A cat's life. If it were only so easy.
Is it different or more difficult to make new girlfriends in your 30s? Is it just me? I have a feeling that it is not just me. At least that is what I have been hearing from my current friends and other women I have met recently.
I have friends. I have quite a few Facebook friends and even more twitter followers, but really, does that mean anything? Who is really considered a 'close' friend on Facebook? Half the time I get annoyed at my hundreds of friends facebook status'. So then why am I checking it 25 times a day? I don't care what you thought of the football score because more than likely I don't follow your team. I barely follow my own 'supposed' team.
It is hard to make new friends at this age because this is when life goes through some of its biggest changes. Between marriage, kids, new jobs, moving, schooling, relationships, how can you possibly focus on making new friends when you are just trying to work on getting more than five hours of sleep? It is hard enough to nurture the current friends I have now.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, or work from home, I think the odds are stacked even more against us. Finding new friends at work are where most of them are made when we get older. At least that is what the studies say. If you don't get out of the house much but to run errands, it can be hard to be super social. I have been considering getting a part-time job just so I can get out of the house and meet some new girlfriends. But with that comes the other hurdles with making new friends at this age.
We have to start considering factors that were never an issue before. Many of us have husbands or significant others, children, or super busy careers. So then I start to think, what if the husbands don't get along or have anything in common? What if our kids don't like each other or their ages are too far apart? What if our schedules are completely opposite, how the hell are we even going to get together for coffee or a drink?
It is even more difficult to deal if you don't have kids, and the other girl does, or vice versa. I have to be honest, I don't have kids, so I don't have any idea what moms have to deal with on a daily basis, and as far as I'm concerned, just call up your regular babysitter and get it done already so we can go out. I think that way because I can't relate. It's hard to have patience for couples/friends who have to deal with sitters, leaving early, not being able to get away, because I don't get it. If I can't relate to something that is one of the biggest part of your life, then it could be more difficult to relate in other areas. But at the other spectrum, I am the only one of my girlfriends that does not have children, so when we get together as a group, 90% of our time spent together is talking about children. I know this will all change when we have children, but right now, we are in completely different parts of our lives, so how can expect to make new friends when most of them are dealing with different parts of their lives.
I have also noticed that when making plans to hang out, many times the spouses are involved and we talk about a double date because those can be super fun, and we want to involve our partners while going out. But it can be a problem if one spouse does not like the other that they are set up to talk with, whether that is a wife meeting a wife or a husband meeting a husband, if there is not any chemistry between someone, it can end the whole double dating time. Sure, if I met and liked another woman, we can get together and get coffee or lunch sometime, but that will always be hanging in the air.
So yeah, it all makes sense as to why it is a lot harder to make friends at this age than when we were in high school, college or even our first jobs. Stats say that is when we make most and more life-long friendships.
To this day, I am still friends with most of my high school and college best friends. Through the ups and downs we come back together and that means a lot to me. I will always cherish their friendships, but the distance can sometimes be the kiss of death. I lost a few friends after I moved. Fewer phone calls led to fewer texts led to maybe I can see what they're up to on Facebook.
Just last night, I was at a women's event, and I overheard a few women stating that they were turning 30 so I rushed up to them to give them my card. I used my business as an "in" to start chatting with some women I had never met. Besides, it doesn't hurt to get some new readers right? As we were chatting, the conversation turned into how hard it is to meet nice ladies in AZ that were willing to bring you into their life with "open arms." The two lovely ladies I met were from the south and kept referring to "southern hospitality," and how it is so different. However, both of these ladies moved away from the south in their 20s. It got me thinking that maybe it isn't so much about where we live, but it all comes back to our age group and how we are so focused on our family, husbands, kids, boyfriends, career and money that it is like a wall is up to bring more people into our already stressful lives that were not so stressful ten years ago.
I have decided recently that I need to open up more and take chances on making new friends. I am sure that I will click with some and not with others, but if I don't run up to a group of women who are decked out in Tory Burch with perfect manicures and hair to die for, how will I know if we have anything in common, or if we click? We may or may not, but if I don't lower my wall, I will never know.
Do you think it is harder to make friends in our 30s? Do you have a story that relates to my experience? I would love to hear your thoughts.