I don’t know if I’ve talked about this on here before–I know I’ve talked about it with a handful of different people–but, how do you make friends? Like, I legitimately want to know.
As far as I can remember, I’ve made friends when I’m in places where other people are trying to make friends en-masse. Like the first day of kindergarten, middle school, high school. The first week of college. Peace Corps. I cannot think of any friends I’ve made outside of these places, none that lasted at least. When I think about these things, I get legitimately frustrated. Did I miss the day where we were taught these life skills? Or did the system fail me so much that I just never learned how to make friends?
As I get older, it seems I have less and less friends. Throughout grade school, middle school, and high school your friends change as people move away or your interests and beliefs change. Then school ends and your friends all go off in different directions. But you get college, or work, or something with the potential to get more friends. But once that’s over, those friends start to go in different directions, or you do. Slowly they all are disappearing. It becomes a lot of work to keep up with all these people you rarely see. Like, for me, I equate doing it well to a full time job and I really don’t have time to do it well.
Part of my friend disappearance is because I cannot invest enough of my time in so many people. I choose to focus on a core group. I would venture to guess I really only have a few friends left from high school that I keep in touch with, a few more from college, and a larger few from Peace Corps. My guess is that the Peace Corps friends will weed themselves out and I’ll be left with two or three that I keep in touch with. Really, I just have a core group of friends left from each period of my life.
At the end of Peace Corps, I started working a job stateside. I’m in a small office with about ten total people. To me, that’s no place to look for friends because I spend 40 hours a week with my coworkers, I don’t think I could handle seeing them outside of work. It would be an overload for me.
So, I genuinely want to know how to make friends. Part of my problem is that I don’t have enough friends around that I could hang out with them and leech off their friends. I couldn’t brute force my way into people’s lives just to be their friends because those opportunities do not exist. Trust me, I would totally take this approach because it’s had fair results in the past.
Another part of my problem for making friends at the moment is that I don’t know how long I’ll be living in this city. Let’s be honest. My girlfriend lives an hour away and my job doesn’t really interest me, so I will be moving sometime. That being said, I’m hesitant to go out and find friends because then I’ll either have to work to maintain the friendships once I move away or I’ll feel like I’m abandoning them. Not something I want to deal with either way.
How do you make friends? How should I go out and make friends when I move closer to the girlfriend? Really, this has been on my mind a lot lately and I’ve decided to do something about it. Leave suggestions in the comments.