fall into place that easily. Even at work, where I joined as one of 11 new staff last September, it still takes a lot of effort for any of us to meet up outside of school and our friendships, although good in school, aren't quite at that stage where I could just text someone today for a spontaneous cup of coffee or a cheeky drink down the local. It still takes planning and the whole "who else is coming?" conversation, because it has to be a group thing when you're still forming new friendships, at least a week in advance to make any sort of plans. And it sucks.

When the weather is nice (for example, last weekend), you want to be able to plan a quick picnic, drink in a beer garden or even a trip to the beach. You can't plan it in advance, because let's face it, the British weather isn't that predictable, but you need to have those sorts of friendships where you can just ring people, get in the car and go. The same applies when you suddenly find you have a spare afternoon: you want to have someone to ring and meet for a cup of tea, lunch, any sort of activity but without those friendships in place it is hard. You don't want to be the only one trying to make plans or the only one who is seemingly sad enough not to have anything to do so you just stay quiet.

I don't think it is just me being socially awkward? I do wonder if I am finding it harder because everyone else I have met has pre-existing friendships from their life before this year, whereas I don't have that. Not here anyway, and it is starting to bother me now. I thought things were turning around for me, I thought I was getting to know more people but it turns out we're only really friends as part of a group and the group has pretty much fallen apart this last week. Things have gotten too messy.

I'm feeling quite lonely here now, and it's only Monday of half term. I have another week yet, and then only six weeks in which to change this situation before I have a very lonely six week summer holiday.

How the hell do you make friendships as an adult?

(Although I have realised in writing this that maybe I need to be more organised with making plans in the first place. Something to focus on next half term...)


Emily Hornburg said...

Hi from Mingle Monday!

And girl - I hear you 100%. I've been struggling with this for AWHILE. And it sucks. I moved to a new town about 4 years ago, and I still have barely any friends because everyone has relationships established and everything. It's hard to find that person you can be like "hey, let's do coffee. Meet you in 30 min?" It's hard.

But from what I can tell - you are wonderful, and don't worry. You're not alone in the search for friendship! There are a lot of us out here with you. :)

Meg - [Life of Meg] said...

What a hard thing - we've all been here before! When I moved to San Francisco for a summer internship, I joined clubs, went to new classes, looked up a million different networking events. It definitely helped a ton, and over time the friends came with it! :)

LaNeshe said...

Hello from Mingle Monday! --- it's definitely hard to make friends as an adult. I've been recently contemplating a move in the future and one things that scares me is being away from all the friends I've had for years and having to make new ones.

Gabby Lynn said...

Follwing your blog and twitter via Mingle Monday!
Check me out!

Michaela {au naturel design} said...

Hi Claire. I joined Mingle Monday to meet others online as I'm new at this. This alone is a great way to meet people, even if we can't do coffee. I see in your 'about me' that you're optimistic and also like keeping busy. Find things that are fun and inspiring and along the way you will find the positive people you're searching for. And in the meantime, embrace your 'you time' and find a hobby that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Either way, just be yourself in the best possible way.

Summer-Claire said...

Thanks for the comments everyone, it's good to know that it isn;t just me :) I've been so busy with work since I moved that I haven't had time for clubs and networking events but I'm definitely going to try and make more time for things like that. Especially during the summer!

Hi, I'm Kerri said...

My thoughts exactly.

Part of the issue I have is I was always moved around as a child. So making friends became increasingly more different as I got older. Going to university, I thought it would be easy to make friends but even then people have their groups from high school and they are also younger than me.

I don't drink, smoke, club or go to parties - so my ability to interact with people my own age is complicated because that's generally what people my age do.

It would be nice to have friends, that are girls, that I can chat to and hang out with. It's just so much harder than it use to be!

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