November 3, 2009

How do adults make friends?

I love having all of my bloggy friends and connecting with other people like this. If I'm following your blog, you can be sure that I read it and laugh or cry with you as appropriate, even if I don't comment. I love that I have built-in advice and life stories from other women and mothers to rely on, especially in this form, because I can take your advice or decide to do something different without having to voice all the usual platitudes and worry about how it will affect our relationship. We only know each other over the internet and if either one of us offends the other, it's pretty easy to deal with, move on, forget, or whatever.

That said, I would like to have some real life friends too. My husband has more female friends in this area than I do. And he only has two! He occasionally talks with them online, and sometimes we go out as a group. However, I haven't found much in common with either of these ladies, and they're not the type of people I would seek out as my friends, especially since neither is married or has children and that's where I am in my life right now. I have the same problem with most of the friends I still have from high school. One or two of them are married and either have kids or are having kids, but I wasn't really close to them in high school and we're more Facebook friends than anything. I might make an effort if they lived here, but they don't.

So what do I do? How do adults go about making friends? We have childbirth class tonight, and I have a vague hope of meeting a couple there who is having their first child. Even if I do, though, I would have a clue what to do next. I saw my friends in high school and college during class or church. We rarely got together outside of that. If we did, it was generally because the other person suggested the plans and I only had to agree. I am essentially a loner, which is why blogging is such a great medium for me. But I feel like I need one or two good real life friends. I mean, doesn't everybody?

And if I were in a bigger city, I think I could find friends more easily. Every other person wouldn't have some connection to my husband's family, and every third or fourth girl wouldn't have dated, slept with, or know someone who has dated or slept with my husband. Okay, that's probably an exaggeration, but it's really annoying to feel like you're clicking with someone and you could possibly have a friendship and then you find out that her best friend in high school was the first person your husband slept with and she knows more about that experience because she was told all about it almost immediately and your husband "doesn't remember" (yeah right).

Yes, that really happened, but anyway, it's really frustrating to live in such a small community and have married into one of the more prominent families in the area. I even went to a few Council of Catholic Women meetings to try to find some friends, but everyone was older than me by at least 10 years, and half of them had some connection to the family. And the family isn't even Catholic! Grrr.

There are no bookclubs, there is no community orchestra or band, and I have no idea how to meet people. I met Michael online. I managed to meet one friend while I was in college, even though I had three roommates, took about fifteen classes in that time, and participated in the community orchestra and church youth group. I'm bad at meeting people and making friends.

I guess this is coming up right now because I could really use a supportive circle of friends right now. And I would love it if they were friends that were in the same stage of life as I am and don't know my in-laws or husband or husband's friends so that I can freely speak my mind without worrying about it getting back to them. But those kinds of friendships don't happen overnight, and I need some girlfriends now. Heh...sigh...


Stephanie said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. It's really nice to have a few friends, or even just one really good one, who is at the same place in life that you are.

My best suggestion for finding such a person is (after the baby is born and things settle down a bit) to find a "mommy and me" type thing. A lot of libraries and bookstores do things like "books and babies" and there's even things like "stroller clubs" and stuff that is geared toward moms with infants. This kind of thing will probably be your best bet; that and the childbirth class like you mentioned.

It is a really good idea to make some connections though, because I can tell you that the first few months of motherhood can be pretty isolating. You're tired, your hormones are all over the place, you need a little adult interaction. It's really nice to have someone in your life who knows what life as a new mom is like.

I wish you all the best!


Rachel said...

I have to agree with Stephanie wait until the baby is born. Then go and try. Good luck!