Making friends as an adult is hard. It was easy when you were in school because you saw the same people every day, and in college, you basically got to live with your friends as roommates. And now as an adult, sure you have your co-workers, but outside of that, it can be hard to find people to be friends with because you’re not going to the same classes as them anymore.
In my case, I never had a big group of friends growing up, and I still don’t now. I’m okay with it, because I’m used to doing stuff on my own—#OnlyChildProbs—and I’m an introvert, so big groups of people make me nervous. There’s one friend from high school that I see somewhat regularly and still talk to—we try to grab lunch every three or four months or so—and I have the girls from the ice cream shop. I have one friend from college who I see once a year—he and I grabbed drinks earlier this week at the bar across the street from our college—and I went to see another one of my friends from college earlier this year at her law school in Rhode Island. (She’s one of those friends that even if we don’t talk for a year, which is actually what happened until I went down to see her, we get together and it’s like nothing’s changed.) Plus my co-workers. But other than that, that’s my circle of people.
That being said, I’ve realized over the years that I have reliable friends and friends that it’s hit or miss if we hang out or can make plans. I get that we’re all busy with our lives and we stay in touch on social media instead of actually talking to each other, but if I want to do things, I know who I can ask who will actually say yes and stick to it and who I’d need to chase down.
And sometimes, I love them to do death, but I need people who I can rely on. I guess it all goes back to my need for logistics and having expectations for others in my life. If I’ve been friends with or known someone for a while, by now I know what their personality is like, if they’re early to things, or if they’re someone I have to text well in advance. But does that feel like I’m accommodating people? Should I just do what fits me, instead of working to fit them so maybe some plans will actually happen? Am I selling myself short?
I try to be reliable, try to keep plans or schedule them so they work for me and the other person, and I try to be on time. Lately my ability to judge traffic and travel time is off, but I’m never more than five minutes late to somewhere.
Sure we need those fun spur-of-the-moment people in our lives, but we also need people we can rely on, whether for good or bad things. We need someone who’s going to agree and stick with the plan to meet for dinner at 5:00 p.m. or the person you could call late at night to pick you up from the bar. Or someone who’s your shoulder to cry—or laugh—on.