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.
I’m 37 (and have great hair and some fab Tory Burch items :p) and LOVE this post. It’s soooo true. My “BFF” is my 35 year sister and I’m hers.
I work from home and sometimes miss working in an office setting because you’re right, that’s where my friends were.
Facebook has fortunately been a great way to reconnect with old friends–not necessarily make new “true” friends.
You just have to force yourself to get out there.
I actually connected with a Twitter follower and we’re great friends now. Granted that’s one out of thousands but I’ll take it!
Couldn’t agree more! It’s so hard in our very complicated lives to make new friends. I find it extremely challenging myself. I’m like you, I have the old BFF’s from high school and college, and that’s about it. I miss getting to go out…maybe someday in the future life will be less complicated…maybe when we retire. lol
Nicole @theWardrobeCode says
I think it’s a common misconception that the relationships from your childhood will be the strongest. I had trouble making friends almost all my life, until I made a conscious effort to find people I had things in common with. Now I have some great friendships with people I share a good mutual understanding with.
I think the trick to making friends in your 30s is to find any sort of organization or group to join that you know will meet regularly. This could be mom’s groups, women’s business groups, fitness groups. Find whatever works for you.
Then, do your best to foster relationships with people organically!
Dr. Reginia; The Social Mistress says
By 30, it seems that lives have transformed and interest have changed from our 20s crowd. By 30, cliques have also formed and many are so hesitant to trust a new face. I find that Meetup.com and other social networking groups have helped ease the tension. I’ve known some to foster new friendships from these sites.
I have said so often to my guy friends that I am really in need of some real girl friends and it is so hard to make/find them. My best friend lives states away and I don’t get to see her very often. My other two friends are both male – one I see on rare occasion and the other one I have begun to date.
Not having any girlfriends close by is a real struggle and I feel like something is missing. I have so much difficulty in meeting new people because in the real world I can get so shy.
I would love to have a gal pal that I can call up to discuss career, school, men or just have drinks and shopping trips with.
I love that you wrote this post because this is the exact thing that I have whined about to my guy friends over the last few weeks!
I’m a 30 “noob” so to speak- turned 31 back in March. A year ago in July I moved half-way across the country. By some kind of fate/coincidence I ran into a friend from junior high whom I hadn’t seen in about a decade- she was engaged and we got together a lot for coffee/drinks/shopping. And then she got un-engaged(about 6 months ago) and I’ve seen her twice since. So I have no friends. And work in a small-town docs office with one other employee besides my boss. Making friends is HARD!
I was just thinking of this very subject this morning… honestly, beyond my sister I do not have any female friends. I had female friends when I was growing up, female friends for a while in college, but then they all moved away, got married, and started having kids (I am not married, nor do I have kids) and little by little I started getting left out of everything. I am still “friends” with them all on Facebook, but that’s not real friendship. A few weeks ago I noticed that this lady that works in the cafeteria at work started calling me by name (I didn’t even know she knew it) and now has been acting very friendly. She seems younger than me, but nice. I don’t know how to approach her to try to make friends… and I don’t want to sound like a weirdo. I don’t know what to do.
i’m happy you wrote about this and YES, it is so hard. i’m thirty and most of my “real” friends are from high school and college. my husband and i moved to a new city almost 2 yrs ago and i work for myself. It is so hard. this completely spoke to me.
thanks for putting this topic out there.
It is so true. I sometimes believe that woman believe they are in competition with one another all the time so they don’t know how to be friends any more. Who has the better house? job? smarter kids? looks better? It’s like it a a constant competition out there and so you can not be yourself and relax like when we were younger and trying new things. I really don’t care who is better, I just want someone to hang with, someone to call and chat with, someone to call my friend besides my husband….I don’t think that is asking too much. It’s like I want some face time and attention (like a two-year old LOL)
Thanks for the post. After reading many of the comments, it’s very clear that a lot of women find it hard to make new friends. I have my sister (5 yrs. younger) a few cousins and a whole bunch of acquaintances. But no one I can truly call to say something silly like “omg did you see tonight’s episode of…” lol. It is difficult…but I’m going to take some of the advice and try out some sort of group. Good luck ladies!
My Thirty Spot says
Thanks everyone for your comments. I really appreciate them and your points of view. It is nice to know that I am not the only one, and that is why I wrote this post. So happy to hear from all of you.
The writer is right it’s not where you live.. I moved from NY to Georgia and I have yet to meet a women from GA giving me ” southern hospitality” most of the women that do are not from the South and we all actually think they are “different”. But like the writer stated it’s more of thinking, of how everyone in your family circle will get along. But at the end of the day I just need an in town friend I can meet up and escape with for a cup of coffee or walk (lol) as long as we have things to talk about (for me) if our husband blend or not doesn’t bother me… he has his own friends and we don’t have much to talk about and it does not bother me. I am not going to limit myself in trying to find a friend just b/c our husbands/kids might not get along. Kids grow up and make their own friends. I just don’t get it but I notice at a young age that I don’t think like an average women so :/ I guess this is also a reason for not being able to find a friend here. The ones I do are military wife’s so they only last for so long but we keep in touch via online but its just not the same…
What an Anonymous said is so true! It’s a constant competition and I notice that some are also thinking about those lifetime movies.. I am like not every women that gets close to you wants to do a lifetime movie and take you husband away from you!
This is a great article… I can definitely relate as I’m 31, and not really friends with very many of my “old” friends, most of them who got married & had kids years ago stopped talking to me. It’s very sad, and hurts me some days quite a bit. I can’t afford to get married to my BF of 7 years yet, or have kids yet, but I’m made to feel like I’m strange because of this. it’s really too bad some women are like this… but I guess that’s part of getting older, you find out who your true friends are!
Thank you for this article, and your site. It’s great to hear from others that we are not alone, no matter where we’re at, in our 30’s!
Marlena B says
It is hard to make friends after 30, indeed. But it also depends on your personality, as well.
I am more introverted person so it takes time for me to open up and get close to people. But it depends also on your personal experience with friends. For me, I’ve had few ‘heartbreaks’ with some people I called friends and I am more aware now.
I discovered that, meeting nice people who share your interests or you have something genuine in common with is the way to go.
Thanks for this article. After giving it some thought, I am going to pursue some friendships with women who have grown children (my children are still young). Hopefully the competitive factor will no longer be relevant.
Lately it seems as if everything that I say to women my own age gets interpreted as some sort of covert insult. It is rediculous and I’m getting tired of walking on eggshells. I’m not a mean person. I don’t have alterior motives. I’m to the point where I don’t care enough to attempt correcting absurd extrapolations. After a certain amount of time, if my character standing is still in such a questionable position, I do not think there is hope of any type of emotional security in the “friendship”. I’m writing them off and if they want to hate me they can just go right ahead, because it appears that they are looking for a reason to do so anyway.
I do wish I had a better way of finding friends, like an e-harmony for platonic relationships.
Thanks again for your post.