Making new friends

One of the things I love about ICLW (besides all the comments!) is finding new blogs to read. Even though the new blogs I stumble upon may be a different stage than me, it is amazing how just reading one or two posts from someone you’ve never met can get your brain moving and wanting to respond. That’s how I felt when I read Megs’ post on being a friend.

You see, I already had a post floating around in my head about making new friends. My husband and I are major introverts and find it hard to make friends. We are the type who are fiercely loyal to old friends and stay in contact with friends going all the back to middle school. In fact, I just had a recent girls weekend with my two best friends from high school. But since we’ve moved around a lot and our friends are scattered in cities other than where we now live, it’s been hard to make friends here.

I’ve been thinking a lot about why it has been so hard for us to make friends in our current city and I think it comes down to the fact that we haven’t had a ready made cohort in the form of being thrown together in a dorm or going through a undergrad/grad school experience with. Now, my husband did get a graduate degree in this city, but the program was geared towards part-timers who were working full-time, so it didn’t create the fishbowl life of a typical college experience.

What drew me to Megs’ post was the focus on how intense struggles can create friends–much like how Ron and Harry became friends with Ginny after battling a troll together. I have plenty of friends from college or grad school that I would characterize in that way. Even though we are great friends, it was kinda random that we became friends and due to the need to battle the mountain troll that was grad school. And now having moved to a new city and started a new job–there hasn’t been a similar troll to battle with a designated cohort of people. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been here for 6 years now and certainly have plenty of people that we are friendly with. But few actual friends. For example, I have plenty of “work friends” and enjoy hanging out with many of my colleagues. But perhaps because we are different stages of our lives or whatever the reason, there’s really only two people from my work that have broken through the “work friend” barrier to become, simply, a friend. And one of those is someone who I have become close to because we’ve shared our infertility journey together. So, in a way, we battled a troll together.

But in the past few months, our friend circle has expanded much more rapidly. And it’s all due to our son. Just as the journey of infertility can be a mountain troll, so is the journey of parenthood. And we need to find all the help we can get! Plus it helps immensely that I can tell our son is going to be a social butterfly. He makes friends with all the other toddlers on the playground and that allows me to make friends with the parents. And now we find our social calendar filling up pretty quickly!

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12 thoughts on “Making new friends

  1. I think what you said about it being hard post-school to make real friends is so true. And I have totally noticed that many of my friends who have kids make a bunch of new friends when they become parents. I’m glad you’re getting to know other parents – parenting is a lot of work and it’s so important to have other people going through the same stuff at the same time. Plus it just makes life more fun.

  2. I totally agree. Reading blogs of people in different stages of the journey is still comforting and connects us in a unique way.

    A lot of my friends live scattered about the world and so I look forward to the new circle opening when we reach parenthood. What a blessing to have a son that is a social butterfly!

  3. I agree that it’s so hard to make friends post school. My husband and I especially find it hard to make friends because we don’t have kids yet…and there really isn’t a group for us. We’re young and married, with no kids but want kids….that window is kind of narrow! We tend to find that it’s either you’re single, or you’re young and married with kids/kids on the way, or you’re married and don’t want kids.

    Hi from ICLW!

  4. Nice to meet you! 🙂 I’m stopping by from ICLW.

    Ah, I miss my graduate school cohort (though I don’t miss graduate school!). For me those 5 years of grad school (I was working full-time so it took me a while) will always also include our struggle to get pregnant, our decision to choose adoption, and our waiting to adopt. We adopted our gorgeous daughter the year before I finally graduated. The few friends I’ve kept in touch with from my cohort are the ones who I was closest to during that journey to parenthood. Interesting how all those connections come together.

    I’m a HUGE introvert, too, so I’m with you in that struggle to find new friends. Not only is it hard to make new friends but I’m also really aware of how I’d like to help my daughter make friends at play group, community gatherings, etc. I never anticipated this part of mamahood. I swing between feeling lazy and letting my extroverted daughter lead the way and feeling motivated to address my own social anxiety so that I can be there for her.

  5. I can definitely relate to the friend issue! I’m not an introvert, but I am a foreigner in my adopted hometown. I do speak the language (these days), but not fluently and still at times feel out of sorts with myself in the language. Thankfully I did go to school here and have some great friends (who now mostly live in different cities or are busy themselves) here.

    But as you said, having a little one did open up some new avenues for me. Although, I haven’t really made any new friends that I would meet outside of the group settings where I met these other moms. Sort of sad, but I’ll have to figure out a way to continue to find more mom friends that are at the same stage (roughly) as we are.

    And I too love getting comments and meeting new people for ICLW!

  6. Its one of my favorite parts of ICLW too! I read a lot of blog posts I may normally skim right passed and I really love getting to connect with so many different people and hearing all of their feedback. Expanding friendships past school is difficult. I feel like most of my post school friends ships were formed out of my job, but its always nice to add more to that.

  7. This friends thing is hard for an introvert like me!

    It dawned on me this year, as I was wallowing in self pitty, that the only way I made friends post-college was through a pole dancing (for fitness!) studio I took class at. Earlier this year we moved to a new city so I could be a SAHM. All my friends (pre- and post-college) are at least one hour away. Close for a day visit if they are free, but far enough I don’t want to drive there with a toddler who hates the car. I found a pole studio here and started going hoping I could make a friend or two, then I got pregnant and stopped going within a month of starting, so I’m still “friendless” in my new city.

    I have noticed that post-college friendships mean more to me now. I don’t really want a friend just because. I want a friendship that means as much to the other person as it does to me.

  8. Commenting back from ICLW! Thanks for stopping by! I really agree with you here, I sometimes have a hard time making new lasting friendships. I would love to develop new friendships thought the friendships of my kids!

  9. Hi from ICLW! I agree, it is easier to find a certain common ground with someone when you actually have one. Then again, people fighting infertility or raising kids can be very different from another. Shared experiences may help but do not guarantee getting along.

  10. Hi from ICLW…we also dont make new friends. I have 3 best friends that we do everything with and I wouldnt change that for the world. I think lots of people think they have tons of friends but they probably have lots of acquaintances but a handful of true friends who will be there for them whenever they need them.

  11. Although I’m a new reader I already feel connected to your blog. I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! Check out my latest post if you are interested in participating.

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