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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?

I am constantly asking myself this question. Maybe this isn't an issue for most people, but it's certainly an area in my life where I am lacking. I may be at a disadvantage because I don't remember ever really developing social skills as a kid. I was painfully shy and for that reason, most people thought I was snobby and just didn't want to be friends. This couldn't have been farther from the truth. I desperately yearned for friendship, but just couldn't figure it all out. I suppose that's still true for me.

I've gone through most of my life without any strong friendships. I had a horrible friendship in high school that involved emotional and mental "abuse", which I stuck around for because I didn't feel I had any other options. Now, as I near 30 (and when I say near, I mean in 3 weeks), I find myself without any close girlfriends. I keep reading that having close friendships is an important part of a healthy life; this makes me feel even worse.

It's not that I don't try. Believe me, I do. It just seems that women my age aren't looking for one more person in their lives. People kept saying that once my kids started school, this would all change. But he's been in preschool for 2 years and nothing. I seem to be shunned because I work. All the stay-at-home moms get together during the school week with the kids. Well, I can't do that because I have to work. I try to set things up in the evenings and on the weekends, but that doesn't work for them because their husbands are home then and they want to spend time with them. I'm not saying I blame them, it's just hard to mix a working mother with a SAHM. And where I live, there seems to be a shortage of working moms.

I'm not trying to turn this into a pity party. I'm just trying to figure out why this seems so easy for some gals and so tough for others. I know women who have tons of friends. They have someone they can call in any situation. If they need to go out and have fun, they have a friend to call on. If they need someone to watch their kids in a pinch, they have another friend perfect for that. If they need a shoulder to cry on, there's someone for that as well. And so on, and so on. I do have my husband, and he is great in most situations. But that is very different than having a real girlfriend.

I look at my husband and his friends and wonder what it's like. He has a few VERY close friends. They've been friends since high school and are tighter than ever. They talk often and even though some live very far away and some have crazy jobs, they always find the time for each other. (On a side note, I also tried to befriend these wives at one time. Although I am the youngest of the group, we are all about the same age. This approach did not work either; they all seemed to be too busy with the people they already had in their lives. Sure we all get together as a group from time to time and the guys go do their thing and the girls sit and talk, but it's one of those forced sort of talks. Not natural like you'd have with a friend.)

So, I continue on my search for real, true friendship.