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Old 08-10-2013, 07:29 AM
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Unhappy Making Friends as a Grown Up is Hard

I hate it. We've been here a year, and I have "friends", but I'm never very sure where I stand with them. When we hang out, it's lots of fun, and I go home feeling so blessed to have good friends.

But sometimes it feels like we'd never get together if I didn't initiate it, which leaves me wondering if they really like me or if they just endure me. I feel like a tag a long friend, like I'm always a second thought. "Oh I guess we should probably invite the Turners, too." Like I'm not a real friend, just someone that people invite if they happen to think about it.

We're only here four more months, and I find myself thinking that I don't *really* needs friends that bad...other times I feel like I *do* need friends, so I'll just take what i can get.

I liked it better when I'd lived in Malaysia for 9 years and had friends who I knew would die for me. That's way better than this grown up inner drama!
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:39 AM
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I know exactly what you mean. We did really good at making friends when we first moved here 4 years ago, but all of the people that we really clicked with have moved, so it's like we need to start all over again. We have friends that we can hang out with and have fun with, but it's totally different to hang out with people who actually get you and can understand why you think, feel, and act the way you do. Also we are so busy with kids and DH doing grad school at night that now it's harder to spend the time that grows those friendships. Especially when we are naturally introverted anyway.

We are just fine most of the time, but sometimes I get really lonely wishing for those really good friends.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:51 AM
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Oh I hear you... you would think that at our ages, it would be easier - we have more in common with the kids and such... but with that it seems that everyone is so busy that they don't have time to build friendship, just acquaintances... if I lived closer to you, I'd be your friend.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:33 AM
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Hugs Kellie! I find it much more difficult as well.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:50 AM
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I hear ya... I lost 90% of my .. core, friends when I was with satan - that was a long time ago now- and i think it really impacted my ability to even MAKE new friends. I was in a bad situation and then had all the people i loved and trusted just disappear. So now, I'm a bitter old lady who doesn't trust anyone, and doesn't feel like anyones really TRULY my friend or there for me anymore. The insecurity that whole life brought me is really ridiculous. Of course, everyone i want to be friendly with sees me as pretty standoffish because I'm closed off and don't like to share a lot. It's a never ending cycle BF has been trying to drag me into his social group to hang out with his friends etc.. but they're MY brothers friends, kids that used to annoy me when I was a teenager hahaha.. I feel like I'm floundering a bit

I wish it were easier.. like Rebecca said you'd THINK it;d be easier now that we're adults and we don't have all the silly pettiness issues that we did as kids/teenagers.. But no it's not. I am grateful for the few close friends I do have.. and I know they'd stick with me till the end, it just is crappy sometimes.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:57 AM
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I completely agree. I tend to find one real friend each time we move. But it takes me half the time we are there just to find that one.(1.5 years roughly) It is hard to get around all the petty and back stabbers. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just be alone. I always have my husband. If you find the key to success on this, let me know please.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:18 AM
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I hear you. I struggle a lot on this too. This time we've moved has been easier as I actually found a few scrapbooking friends, but I really struggle to just find friends. I think we had 3 friends in the entire 3 years we lived in GA...and none of those friendships have really continued after we left there
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:29 AM
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Ugh. Don't get me started. And, hugs to everyone!
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:12 AM
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You're in good (or should I say pitiful?) company. I have one friend that calls me first and initiates get-togethers, but the rest don't seem to remember me when I'm not around. I've found myself sulking the last couple weeks, thinking I'm not important to anyone.

Ugh.

Sucks.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:43 AM
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Word.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:44 AM
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This is why I'm a hermit...so much easier... ;D
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:14 PM
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Yep I can relate too!
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:24 PM
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This is why I'm a hermit...so much easier... ;D
me too

I have a few core group of friends but I'm very much a loner. i'm not a very good friend MYSELF either..not one to initiate get togethers and stuff..I also think as get we older our lives revolve around our kids more than ourselves so that plays a part in how busy adults are now
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:24 PM
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Same. I have really really good friends that don't live near me.. but as far as friends around here... I have a couple but it's so hard.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:29 PM
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Wow - I didn't realize how common this was!! I just moved too - last week actually. I have to start over with friends, and it sucks. I'm so painfully shy, it will take so long to find anyone (and I'm not gonna hold my breath that I'll be able to find someone that I can truly be ME around them). I really hate starting over sometimes! I second being a hermit - if it wasn't for my kids, I'd never get out and meet new people. Hugs to you all!!
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:31 PM
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I so agree! I always feel like I am a second thought, too. Then they come through and do something amazing for me and I feel bad. lol

You want to know what's even worse? Meeting men to date in your 30s.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:36 PM
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I'm ok with most of my friends being in the computer. I have my husband, one close friend here, and my mom. I do have my days where I miss being a "socialite" but like Meg said, I'm so centered on my family and doing things with the kids that I don't really miss it, I guess. I can see me missing it when they're older though.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:40 PM
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Sounds like a lot of us are in the same boat. I've had the same best friend since college but I don't really have any other really good friends. A few that I see occasionally but not often. I had a bunch of acquaintances when I volunteered for stuff with the kids but now that I don't do that anymore, I don't see them.

And don't get me started on the meeing men to date later in life thing...
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:43 PM
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This is why I'm a hermit...so much easier... ;D
Me too. I could move to the moon and as long as I have internet I'd be good.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:54 PM
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I have a very large circle of friends whom I've known for about 13 years and then a couple of sub-circles in that. We have fun and they are fairly supportive, but none of them are the kind of friend I could tell my secrets to. I have my sisters for that, even though they live 1300 miles from me.

And since finding all my high school and college friends on FB, my current friends don't compare to them. I don't feel unconditional love from my current friends, like I do from my high school friends (even though they ALL live far away).

I have a GNO with one of my sub-circles tonight to celebrate my birthday. Most of the time I come away from those get-togethers complaining and frustrated. Other times we have a blast. Hoping tonight is the latter.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:56 PM
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You're in good company! I have two great friends I've know for many, many years. We don't live near each other, but we keep in touch and share everything and talk as much as we all can. Outside of them and limited family, I can't deal with much more social interaction anyway, so I don't seek it out. I've always kept a very small social network.

It's a challenge and you're certainly not alone! I wish I had some advice for you. Don't waste a minute on anyone who wouldn't make time for you, though. No one deserves that. xoxo
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:10 PM
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I totally know and understand what you mean. Same boat here.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:42 PM
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I wonder if so many of us can relate because we're all computer-oriented people, lol!
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:00 PM
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I hear ya Kellie. When I joined the Army, I lost contact with all of my school friends. Then when I left the Army, I lost contact with all of those friends too. I know some of the mums at school, and we chat quite happily while watching the kids play sport, but there's no-one I'd go out for coffee with or invite home or anything. I'm good friends with my neighbour, and we support each other with babysitting and picking the kids up from school etc, but we don't get together for a girls night or go shopping or anything.

Gotta say that it doesn't overly worry me though. I'm happy with my family relationships, knowing the women at church, talking with my mum and sisters on skype, and having online friends through scrapbooking. I do miss having a close 'best friend' kind of thing sometimes though.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:03 PM
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I say we ALL move near each other and be besties.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:11 PM
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Yep. Another one that gets it. I was always little miss social and had tons of friends. Not so much anymore. I think with age I just realized that I don't want one sided friendships anymore. I need someone that can tolerate the good/bad and ugly with me. Those friends are REALLY hard to find. I honestly don't have a ton of time to invest in superficial friendships. They tend to be to taxing on my emotions. I just need to focus on my kids and business. I don't need other people dragging me down.

SO in saying all of that........I am VERY limited to who I let it. I have a few. Other than that, I just can't allow myself to go there. I have become very much of a hermit over the last couple of years. I am totally okay with that. Not a lot of people can handle my strong personality and opinions anyways. It is just easier this way. Lucky for me, I do have few strong friendships that are there no matter what.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:05 PM
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I'm so with you Kellie. Adam and I were just talking last weekend about how, outside of being far from family, this is by far one of the toughest parts of military life for us. Even when we've made some really good friends, it never fails that either you or them move before long. It gets really old having to start over every few years. We're only supposed to be here in Houston for a max of two years and it's tough to get motivated to make an effort knowing we'll be moving again before too luck. It sucks.

On a lighter note, I read this book last summer and related to it so much. It was a really cute read and had me laughing a lot at how true it was.

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Old 08-10-2013, 04:23 PM
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When I watch TV shows like Sex and The City or Girls or the new one on ABC Mistresses I always wonder if such friendships exist. I would love to have a close friend like that but reality of life is a bit different. Between work, home, and my daughter there is little time left.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jacinda View Post
I hear ya Kellie. When I joined the Army, I lost contact with all of my school friends. Then when I left the Army, I lost contact with all of those friends too. I know some of the mums at school, and we chat quite happily while watching the kids play sport, but there's no-one I'd go out for coffee with or invite home or anything. I'm good friends with my neighbour, and we support each other with babysitting and picking the kids up from school etc, but we don't get together for a girls night or go shopping or anything.

Gotta say that it doesn't overly worry me though. I'm happy with my family relationships, knowing the women at church, talking with my mum and sisters on skype, and having online friends through scrapbooking. I do miss having a close 'best friend' kind of thing sometimes though.
This sounds sooo much like me!

For me, I know part of it is that no one will truly understand why I am the way I am unless they know my decades long backstory. We ALL have a backstory, right!? And, that's personal. It's not something I'm going to share with every friendly acquaintance. But, that leaves me with people with whom I can be friendly but not have a true, intimate friendship. And, I miss it a lot.

I'm still I'm touch with a bunch of my "old" friends, and I love hanging out with them cause they all "get" me. We just don't get together often enough. I wish I had a close friend who knew my backstory and was around to listen to the day-to-day stuff too.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:19 PM
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I'm here Lyds! And Kellie!
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:23 PM
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I'm here Lyds! And Kellie!
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:10 PM
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Totally there with you girls!!

I have lived in this town for 21 years now and I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've went and hung out with girlfriends. I have 'friends' but I don't have besties. I am closer to my friends from high school (who I live thousands of miles from) than I am my friends in town. I should actually call them 'close acquaintances' because that more accurately describes our relationships. We get along, we talk, we laugh and have a great time when we see each other but we typically just see each other in passing or at some kind of function related to work or kids.

Most of the time I am perfectly OK with not having a big social group. Sometimes it is kind of depressing though.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:36 PM
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Being a friend when you're a teenager is just so much easier. You're together at school, you go with friends to school events, you have birthday parties... it's easy.

Being a friend as an adult requires effort. It requires getting out of the house and going to do something. Usually when I do that, it's with my family and if I go out with friends, I feel like I'm depriving my family of that experience. If I go out with friends on a Friday after work, everyone is OK with that, but I find myself thinking that I'd rather be spending the time going out with my family and I feel guilty because they're at home eating sandwiches while I'm having a great time. I teach and a lot of my energy goes into doing that. Most of my "friends" are my coworkers. Honestly, when the day is done, I want to be home, with my family, with my things. I don't want to go back out and do something.

This is why my best friends live in the town where we vacation. We go there 3 weeks each year and I see them 2 or 3 times during a week. We have dinner, go see shows, I take their kids with us to theme parks... it works well for us. I'm pretty sure that once we're gone, they stop doing those things, we come home and we stop doing those things (well, we go to movies and dinner and nature centers but not with the same frequency as we do on vacation). It's rather strange but we like it.

P.S. And it's killing me that we are probably not going there again until 2 years from now. Next year I have one daughter graduating from high school and she is planning our vacation. I'm not going to miss the trip to that place, but I am going to miss my friends.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:42 PM
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I hear ya Kellie. When I joined the Army, I lost contact with all of my school friends. Then when I left the Army, I lost contact with all of those friends too. I know some of the mums at school, and we chat quite happily while watching the kids play sport, but there's no-one I'd go out for coffee with or invite home or anything. I'm good friends with my neighbour, and we support each other with babysitting and picking the kids up from school etc, but we don't get together for a girls night or go shopping or anything.

Gotta say that it doesn't overly worry me though. I'm happy with my family relationships, knowing the women at church, talking with my mum and sisters on skype, and having online friends through scrapbooking. I do miss having a close 'best friend' kind of thing sometimes though.
That's crazy! I'd totally be inviting you out for coffee all the time if I lived on the same island as you. : )

We need a group hug, lol. At least we have each other.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:45 PM
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P.S. And it's killing me that we are probably not going there again until 2 years from now. Next year I have one daughter graduating from high school and she is planning our vacation. I'm not going to miss the trip to that place, but I am going to miss my friends.
Kim, TWO YEARS?! I can't even imagine you being gone that long. Maybe you should get a second job at night so you can afford an extra trip...
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:46 PM
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This is why I'm a hermit...so much easier... ;D
This is me too! I'm surprised that there are so many of us that feel this way, I thought it was just me because everyone around me seems to have close friends
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:09 PM
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This is me too! I'm surprised that there are so many of us that feel this way, I thought it was just me because everyone around me seems to have close friends
... exactly what you said.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:34 PM
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This is me too! I'm surprised that there are so many of us that feel this way, I thought it was just me because everyone around me seems to have close friends
I'm in the same boat and thought it was just me, too. It's so hard making friends as an adult. And I'm generally quiet and reserved until I get to know someone. So as a SAHM, I almost never get to spend enough time around another adult to come out of my shell with them. I used to make more of an effort with the other moms at my kids' schools, but after too many years of those acquaintances coming and going (never lasting once the kids were in different schools) I'm not even bothering to make the effort right now.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:06 PM
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Ok, I guess I'll be the odd man out...

An introvert by nature, I've learned to become more extroverted thanks to DH being military. I NEED girlfriends. I need people to watch my kids while I get my hair cut and listen to my rants about DH and celebrate all the little 'mom' victories. So I have learned to be bold. To put myself out there (very soon after arriving at each duty station). To invite other people to join me for activities.

Does every friendship work out? No. Would I tell all these girls everything? No. But each base I have found 1 or 2 "home run" friends and a whole bunch of first-third base friends. They each serve a purpose in my life and I'm grateful for that.

Life is an adventure. I want to share the journey.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:15 PM
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I'm in the same boat and thought it was just me, too. It's so hard making friends as an adult. And I'm generally quiet and reserved until I get to know someone. So as a SAHM, I almost never get to spend enough time around another adult to come out of my shell with them. I used to make more of an effort with the other moms at my kids' schools, but after too many years of those acquaintances coming and going (never lasting once the kids were in different schools) I'm not even bothering to make the effort right now.
The 11 years I spent as a SAHM was very much this way for me. I made friends with other moms at the kids' schools, etc. but once I wasn't seeing them every day it just didn't last. There are still some of the moms I keep in contact with through facebook and visit with when we see each other out and about, but I wouldn't call and invite them to dinner or anything.

Now I am in the work force. After two years of part time work, I am going full time this year. My time will be even more limited. My friends now consist mostly of those people I work with. Most of my co-workers are in very different places in their lives. Many have grown children and are facing retirement, etc.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:25 PM
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I am sure most of us feel this way for a reason, those extrovert people who are out with the masses of friends aren't playing around on forums on a Saturday night. We are introverts for the most part and thus have a harder time meeting people. I spend a lot of time talking to my co-workers and spend time with them occasionally outside of work. But I am a single mom to an only child, its just the two of us, so sometimes even family time can be lonely. At the same time, I get kinda fearful about meeting people or asking people to hang out.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:35 PM
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For some of us introverts, forums, facebook and other online socialization becomes our social life.

I say that and it isn't entirely true for me, but I could probably be fine if it were. I love spending time with people in person and I get pretty jazzed up about hanging out with friends, but I get so worn out mentally by parties and such that while I enjoy them, I find I am in no hurry to go to another. LOL

My cousin posted a link to this article on FB. I can so relate to most of them...

27 Problems Only Introverts Will Understand
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  #43  
Old 08-11-2013, 12:07 AM
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Oh, that article is so, so true, Sherri!
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:14 AM
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That article reminded me of what I posted as a FB status last week.
I'm not ignoring YOU. I'm ignoring everyone.
Am I terrible or what?
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:52 AM
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I have an amazing circle of friends (about 6-7 of them) that live close by and wehn have been besties for 10 years....sometimes we go 6-9 months without seeing each other (because of work, kids, life etc) but when we get together, it was just like yesterday ~and they are the friends I tell my secrets too......luckily I work full time and I have made some very good friends there as well....we don't get out alot because of where we all live, but there are about 5 of them that I soley trust in....so I guess I have been lucky~

p.s. the other thing was I dragged my kids from duty station to duty station and we ALL had to do it over every time! So we know how important having friends that you can depend on and that depend on you are like when you live nowhere near home and extended family~

Kellie are these other Americans or are they from the Filipino culture?
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  #46  
Old 08-11-2013, 01:29 AM
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I completely understand where you're coming from! We're a military family and we've been in our current location for three years. Like you, I have 'friends' but I often think they'd never miss me if I left. I have life-long friends who I know would be there for me no matter what, but they live in my home town area. It's tough to make real connections with people when everything feels temporary anyway.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:55 AM
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We moved to this area ages ago but its a small rural community and 95% of the population was born here, grew up together, went to school together, hung out together, etc all their lives. Their need to meet & include new people in their social groups is limited. And it's rural, so it's not like there are 'neighbors' to meet.

I have maybe 4 friends from the next county over, which experienced much more growth than mine and is about 45% new people in the past 10 years.

I go to the kids' sports practice & games and know other parents to nod to but 3 years of tae kwon do, baseball & football and our interactions are still limited to "Hey, how's it going" at practice.

It's like I am missing 'step 2' to making friends. The first is "go out and meet people" but then what do you do?
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:34 AM
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I so get you on this too and I often feel the same way. I have many "good" friends that I have made along the way from childhood, high school and since I have been in the Air Force. They are the kind of friends that no matter what happens or how long it been since we saw each other or talked, we can pick right up where we left off like no time has passed at all. I so cherish those friendships.

But now, I try to make friends and invite people over for dinner, out to event, and to go shopping but I/we never get invited. I often ask the "is it me?" question to my husband too. The "friendships", if you want to call them that, have been very shallow on fleeting and often seems one sided.

I have been in San Antonio, TX for 6 years and only recently developed a wonderful friendship with the girl across the street and of course, we are now moving from to Riverside, CA at the end on Sept.

So now it's time to start all over again. Yippee :-/
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  #49  
Old 08-11-2013, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clearskies View Post
Ok, I guess I'll be the odd man out...

An introvert by nature, I've learned to become more extroverted thanks to DH being military. I NEED girlfriends. I need people to watch my kids while I get my hair cut and listen to my rants about DH and celebrate all the little 'mom' victories. So I have learned to be bold. To put myself out there (very soon after arriving at each duty station). To invite other people to join me for activities.

Does every friendship work out? No. Would I tell all these girls everything? No. But each base I have found 1 or 2 "home run" friends and a whole bunch of first-third base friends. They each serve a purpose in my life and I'm grateful for that.

Life is an adventure. I want to share the journey.
I agree that in order to make friends as adults you really do have to put yourself out there. You have to take affirmative steps to reach out to other people and MAKE them be your friend. It's definitely harder than in school where you just are naturally thrown together with your peers all day. I made "Connect" my word of the year a couple years ago and really made an effort to take the first step to reach out and invite people to lunch or coffee or whatever. It's hard work (and awkward at first, especially if you are naturally shy like me) but it does work, over time. I know I always get a little lift when someone reaches out to me to invite me to something so I try to think about that when I'm feeling unsure of whether to reach out to someone else.

I can see that it would be more frustrating though, if you were moving all the time and had to start over each time!
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:11 AM
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Gosh, I've thought about this a lot lately.

When I was married it didn't matter much, because we never left home, and were together almost 24/7, either physically or by phone etc.

Now that I'm single and spend most weekends without the kids, I'm missing having friends to go 'hang out with'. I have a few really great friends (none are very available to just hang out though) a couple friends that I've had since kindergarten and we talk a lot, it's just different.

It is tough. I've realized more in the last couple of months though, that I don't give myself enough credit, if I just open up a little bit, the people will come. I've had more interaction with people in the past 4 months than I have in the past almost 8 years.

(PS it's kinda late & this sounds like I"m rambling)
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