Can we talk about how difficult it is to make friends as an adult for a second? The struggle is real folks. It’s like the awkward first stages of dating, but somehow even worse. Mainly because the people you are trying to be friends with, may be people that you might actually see again. At least when you try to pick someone up at a bar, there’s a good chance if things go wrong you never have to make eye contact with that person again. It usually doesn’t work that way with friendships.
I miss my school days sometimes. Being in school gave you an almost built-in group of friends. Yes, you still needed to make conversation and plans to see each other, but it simply wasn’t as much work. When you see the same people day in and day out, relationships are bound to form. When you take classes based off of your similar interests, play the same sports, or participate in the same extracurricular activities, it’s easy to reach out. You go into the relationship having a common ground and it’s a lot easier to build from there.
It doesn’t always work that way as adults. Just because you work with someone or go to the same yoga class, doesn’t necessarily mean your other interests will align. Also, you simply do not have the free time that you did in school. Between work and relationships and social life, there isn’t a lot of time to devote to cultivating new friendships. Which brings me to another point – making couple friends or friends with children.
Making friends as a married woman is hard. Now yes, I could make a friend that wasn’t married or I could make a friend who’s husband didn’t mesh well with my own. I could make that friend and sure we’d hang out occasionally. But let’s all be honest here – married people want to hang out with other married people. More than that, the wives need to get along AND the husbands need to get along. While it doesn’t always have to be this way, it makes it easier on all parties involved. Because yes, I could hang out with a single friend. But my life is jam-packed as it is and the little free time I have, I would like to spend with my husband. But I still want friends too. So, finding other couple friends where all parties enjoy each other’s company – that is the ultimate friendship goal. But boy, is that easier said than done.
I cannot tell you how many times I have met a girl I think could be friend material. We strike up a conversation, I find out she’s married, and her husband seems to have similar interests to my own husband’s. The excitement builds. This may be the start of a bonafide couple friendship. And then I invite them over or we go out to eat. We have a great time, the evening goes well, and we get home. And that’s when my husband informs me that he didn’t really like that guy, he seemed awkward, they barely spoke, blah blah blah. Don’t get me wrong – the opposite has been true too. I’ve been the one putting the brakes on a friendship that seemed like it may be going somewhere. Because sometimes it just doesn’t click.
Now that we have a baby, it’s even more difficult to make friends. While he is still so young, I don’t foresee it causing too many problems. But as he gets older, it makes it harder to be friends with friends that don’t have kids themselves. Because again, I am a busy momma and the little free time I do have, I want to spend with my little guy. And as he gets older, my childless friends may not want to spend their weekends strolling through the zoo or playing skeeball at Chuck E’ Cheese. Kid-friendly activities are typically not enjoyable to most childless adults. Just yet another obstacle to overcome.
And where do you make friends as an adult? I can’t make friends at work. Most of my co-workers are much older than me and we do not have much in common. Even if we did, it’s like I mentioned before – you run the risk of it not going well and then you’re stuck seeing them everyday. Or say you see a girl at yoga class or the coffee shop and she looks cool. You think that maybe you could be friends. How do you even start a conversation like that with a complete stranger? It feels like those awkward first stages of dating – like I’m trying to pick up a friend at the Y. I am not comfortable in that scenario and yet another potential friend gets away.
Then, let’s say you do make some friends. You get along with her, her husband gets along with yours, and everyone has a great time together. That’s fantastic! But now comes the even more difficult part – maintaining that friendship. Let’s be real here; we’re adults and life gets busy. Between work, school, activities, my husband, and my son, I barely have time to myself, let alone time to devote to maintaining a friendship. Planning game nights, cookouts, and going out on the town together is one of my favorite things to do. But there is not always time. Life just gets in the way.
My husband and I recently moved. We have some friends down here in our new town, but not as many as we did before. Our best couple friends are away for work right now and it’s going to be quite some time before we get them back in our lives. So, we tried reaching out and making friends with our neighbors. So far, it has gone okay. However, it’s been incredibly awkward and again, we run that risk of it not going well and having to see them (and live next to them) everyday. So we tread lightly.
Making friends is hard. Making friends as an adult is even harder. And making friends as a married adult, especially one with children, is the hardest. I don’t know how people do it and if anyone has any tips, please let me know down below!