Making Friends as an Adult

I heard a radio presenter here in Canberra speak out about how she’s found it hard to make friends and gets anxious on the weekends about being alone since moving to the nation’s capital. This topic pulled at my heart strings.

There are people that seem to have it far worse than myself in the way of close friends (or lack of). My closest friends moved states – they’re still my best friends and although we speak a lot, it’s not quite the same as having them here. I have a lovely boyfriend and a few close friends in Canberra that I can tell most things to but the loneliness always creeps in whenever I’m by myself for too long.

It’s a very strange feeling – I’m not lonely in the way of wanting a partner, I feel lonely in a friend way after going from having such a tight knit group to having them spread across the country. Sadly enough I’m not the only one feeling it.

I know that of my friends who have moved states a few really want and miss those super close friendships, where you can spend hours with each other and talk about anything. Making friends as an adult is another ball game. Friendships where you can rock up to each other’s house, call each other crying, see each other five times a week and always have something to say can be much harder to make.

What I miss most about having my closest friends here are all the small things you take for granted.

The “Hey I’m near your house I’m coming over!”

The “Hey I’m being totally irrational but listen to me rant.”

The “Hey my boyfriend’s annoying me.”

The “Hey lets go to this fun event!”

It can be hard to make new friends that compare to the ones you grew up with, played sport or worked with for years – the ones that know your life story and all your messed up thoughts and still like you anyway. So how do you bridge the gap between your gym, work or brunch friends to actual see each other all the time?

Sometimes it feels like a ridiculous dating game! You need to find a person you click with that shares the same logic and some common interests with you. Then there’s the fact that you don’t want to be a stage five clinger and you’re like, “shit, do they like me as much as I like them? Do they want to hang out more?” Or you finally do hang and you’re like “oh man that was great! I want to see them again already, am I being too desperate?!”.It’s so worth it though, when you click with someone, have loads of fun and you feel comfortable telling them anything.

If you see someone’s stuff on Facebook and you think dam that chicks cool I reckon we’d get along – maybe you should message them. Send them this link if you think they’re going to be weird. If they are weird over it you clearly wouldn’t get along so cast that reel out for a different fish, whether it be online or at a bar.

I also believe that once you find someone you get along with well it can just organically turn into a friendship where you can invite yourself over and eat all their food, call them upset or have too many wines on a Tuesday. Just like a potential partner you have to work at it and spend time together. Tell each other emotional stories and do mundane things and see if it’s still fun. Some of the times I’ve laughed heaps with friends has been in the middle of a grocery store.

Most of the time I think the struggle is actually finding people to ask, it’s hard to get out there and meet others if you want more friends or to get away from some rubbish ones. How do you do it? Doing what? Where do you go? It can be intimidating to go places lone wolf. But at the end of the day what is scarier – feeling shit and lonely for a long time or being a bit nervous going solo to an event where you could potentially make lifelong mates?

If you’re in Canberra like yours truly, HerCanberra and 104.7 have been holding friend dates! I think it’s the best thing ever. If you want to check it out visit the 104.7’s Facebook page or request to join HerCanberra’s group Click & Connect. If you’re not in Canberra try Googling things like this for your area – they’re out there.

Try cooking classes, sport, yoga and community gyms. I often see clients at the gym I work at becoming friends and meeting up outside of the gym and it’s the greatest thing, makes me feel all mooshy inside. Another of my fave options are gigs – people that like the same music as you will always be a win in my eyes. The music is an icebreaker, you can talk about bands and I feel that 80% of the humans that attend these kind of events are nice, easy going people.

Side note – if you’ve made friends in recent times that you think are pretty awesome and are on the path to those hang out all day, come over whenever friendships – let them know you dig their vibes! Don’t take it for granted. In the illustrious wordplay of Rihanna, work work work work at it, the friendships you’ve formed over years and years took time and new ones do too.

Originally published here.

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20-something old girl from Canberra, mostly writing about shit I have opinions on, which is mostly health, fitness and matters of the mind. Gym coach, frequent music festivaler and enjoy the travelling thang.

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