I have been contemplating sitting down and writing this blog post for a long time now. To be honest, I just haven’t been sure how to go about speaking about such a vulnerable experience. Then I spoke to a few people about it and realised that this isn’t something that is unique to me as an individual, this seems to be a common issue most people experience as they get older.
I remember when I was younger making friends was as easy as breathing in air, I was good at it and I enjoyed getting to know new people. I still love meeting new people and learning all about who they are but I have to admit that it sure isn’t getting any easier as time goes on.
Making friends is hard at the best of times but as you get older it becomes a daunting task. At least that’s how I feel! I would go so far as to compare it to dating. It’s awkward, intimidating and it never gets any easier. I can’t tell you how difficult I find it to make friends with women especially. There is something incredibly daunting about trying to make new friends as I get older. Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing people in my life who I speak to every day but most of them don’t live locally to me. It’s trying to make local friends that is the worst! It’s not the easiest task.
This has become incredibly difficult since the recession began as almost everyone is either moving away or they just aren’t around much anymore. I haven spoken to people about my issue with meeting new people locally and their advice is usually to “just get out there and meet people” as if it is that easy. I am not much of a drinker so the only regular social gatherings attended by people my age locally are in pubs and the one night club we have in our town. Not exactly my kinda scene and not exactly thriving with opportunities to make lasting friendships, at least not in my opinion.
If you don’t drink every weekend or you don’t play sports, how the heck are you supposed to make friends in rural Ireland? Honestly, I don’t know the answer. It’s baffling to me.
I once said to someone that I wished there was a Tinder-like app to find local friends and they replied “There is! It’s called Facebook”. Is it really that simple though? What is the proper etiquette? How do you go about not coming across as a total weirdo? There are so many variables to consider when trying to make friends as an adult! It’s just not as easy as it was when we were kids.
I have come to really cherish the friendships I have and I’ve had some less then desirable experiences that have left me feeling extremely vulnerable and a little more cautious over the past few years. Friendship takes effort, dedication and loyalty and I don’t think that should be taken lightly. I think it is an honor for someone to want to get to know you and to put forth time in doing so.
Every time I see a group of girls hanging out together I can’t help but feel a little bit jealous of their friendship. I can’t even remember the last time I hung out with a group of girls or had a girly night out/sleepover. Okay, so I might be too old for sleepovers but you get what I am saying! Recently I have noticed a rise in the popularity of having a “girl gang“, which usually consists of a group of girls who build each other up and support each other (made particularly popular by Taylor Swift and her gang made up of Victoria’s Secret models and famous actresses) it’s impossible not to long for a bad ass support system like that. Let’s be honest, who the hell wouldn’t?
I won’t lie, not having local friends can really get me down some days but I understand now that as an adult life is a revolving door of people and experiences. Not everyone is going to stay in your life forever and not everyone is going to make the effort with you. It can be hard to feel isolated and alone but it won’t last forever.
Also, I think that sometimes you really do have to be your own best friend and not beat yourself up for not being as social or popular as you’d like to be. A lot of my best friends live abroad or far away and they are still there for me on a daily basis. They are always a phone call, skype or plane ride away if I really need them. They’d do anything for me and I’d do anything for them and that is true friendship. Time is our most precious currency and people really appreciate someone who takes the time to check in and keep in touch. I am slowly starting to realise that friendship isn’t about proximity, it’s about loyalty and trust.