Thursday, January 10, 2013

How to make real friends after a certain point in life

Okay - this is something that I have been going through ever since I moved away from my hometown of 23 years. HOW, I ask you, How do you make honest to gosh friends?

I don`t mean acquaintances. I don`t mean, we talk about getting together but we never do friends. I mean too-legit-to-quit friends. People in your life who you come to depend on, and who come to depend on you. After a big life change like a move to a new province (my case) or graduating from University (also my case), how do you do it??

There`s something about those people you meet in university or high school, when you guard is down and you want nothing more than to enjoy the freedom of your youth and the company of everyone, that allows you to bond with certain folks. This is where I met my most precious friends. All of them. Excluding those related to me, of course. And here I am now in a work force situation, where some of the ingredients to making lasting friends exist but to get there you just end up running into so many obstacles it seems impossible!

For me, most everyone I work with is a man. There is a ratio of about 7 women to 30 men in my department. And then factoring in ages there are 3 other women close to me. Factoring in other things like married life, there is 1. Factoring in bff compatibility, there are 0. So naturally I turn to my male co-workers who are relatively close to, if not, my age. And this is great! I love these guys and we get along so well. But try to get them to do anything but go for drinks after work is like pulling mother fucking teeth.

Factor out those who are married, have kids, have extreme cultural differences or simply have girlfriends and are therefore unavailable to be the person who is your `movie-watching-alone-at-the-apartment` best buddy and you are basically left with no one. Like I said I love these guys, but with a true friend you are able and comfortable doing anything. And there is a mutual desire that exists. That you both need and want eachother to be this important person in your life.

Like, please read my mind here Whitney (one of my best friends) - Me to her: "I need a new dress...". Her reply: "We MUST go shopping immediately." This, this is so easy. Want to watch a movie with a boy? Let ALONE your favorite, the scary movie...Nope. They just think you like them. Or something to that fashion. It`s just difficult.


Then there is competitiveness in the job market. This really stops you from putting your true, sometimes vulnerable self out there. You don`t want your co-workers to know your flaws, or how much you actually hate this certain aspect of your daily work or about how you secretly have a huge crush on one of your other co-workers and you desperately want someone to talk about it with you. It is really hard to feel free enough to talk about these sort of things. The real things that make up who you are.

So how do we get over this hump? I find myself more and more converging to my old tried and true friends back home, which I will do forever and who are all wonderful and amazing.


Meanwhile, I am here 4000km away. Who is going to hug me here when I need a friend? Who is going to watch that scary movie with me? Who is going to listen to my crap? Who is going to text me at night and talk about what we did all day? I am still waiting for this. I am still looking. And it is hard. And sometimes it is very lonely.

This is my ongoing battle. To be continued...


Nessa said...

I've been in the same city for over 4 years and still no new friends. I have a boyfriend, I hang out with his friends in group/party settings, some work acquaintances that I say hi to in passing, and one other person I speak to on a regular basis. No friends. The last close friend I made was in 2006. She's the best friend you could ever ask for, but she's the last one. Maybe that's all you need. But she's still two hours away. All my friends are AT LEAST an hour away. Some are in different time zones, different countries. It's sad. I want to be a kid again.

WhitneyA said...

If you figure it out I want to know! At my job the people closest in age to me are my students. Whom I can't be friends with obviously. I miss having my tried and true friends in town. Not that Shane isn't great...but I need my girls too.

WhitneyA said...

If you figure out how to do it let me know! The people at my job closest to my age are my students, whom I cannot be friends with obviously. I love Shane but I need girl friends also...(You'll still be my favorite even if you are 4000kms away)

WhitneyA said...

If you figure out how to do it let me know! The people at my job closest to my age are my students, whom I cannot be friends with obviously. I love Shane but I need girl friends also...(You'll still be my favorite even if you are 4000kms away)

Anonymous said...

This is a topic I think a lot of people our age can identify with. I find I have less friends than university, but because I have a full-time job, I have less time to socialize, so it works out OK. I agree that it's hard to make friends from work because you don't know if you can trust them, but I did meet one of my bridesmaids at work two years ago and we still work together and keep each other's secrets from the higher-ups. If you do join an activity to try to meet people, I would recommend being forward with them. Sometimes I just come right out and say "do you want to be friends?" and you both laugh, because it sounds like you're 5, but usually the other person feels the exact same way as you. That is how I've made my friends in Saint John, just by being honest and saying "Hey, I'm new here, let's be friends." With time, it will happen.

Anonymous said...

I want to be a kid again too, Ness.
Im not sure how to make new for real best friends.
I live in the same city I grew up in and have a few close friends from high school that we remained friends all this time, even when i went to school in another city.
At University I met some besties, for real forever friends.
As for new friends, I have a few teacher friends but not like talk about everything, anytime friends.

Amanda said...

I'm right there with you! My husband and I recently moved to a small town and are having such a hard time making any friends. And it doesn't help that we both work from home, so it's not like we are going to meet someone new that we work with. We have some really great friends, they just all live on the other side of the country. It does get lonely.

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