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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wanted: One BFF

Ever consider placing an ad on Craigslist for friends? I've thought about it from time to time and it freaks me out. How pathetic must a person be to go online begging for real-life friends? I guess as pathetic as me.

I moved to my current undisclosed location about nine years ago and I really have no friends here. This is at least in part due to my history - I always feel like I'm the one in the relationship making all of the effort so I just say screw it because maybe they just aren't interested. So I haven't exactly retained a lot of long-term real-life friendships and it seems like a lot of effort with probably no payoff to form new ones.

Consider me the champ of online friendships though. Sisterfriend, for example, has been my online bud since 1999 at least. And our plans to run away and join a convent are coming along quite nicely.

Somehow despite my social phobia I also do reasonably well with friends due to proximity. More acquaintances really, but I make it work. You are on a committee with me? Ok, I get along with you. Oh, you are my husband's classmate's wife? Sure, let's hang when the guys get together. But it ends there.

I've tried and found it very frustrating. We had no luck with the local couples groups. Either they all have kids and want to go to Chuck E Cheese or they're baby-haters. We don't have kids at the moment but might want to eventually. Why bother making friends only to be shunned if we reproduce?

And then there's the girls groups I've checked into. Even the ones that say they're open to both married and single women, kids/no kids seem to be all single chicks. Single unemployed chicks. How else are they meeting regularly on Tuesday nights starting at 10pm for karaoke or trivia night at a bar. Oh, and the 30-something guys group will be there too, by the way.

So if you don't have kids or you aren't a whore (despite your foot herpes), how do you make friends?

Every so often I read the "strictly platonic" section on Craigslist, w4w. How do you determine your new BFF from such a short description? It feels very judgey.

Then I consider maybe leaving it up to fate. Posting my own ad, seeing who contacts me. But what if nobody does? What if they're all stalkers? What if someone contacts me and I hate them? Or I'm too spazzed to meet them?

Besides, what would I even say?
Married woman who hates job, has no direction in life and has lots of free time but is terrified to leave her house and meet people seeks BFF for hanging out and chatting with but only sometimes. Don't currently have kids but might want to so added bonus if you'd coordinate a pregnancy with me so we can share the experience.

C'mon, you know you'd respond right away. Right?


Andi said...

I am a loner chick too who has a difficult time coming out of her cocoon to meet people in the flesh, so I can totally relate! Forget Craig's List, you may just have come up with a brilliant business idea for an online friend-making service based on the online dating model!

Chixor1 said...

That has to be the best craigslist post I have ever seen not posted. If I were closer I would have to respond. Making real friends can be hard, especially when you need some TLC and most people seem so self absorbed these days that they would rather receive than give.
You have so much to offer though, anyone lucky enough to be considered an IRL friend should feel awesome.

C. Beth said...

Okay, I think this is such a common issue. A lot of us women are LONELY.

This is something that has definitely been on my mind lately since I have issues with "real life" friends too. Honestly, what recently made a huge difference to me was admitting to some friends how much I need deeper friendships and how much I've kept that from happening due to insecurity. I was in a group of people I had reason to trust; I'd just kept a certain distance between us. When I openly admitted it, some of the women started suddenly reaching out to me. So for me, being able to be vulnerable enough to admit how hard vulnerability is for me...that was the key.

That might not be the key for you. And you might not have a group you trust like I already did. But that's what's been working in my world....

Tinkerbell said...

Funny this would be your post today. I just had a good run with a friend this morning and that's exactly what we were talking about. We were both engineers and hung out with men all the time at work, but no real "friends." When I retired I made it my goal to build a circle of girlfriends and did that by joining (and eventually coaching) an all-women's group. We swim, bike, run, whatever's up for that day and enjoy coffee or lunch afterward. I think the real trick is to do something you love and share it with like-minded people. The friendships are the biggest bonus.

Nikke said...

I have a hard time making friends as well.
I've met up with some other women, but they soon ditch me.
I even had one lady tell me it was because of my "sarcastic humor"
I've pretty much given up on trying to make friends around here.

Strange Mamma said...

All I can think of is NINE YEARS?!? I'm so screwed. I moved to my completely disclosed location 6 months ago and have felt at times that I was never going to make any friends. I too, am really good at being friendly, but really miss the close friendships I've had in previous places. I too, often feel like I'm the only one making any effort and give up after a while. It hurts my heart to think of this going on for years. The one woman I have connected with a bit, indicates that she's lived here for years and doesn't really feel connected either. Why are we all so surrounded by loneliness?

RoSi said...

yeah i dont have any real life friends myself and the ones i have online arent much to boast about so i totally understand.

blognut said...

I meet people very easily - and I get along with most of them - but close friendships are harder to come by because.... Crap, we don't have time to go into it.

Anyway, I have cultivated a few women with whom I am very close. Some in person, some through blogging.

The thing is, reading your mock ad for Craig's list, maybe you sell yourself a little short and you need to just be you. People will go out of their way for you if they just simply like you, and you are likable, I think.

(BTW, how come likable/likeable never looks right no matter what I do?)

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

I would totally respond to that. Wine on the deck after the kid(s) are asleep, peeping through the spy hole in the fence to check out hot neighbor (or laugh at doufus neighbor), maybe a game of cards or Wii something-or-other. No lengthy phone calls. Just hanging out once a month or so. Is that so hard? Really? Cause I have friends (same town I grew up in, so I should) but it seems so hard to get together with anyone and just chill out. I like the add... and maybe I'll use it.

Moxie said...

I make friends easily because of school and all the activities I do. BUT, I am only friends with people as weird as I am, OR are involved with the activities I am in.

In middle school, I refused to make any friends exept for the weird ones I already have (and still have, because they are weird and I love them). I came out of my shell Freshman Year.

But I used to be a better "Online Friend" than a "Real Life" friend, but now I really think I'm a better Real Life friend. Although, through blogger, I may be heading toward a future of even friend mode.

a corgi said...

I bet you would get some takers if you posted your ad on Craig's List; there are some interesting ads on there for sure (I just featured a couple in our area in my blog from yesterday, LOL)

anyway, I know what you are saying because I'm a lot like you. It takes me a long time to be comfortable in an area before I go out and want to make friends, but in the meantime, it does get lonely; I suppose that's why I follow over 75 blogs.....

we've moved a lot and right when I get a few friends, we end up moving again, which makes me think "why bother" to start making friends if we are only going to be moving again soon (I suppose that's why I follow so many blogs)

I envy women I see out and about shopping together or at Starbucks with their friendships, or the friendships I know my SIL has with her friends and same with my sister.

I made my bestest of friends volunteering in church nurseries; go figure

who knows, maybe one of your new neighbors down the road will be a good match as far as a friend!



Seansmoma said...

Yea, I know the feeling. I rarely make friends. Good friends anyway. I mean there are aquaintances but not good friends. Right now my best friend lives in Maine and I haven't seen her since May of '04. Pretty depressing.

It's not that I'm not friendly (I think I'm friendly). It's just that I don't feel confortable being that close with a lot of people. Also, I'm shy-ish so people automatically label me as "Stuck up." Fine then, if that's the way they want to be!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I'd respond because, prior to landing this job, that pretty much matched my description, too.

Princess Andy said...

close friends are overrated.

not to mention hard to come by.

i'm a big believer that life comes to you as it should...and that includes the people in it.

don't worry so much about what you should do. just aim for happy and you'll be fine.

trust me;)


p.s. also, where should i send your half of our custom made "bff" charm bracelets to?

p.p.s. love ya.

p.p.p.s. frig i crack me up.

Grand Pooba said...

Hell yeah I'd reply! But I'd include "Must drink wine" in my ad!

silver star said...

I guess some of us are better off with internet friends than real-life friends, I know at times it seems that way for me. I don't work around people that are close to my age, most are old enough to be my parent or grandparent, and I'm really shy in person, so it's really difficult for me to meet people and possibly have a friendship with them. I had the same trouble dating, I'm just lucky I found my husband when I did. It sucks to be lonely, but when you can't seem to find decent friends, then being lonely IS the better option, unfortunately.

AmyK. said...

I can loan you some of my friends...just kidding.

Right now, I am in the opposite camp. I have a friend or two I have outgrown. How do you "break up" with a girlfriend??

2cats said...

I have lived in this place since 1991. I have no actual friends here. I know some women who think they are my friends, but unless I call them I don't hear from them. I decided to quit calling.
My friends (2) are still in the city.
One I have had since 1973 and the other since 1984.
If someone doesn't need me, I don't need them.

Just say Julie said...

I have to admit it's only been in the last year have I really given effort to cultivating friendships, and it can be a terrifying experience. I've met some through my son's activities, but the majority have come from my crossfit class at the gym or from bonding with fellow teachers to commiserate.
I think you're heading in the right direction for sure :)

Call Me Cate said...

I feel so much less lonely after reading your comments. I'm glad it's not just me that has these problems. Thanks everyone!

Intense Guy said...

A lot of people could use someone "physically nearby" to interact with from time to time.

Part of my issue is that its easier to interact from the computer instead of "going out there" to actually talk to someone.

I got tired of the 10-15-20 mile drives to see my "friends" (and they never drove to see me).

I don't think craigslist is the best place for you though... You are so humorous and "bounce around" topic-wise - perhaps you could see if you can (if you haven't) get into Mensa or something like that.

Sassy Britches said...

Oh, honey. Aside from the afraid-to-leave-the-house thing, your ad is me. Post that sucker; you'll definitely get responses.

TMC said...

Now why'd you have to go and get all deep when I was out of town??

Kay said...

I've actually seen ads something like that on Craigslist :)
I suck at making real-life (non internet) friends. I'm no good at picking up the phone, or making plans, or putting myself out there and risking rejection. What if they don't like me?
I've seen so many bloggers talk about this lately, how they have amazing online friends, but no one close to home. How the hell is it that we all live SO far apart??
I've even started looking for "local" blogs, figuring maybe I'll connect with those women online and it'll carry over to RL, but so far, no luck :(