Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Can you make new close friends as an adult?
I tend to make friends and if I think of you as a friend, instead of social acquaintances, then I usually stick like glue. My outer circle is in constant growth but my inner circle is small. I believe in opening myself up to very few and yet I have no problem being there for many. Most of all I tend to have long term friendships.
As and adult I figured my inner circle of close friends well was frankly closed. I mean I am all for sharing in the adult experience, for good times and family get togethers but I went with the thought that there had to be shared history to truly make me feel comfortable enough to consider having new friends. I am not alone in this most people and even studies say that we tend to make our strongest friendships in our formative years. I mean nothing bonds you as shared bad decisions that are now hysterical memories. The lovers you could not breathe without now are the ones you call your friends to try and see they remember why on earth you thought that to begin with and was he really as hot as your mind is making him. You were there for each other when there was no money and shared a box of mac and cheese (Stouffers in the oven was a staple in college), cigarettes and crap apartments. These were the hard times and the lean times and the milestones that bound you. So how could any adult friendship even have a chance.
You don't have the same time to devote to cultivating new friendships and rely on the old ones because they get it when you run in an hour late because your kid needed just that one thing but this was the 5th time you had to reschedule a dinner that really should not be this hard to get to. You meet other people but they have a shared present and not often the shared past that makes you laugh until you snort. You watch yourself because you are not quite sure of how much you can let it all hang out. These are not bad things but they are the reality of adult times. I also think of the show "Friends", which I so loved when it was on, that was about semi-adult friendships...not quite the ones I am thinking of at my age but they did not all have a shared past, some did but not really. They made it, sort of except when they were on a break or monkeys interfered.
Into this I find myself breaking the stereotype. I have made 3 really close new friends who I have added to the inner circle. They do not share my background, actually they do not even share each others'. They grew up in Staten Island, Briarcliff and Saratoga (well she kind of lived all over). They do not look alike, one does not even live near me and we range in age from early forties, mid forties and me in my last year in my forties. They are successful, driven, beautiful but one is into triathlons, one into Spartan Races and one into Crossfit. One is fashion plate, one is a wine connoisseur and one loves to travel. I do not race, except if someone should per chance be chasing me, but I do love my tennis. I have found bits and pieces of things I love to do in all of them and they all inspire me. Mostly though I have found soul mates who I can rely on, with whom I am forming a history together with and who do what my close longtime friends do they build me up and make life that much better. We get each other in a way the implies a longer relationship than we have,
So yeah you can make new friends as an adult. In some ways it is much easier, gone is the whole insecurity of am I "fill in the blank" to hang out with these people thing from when you are younger, much of the drama is gone, there is no competitiveness often because we are all more worried about doing right by our kids usually than worrying about if we are wearing the same dress to a party. I am sure those things exist in some worlds, sadly especially between women - cut it out sisters we need each other - but not in the world that I have surrounded myself with. I am thrilled with all the new friends I have found as an adult and grateful for everything they bring to my life. Yet I am nicely surprised and that much better for the 3 close friends I met as an adult who love the naughty kid in me as much as the future Golden Girl, they fit right in with my closest friends who I cannot imagine my life without. Let's hear it for adult friendships !!!