The Art of Making Friends

I appreciate the potential of a blank page. I can just blurt out everything I’m thinking and feeling, leave it all there without judgment and it’s pretty nice. I guess that’s what I love about friends too; being able to unload on them (and vice versa) without fear or judgment. They accept you, good and bad and I try to practice the same.

Over the last year I’ve lost contact with someone who I considered to be one of my very best friends, one I certainly planned to have for life – and it weighs on me. Without going into an emotional sob story as to why this situation occurred, it leads into an issue I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: how does one make new friends at this age?

A few years ago I moved to a new city and it’s been a tough transition. My husband, outstanding guy that he is, has done anything he can think of to make me feel better when I feel far from my friends. At times it’s felt worse than others, just like anything else.

But, a few weeks ago, I started a new job and left somewhere I’d worked for five years. I worked in a lot of different departments and made a lot of friends, and I miss them. It’s just not the same not to see them everyday – in the hall, for a lunch date, whatever. Don’t get me wrong, the people at the new place are nice, and they’ve done everything to make me feel welcome – but I haven’t made any friends. It feels solitary at work and sometimes, at home. I can’t remember the last time I went out on a weeknight!

It just feels like when I was younger, in school or working part time, I went to parties, met new people constantly and my friend group grew wider and wider – but as I get older I feel like its shrinking beyond my control and I hate it.

This passed weekend we had a bunch of people over for my husband’s birthday party and I had such a good time, it occurred to me after I couldn’t remember the last time I had so much fun and felt in the company of such good friends. I don’t want that to be a selective feeling in my life. I’d like to get out more, preferably locally, but how?

I’ve met a few people recently that I’ve thought were really great and wanted to get to know better, but it all seems so strange. How do you approach someone you hardly know and attempt to strike up a new friendship with them without seeming like a weirdo?

I feel a lot like Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) in I Love You Man, looking for friends as an adult and feeling ridiculous. I don’t know how I got here, but I know I’d like to fix it. Problem is, I’m not really sure how. How do you make new friends at this age?

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