Specifically, adult friendships. Or whatever I am…that awkward mix between teenager and middle-aged adult…
I’m not a very social person. I’m introverted and shy and struggle to adjust to new people. However, once I’m comfortable, then I’m loud and silly and ready to take on the world. The problem is that as I grow older, the number of people who ever see the loud, comfortable side of me seems to drop and dwindle.
My mother is a very social person so growing up I wasn’t short on play-dates and whatnot, and I even managed to wrangle a few friends of my own in elementary school that lasted until high school. But towards the end of my high school career, those friendships that I had for years and years all seemed to falter at some point, most beyond the point of repair. Perhaps we had simply grown apart. I suppose childhood friendships have to end at some point.
That’s not to say that I didn’t make friends in high school, because I did. Most of my best friends currently are ones I made in high school and I love them dearly. But as I’ve come to find, friendships based on seeing each other in person five days a week for six hours don’t easily translate to seeing each other a few times a year. Though my generation is ridiculously techy, that doesn’t guarantee a strong relationship with the people who’s Snaps you view or statuses you Like.
I was eager to go live on campus in university as I had envisioned myself with many new close friends and fun times. At first, I had that. For a week or three, maybe. Then the group went in a few different directions and I wasn’t invited along on any, which sucked. I ended the year with a few people I consider friends, but the closest of the handful were males. All my life I’ve had an easier time befriending males, which I don’t mind, but sometimes, I need female friends too. It’s only recently struck me that I don’t know how to talk to females. I have zero interest in clothes or makeup or Starbucks and my relationship status does not allow me to participate in conversations about relationships. But with males, I can have a whole debate on what’s considered a sport or how awesome the newest Marvel movie will be…I’m more comfortable with the generic male lifestyle.
That being said, I still struggle with talking to all new people. I never think of conversation starters and can never work up the courage. It’s stupid, but that’s what I deal with. I sit in lecture halls with dozens of people interested in the same general subject as I am, yet I talk to no one and no one talks to me. Or if we do talk, it’s for a limited time. I don’t know how to keep the friendship up. It’s the same online. People have really close online friends and it’s really nice to see these interactions, but I can never manage to maintain a relationship similar. What is it about me? Or is it nothing but I’m missing some big secret tip on how to make friends?
Friendship is such a powerful TV/movie trope. I watch shows like Glee and wish I had a group of underdog friends like that when I was in high school. I watch Parks And Recreation and hope I have coworkers as awesome as they do. I watch FRIENDS and hope I have that close adult group of pals when I’m in my late twenties. I know it’s just TV and I shouldn’t compare my average real life to that, but it’s so hard not to when the relationships we see on TV are so awesome and ideal. #Squadgoals to the max, amiright!?
Furthermore, I’ve found that I’m needy. I genuinely need my friends to put in the effort to keep in touch regularly and actually show they care beyond a “Merry Christmas :)” text. Unfortunately, I lack those people in my life. Which either leads me to believe that I’ve befriended the wrong people, or my neediness is unrealistic for today’s standards. I’m thinking the latter as a pattern of communication disappointments seems to follow me. I’m not asking for texts and Skype calls every day, or even every week. I’m thinking once a month if people would try to initiate a real conversation with people they care for, or send them a funny video/URL in an effort to show they were being thought of, people would be happier.
But okay, people are busy. I’ve come to learn that when my friends are at their respective schools, they have abundant social lives, and between that and classes, they don’t have time to chat me up as much as I’d prefer. I get it. So I try to make the most of holidays, but even that doesn’t always work out. I’m tired of being the only one to put in effort…Am I asking too much? And I seriously want answers, because some days, when I’m not getting the responses I want from friends, I have no choice but to think so. My best friend and I literally try and get together as soon as possible and that’s so great. Knowing that this one friend wants to see me and be with me as soon as she can is such a nice feeling. Technology is my world, but nothing replaces face-to-face, and I will fight anyone who thinks different.
Should I be upset that some friends don’t put me as high up on the priority list as I do them? Should I be upset that I don’t have what they have? Because every time I do get bitter, I end up blaming myself in the end. After all, I’m the only one who I have control over. Maybe if I had more university friends, I wouldn’t be hung up on my high school friends. Maybe if I was more outgoing, I wouldn’t struggle to interact with people. Maybe if I stopped caring about what others are doing so much, I’d be happier with what I do have. Maybe.
As I grow older, I slowly lose contact with old pals so I really need help making and keeping new ones. I can’t even be a lonely cat lady as I’m allergic to cats. So I ask you fellow bloggers and readers, how do you make and maintain friends as you get older? Or do you even have this problem? I’m really curious as to the responses I get as I know my readership vastly varies in age.
I hope y’all are having better luck in the friendship department because friends are so important, often more important than family. Take a minute to text a friend you love and let them know it, or take a minute to text a friend you may have been accidentally neglecting.
That’s all for now!