It’s hard to make friends when you are a grown up. I watch my kids in a place where they don’t know anyone and they have a new friend within five minutes. It’s incredible and inspiring to watch them in action, but I’ve found the same approach doesn’t work well when you’re an adult…
The thing is, I’ve found going up to another adult and saying, “Do you want to play?” kind of creeps people out.
Personally, I’ve had so many of my inner circle leave town the past few years that I’ve realised I don’t have a circle of friends anymore locally. It’s more a square. Or a dot as sometimes it feels like it’s just me.
Searching for new friends feels a lot like dating.
The courage to finally ask the person you have noticed on a ‘friend date’ is quite nerve-racking. First, there’s the worry that they will say no. Then, there are the pre-first-friend-date jitters – Will they be your type? Should I show up on time or will that look too desperate? Do I wear something casual or dig deep into the closet for something fancy (and probably three years old)?
And, this, of course, is followed by the awkward first date complete with the gentle questioning to get to know each other and suss out if the person is worth a second date. The struggle is real!
The friend dating scene is also very competitive. A lot of people already have friends. They have their circle. But is their circle going to welcome you with open arms or are you going to be booted out like you’re on Survivor?
If you get through the first and then a few more dates, it’s much like being on The Bachelor. You know they have other girls that they date. You wonder if you are their favourite or not. Do they have more fun with their other friends? Do you like them more than they like you? Will you get a rose? Oh the drama!
It’s enough to make a girl just want to give up on the friend dating scene and hang out with her family for all of her free-time. Eventually though, you will get to a point where you will crave conversation and connection with other likeminded people and hopefully build up the courage to take the plunge to find some new friends.
So if this sounds like you, here are three things NOT to do when trying to make a new friend/s.
- Do NOT Facebook stalk potential friends before inviting one for coffee. It will feel like you already know this person and they won’t be at the same level. This can lead to some pretty awkward conversations when you know more about them than they have told you face to face.
- Do NOT show up at places that they have “checked in” to on social media with the, “Wow fancy seeing you here!” line. Again, can get awkies.
- Do NOT go from zero to BFF on your first meeting. Avoid planning future family holidays and girl trips together.
If you are on the friend hunt, I wish you well! I hope your new BFFs are just around the corner! Cheers to getting out of the house more than the wheelie bin (or at least more than the recyclable bin).