Thursday, 4 October 2012

Why are Adult Friendships so hard?

We took my daughter out for a sushi dinner the other evening. While Daddy queued up to pay, Scarlett walked up to two children a couple of years older than her and they started playing. The older children told Scarlett their names and she told them hers and they had a lovely time trying to work out if they could get any sweets out of the vending machine without putting any money in while swinging round the machine like it was a carousel. When it was time to go Scarlett announced that she just needed to say goodbye to her friends.

Scarlett making friends in Japan

It got me thinking. I took part in Stephanie Howell's Blog Your Heart earlier in the week and as I read through all the beautiful contributions there was a striking theme. Woman after talented woman lamenting the lack of real friendship in their lives. These women have full, busy, creative lives but find making and sustaining friendships with other women in the area they live very difficult. How do we go from making friends with almost anyone we meet to finding the whole process so difficult?

I can only speak for myself and for me I think some of it is fear and some of it is perhaps the sneaking suspicion that I am becoming depressed. I have become too reliant on the online world. I can chat to people via forums, Instagram and Facebook who share interests with me and get where I am coming from. In the real world I do not know a single person who makes layouts. My husband is really supportive of my hobby but no one really gets it.

Moving overseas with a small baby was a challenge but I really did think it would be easier to meet people than it has been. Our lack of a babysitter means we don't go out together in the evenings and we never really seem to meet couples anyway. My one semi regular outing has been my book club but Tet has been away on four of the last five meetings and is going to be away for next week's meeting as well.

 My IBS has certainly kept me closer to home of late. I am definitely wary of being too far from a toilet so home is a safe place. I do not wish that to be the way I have to live my life. Fear is a paralysing emotion and I do not wish to be ruled by it.

How do adults make friends these days? I am at a bit of a loss. I am not religious and that probably would be a good way to meet like minded people. I do not really participate in any organised sports or activities. Does anyone have any magic solutions?


  1. I understand what you are saying, and I am also mostly home due to my heartdisease, and don't meet many people. But I have found the most amazing friends through scrapbooking. I searched the Internet for people close by me to met up with to do some scrapbooking with. I found my new friends that way and also going to crops in the area where I live. One woman at one of theese crops lives in my village and is now one of my best friends, but we would never have known each other if it hadn't been for that crop.

  2. I could have written the third paragraph myself, word for word. I really don't know why it is so hard. I know that I partially make it hard because of my own insecurities, but even when I get out there and try the other half seems to not follow through. It is tough.

  3. ohhhhhhhh i wish i lived closer to you!!!
    i think us Kiwis dont want to intrude on others and start talking.....but im guessing once you do it will only get easier!!!
    as for the book group...can they come to you???
    is there a local scrapping store where you can attend crops??
    is there someone at your husbands work or daughters preschool who has a college aged child....can they babysit???
    i have online friends...but nothing like meeting with a gal to chat....most happy to skype kiwi to kiwi anytime
    Kia Kaha...and Arohanui my friend!!!!

  4. All of my closest friends, I have met online. I am so lucky, however that most of us live close to each other. I feel like they are the only women who know the "real" me. It's so tough. We also don't have a babysitter, so I hear you on that one!! Just know you aren't alone!!

  5. I wrote about this in my blog ages ago. For me the issue is not so much making new friends, as finding time and scheduling time to hang out. And if you don't nurture new (possible) friendships, they'll die out quickly.

    I've found that making friends has been a lot easier since having my daughter (who seems to be the same age as yours) - it gives us an easy topic of conversation with other moms, at classes or playground, etc.

    But I think part of it is courage, to reach out and talk to someone you don't know. I'm such an introvert and this is really hard, but my best mama friends have been those I had the courage to reach out to.