Lately it’s like this one thing in my life has come to the forefront for some reason – maybe it’s because Anthony is feeling better and we have almost been living together for a year now… maybe my focus is not on him as much and this has just emerged, inevitably, because of the timing.

I’ve been feeling super sensitive and weird about my lack of friends in town the last week or so. I’ve had a hard time making girlfriends ever since I moved here – I basically just adopted Anthony’s friends (who are all insanely amazing – I’m so lucky I get to mooch). Like my friend Amanda, who plays in Anthony’s ensemble – she’s my shopping buddy who has gotten me through the last 2 years without noticing a deficit in girlfriends. But lately they have had a ton of rehearsals and shows and I have been thinking about how short my list is of people to call to hang out when Anthony or her aren’t around.

My BFF Emily (former fellow Miss Mélange editor) just moved to Santa Cruz (which feels light-years closer than when she lived in San Diego, and LA was an offensive barrier between us that we had to drive through). I feel like I hit the jackpot with her, and it’s so annoying that I have an amazing BFF that’s everything I could ever need but I don’t get to have her close. Which is apparently such a thing right now.

FullSizeRender (2) I also have my sister only an hour away, with her whole little family there to support me and feed me and let me use their laundry room. And I see her a lot more lately than usual, and it is amazing. That sister relationship is just something that you can’t get anywhere else. Talk about being able to completely be yourself and laugh til you start crying.

So what’s my problem?

(This is when Anthony and my therapist say: “You are allowed to feel this way, you don’t need to beat yourself up or rationalize away these feelings.”)

I think I’m hitting that point where I’m in my mid-twenties and it’s actually really hard to make a good group of friends that all are close and have those automatic plans every weekend. In college it was easy – there was always someone to hang out with and some social event to show up to with your whole crew – it was awesome.

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But then you start working, or you move cities, and you’re like – wait. Best friends don’t just happen like they used to. Like, when you meet and you fall in friend-love and it’s just obvious that you are going to spend a ridiculous amount of time together from this moment forward. Now, you have to make an effort – schedule a happy hour, actually go somewhere else than you’re bed after work and hang out with people you’ve never met or hardly know for the chance of finding someone cool.

And shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother do NOT help. Besides the incestuous dating, I want that group of friends that just walk into your apartment all the time and meet you at a bar where you know the bartender and have a booth just for you. I feel like I’m close, but I could really use some extra girl bonding. That type of girl group where you don’t have to think about if you’re talking for too long, or about yourself too much, or if that came out right, or if you start crying will they know you’re not really upset about that, just like, crying…because? Or when you say your arms/neck/ears/toes look weird/abnormal/too skinny/too fat on a whim, they know you have a healthy sense of self-esteem and love your body and are just shooting the shit with them. But yes, please tell me they look perfect and that I’m crazy, thank you.

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I think this type of friendship is just hard to find. So I feel guilty having this need for it lately, because I already have it in a few people who I love! But, according to Anthony and my therapist, I am allowed to want it still, I guess.

I’m just not used to feeling all insecure about asking a friend to hang out and being so invested in it – it’s like dating all over again!

I have a lot of friends that have had the same experience, Anthony included. I think it’s just about knowing what you want and putting yourself out there, over and over again. Which I’m not great at – I get lazy, or take dumb things personally, or try to play hard-to-get… I just get weird.

FullSizeRender_1 I’m trying to be patient – maybe in a year or two I’ll be surprised at the network I have here. Wish me luck!

 

Have you ever felt this way? How long did it take you to make a group of friends after moving to a new city or transitioning from school to work?

 

 

8 Comments on Wanted: More Girlfriends

  1. Krissy
    April 15, 2015 at 8:53 am (2 years ago)

    YAAAASSS! To all of this. I have been through this several times through. I think sometimes we get different things from different people, and when you have a deficit of something for awhile, it becomes so obvious. I feel like it’s definitely a 20’s thing. I just got a vm from a friend who is going through that right now! It’s hard to live so far from your people. And some people have an easier time finding newish groups of friends than others. Now that I think about it, I think most of the people I am close to have gone through this – especially people who have moved around a little bit. And sometimes (as happened for me, recently), there are people that you might not consider to be one of YOUR people, but then something happens and you realize they were your people all along. One of the comforting bits is that you DO have your people, no matter where they are, and that’s a good thing to have. :)

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      April 15, 2015 at 10:11 am (2 years ago)

      Aww thanks Krissy! I really appreciate this – knowing that it’s not just me. I feel like I’m whining or not appreciating the amazing people around me, which isn’t what’s happening – but I think it’s just a transition, and it takes time. You miss the friendships that took so long to establish that are now long-distance, and sometimes it’s hard to feel like you have enough of your people around to feel at home. We are lucky to have awesome people in our lives. But if I had it my way I would uproot you and my other friends and we would all live in a colony of awesomeness in the same damn place. :)

      Reply
  2. Janet
    April 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm (2 years ago)

    You are not alone in your quest. When I was 27 I moved across country leaving behind a job of 5 years at a local hospital and a group of women friends like no other. I thought once settled, married with children things would evolve into what I once had. I was wrong; I was lonely and ached for my mid-west friends. Over time new friends were made, they were of a different kinship. Years later I still fondly look back on my Cincinnati days, and I hold dear the new friends I made here in southern CA.

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      April 16, 2015 at 8:44 am (2 years ago)

      Janet, I know what you mean – I made a great group of girlfriends in grad school, but after graduation some of my closest friends moved out of the state. What helps me is planning a reunion every year for a fun trip with them. It makes me feel like they are still a consistent part of my life. :) We have been seeing each other once a year for about 3 years now, and it does make a big difference!

      Reply
  3. Corinna L Stevenson
    April 15, 2015 at 5:45 pm (2 years ago)

    Stephanie, I know your mum and remember you as a child. I am in my 50’s and am going through this same thing. Mostly because in the last 3 1/2 years my life has changed drastically. I raised my children (all in their 20’s) and then found myself at age 50 with a baby (long story). The friends my husband and I had are still around. But in the distance. Most of them have grown children also. And many of friends were people I knew as my kids were growing because they were parents of my children’s friends from school or sports. When the children graduated so did the friendships.
    I do have a friend with a same age child as my 4 year old. But she is busy with her life too. And our circumstances as to how we became parents again are very different. She is also a few years younger than me and therefore fits into the “young child parenting crowd” better than me. So I sure wish I could make friends with other women who not only I can relate to at my age but that can tolerate a 4 year old in tow. But I find it very difficult to find. All the moms of 4 year olds are in their late 20’s to early 30’s. Who wants a 54 year old around them that reminds them of their mom? And do I want that? Not really.
    So I find myself a bit stuck sometimes. The people I thought were my friends have for the most part distanced themselves. I don’t necessarily blame them. But it does get lonely sometimes. So I bury myself in my work. I work from home so all of my networking and colleagues are in cyper space. But fortunately I “like” my husband. But it isn’t the same as having a girlfriend.
    So I am not sure what my answer will be. But I do know it is up to me. If I don’t go out and seek other women, I will stay disconnected. I just need to figure out how to do that.
    Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      April 16, 2015 at 8:42 am (2 years ago)

      Wow, Corinna, thank you for sharing! That must be very tough for you – finding time with a small child to be outgoing and put yourself out there to find new friends… It must have been a hard transition, I can only imagine. I am sure you will find the friends that will fill that need for you (the need we all have for a friendship connection) – I think with every life transition it just takes a lot longer than we hope. I wish you the very best and will be thinking of you and hoping you are one step closer to finding your “tribe”!

      Reply
  4. Melissa
    April 20, 2015 at 7:53 pm (2 years ago)

    I definitely feel all of this. I struggle so much with thinking that I don’t have that many great friends, and feeling sad because my list of people to potentially call and hangout with is so short. It was something I really struggled with in university. But, after graduation me and my group of friends who I had been growing closer with, went on a trip around Europe, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We’re all graduated now so it’s tough to find time to get together often, but we still try to whenever we can. And I’m even planning to move in with two of them in a few months. I like to think this is something that everyone struggles with over time – don’t let it get you down! Just like the right guy, the right friends will come when the time is right!

    The White Corner Creative

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      April 21, 2015 at 1:45 pm (2 years ago)

      You are so right Melissa – it’s just like finding a partner. You can’t rush it, you can just be open to it and put yourself our there. Thanks for visiting! Your blog looks beautiful – can’t wait to see what other tips you’ll post!

      Reply

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