I don’t have a lot of friends, I never have and I’ve never been afraid to admit that. When I was growing up, I would flitter between groups and most of the time I enjoyed my own company the most. I wasn’t shy, in fact, I was quite the opposite. I just wasn’t that fussed about people liking me. At times it could be tough because it felt like I had no one but the minute I was friends with someone and they stabbed me in the back, my own company seemed very attractive again.
I moved away from home at 18 and lived with a couple of my good friends who I met at uni before moving in with my boyfriend. I moved to a totally different part of London and round here, I know no one apart from some of my boyfriend’s mate’s girlfriends, so if we have a fight or he pops out with mates last minute, I have nothing to do apart from go with him or sit indoors by myself. And that isn’t ideal.
To be clear, I am not saying that I just want friends when I am bored. The point I am trying to make it that I have a handful of solid friends who know me inside out. The problem is that three of them work unsocial hours and the other two live back at home in Norfolk. What I lack is that next layer of friends. The ones who you don’t always speak to but meet up occasionally for a catch-up and really enjoy each other’s company.
But making friends as an adult is hard. It’s not like you can just walk up to someone like you would at five years old and say “hi, do you wanna be my friend”. It’s hard enough to maintain the relationships you already have when you’re trying to fit it around work and general life, let alone putting in the time needed to forge new friendships.
Yet, friendship is more important than ever when you get older. Big life events happen from weddings to having children and you need that support system more than ever. But the older we get, the more friends we lose or drift apart from and we never make that effort to find new ones. Life should be shared with people you care about and it’s taken me a while to realise that I seriously need to get out there and make some more friends or I risk missing out on an awful lot.
When you’re in a relationship, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of just relying on your partner for the same fulfilment you should get from your friends, but who you gonna bitch about him to if you don’t have friends around?
At 23 years old, my weekends should be filled with birthday and engagement parties, brunches and drinks. My evenings should be full of bitching about the latest TV show or talking about the new guy at someone’s work. I have never felt pressure to have all this but I think the time has come to broaden my circle a little bit and really get out of my comfort zone.