I like to think I’m pretty evolved in my views on relationships. Although I think I did marry my best friend when I married Husband, I never expected “best friend” to be equivalent to “all the friend I’ll ever need” because I am very aware that I need more friends! Girls friends! And lots of them! For yoga and wine tastings and Downton Abbey and dress shopping and all the beautiful voices and perspectives that cannot possibly be contained in one human (but adorable) man.
I didn’t make many friends in college. I was awkward, took a ton of classes, worked three jobs, and graduated early so I could head to graduate school. But thankfully, graduate school was an ideal friend destination full of sweet, thoughtful people who had similar interests and passions and hopes and dreams. Through a combination of first jobs and late-night classes, I developed multiple strong, beautiful friendships. I’ve now had these friends for almost seven years and we’ve watched each other grow up, get married, buy houses, start families, join churches, and transfer jobs. My friends give me financial advice, pick me up when I have a flat tire, come to my birthday parties, and listen to my family drama. I am very blessed.
There’s just a problem: My friends are moving away. Like almost ALL of them. And all in the last four months. I don’t want to negate my remaining friendships or just brush off friends because they live hours away, but I am legit starting to feel lonely in a way I haven’t felt in years. Yes, I have Husband. But Husband is not going to be the perfect companion to check out the new hot chocolate bar at the pastry shop tomorrow or binge Say Yes to the Dress with me this weekend or stock up on Sephora samples during the sale and I don’t expect him to be. I’m proud of my friends for living their dreams and finding new adventures, but I sometimes feel trapped in my 5-year commuting PhD “adventure.” I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, but right now, where I’m supposed to be is rather void of playmates.
So, I’m trying. Trying to make new friends. When I meet someone interesting, I say, “Hey, would you want to grab coffee sometime?” And I’m on Bumble BFF. “What is that?”, you might ask. “Why, it’s like a dating app, but for friends!”, I reply. Because apparently, other people are having the same problem. Actually, just Google “hard to make friends” and you will see a plethora of articles about the challenges of making adult friends in the modern era. It’s rough out there, folks. (It’s so odd to be not alone in my loneliness)
Bumble BFF appears to be working, though. I’ve met up with several other smart, educated, and generally awesome people. The only downside? Making friends through an app is slow going. You don’t have work or class or church acting as a buffer to slowly get to know someone or bump into them in a casual setting. It’s super intentional. And a little awkward. And you have to stick with it because getting to know someone takes a while! It’s real old-school stuff.
I’ve also joined the Junior League. And a Lean-In Circle. And my classes are about to start again, so I’ll start to enter the “wistfully thinking about friends while not having any actual time to see them” stage. But female friends are a priority to me, so I’m going to keep at it. I plan to continue investing in my current friendships, even if my friends are halfway across the globe and I hope to open myself up to some new best friends, whether they come from graduate school or yoga class or a phone app. And in the meantime, I’ll be extra thankful to Husband for going with me to Sephora.
I would love to hear perspectives from other people about joys and struggles of making adult friends! Thanks, in advance!