Making friends as an adult is hard. Making friends as a disabled adult is really hard. I’m in my early thirties, I spend a lot of time at home due to my health and it gets really isolating.
Remember as a kid, you’d go up to another kid, ask them to be your friend and BOOM you’d be instant pals and play on the park together all day?…Apparently that’s not acceptable as an adult! As an adult we’re much more critical; we know what we want, we want a certain type of friend.
When I was six, if you were a similar age, I’d be your mate. That doesn’t work at 33. There’s certain dealbreakers at 33. There’s specific things that put me off or personalities that I don’t gel with. At six, it was, ‘do you like Barbie? No, that’s cool, wanna go on the swings?’ Funnily enough, I don’t use the Barbie thing as a rule at 33 but I like to have a few things in common.
And if you’re not an animal fan, I just can’t. My dogs are my life and my friends have to understand that and be on board with it. I mean, you can’t not like my dogs, they’re absolutely bloody adorable and I will fight anyone that disagrees.
I’m not too fussy, though, I’ll give everyone a chance and I love meeting new people; I just don’t know how or have many opportunities. I work from home so I don’t have work friends, unless my dogs count (and yes, I do class my dogs as my colleagues, thank you). I don’t have a lot of hobbies that involve other people; photography, reading, and writing are all pretty solitary activities. I don’t drink so am not often down the local pub or out clubbing because, well, I hate it and I have zero inclination of trying to befriend pissed people as it’s not my scene.
I’m often found shopping but you can’t exactly stop a stranger that has the same taste in shoes and try to bond with them over some Air Force Ones. However, when I was in Milton Keynes a few months ago with my friend, Beth (see I do have the odd friend), we did get chatting to two of the shop assistants for a good half an hour in a shoe shop about body positivity and we all followed each other on social media – nothing came of it but it was a nice experience and if I lived closer and wasn’t such an awkward person, I might have asked them out for coffee (not that I drink coffee, I’m a hot chocolate kind of gal but the thought was there).
Anyway, I digress. My point is, making friends as an adult is tough.
It seems that everyone has got their friendship groups solidified and there’s no room to add anyone else.
I have a lot of friends online that I talk to most days, (unless they’re Elle, Beth and Zoe who I’m WhatsApping almost all day, every day) and as great as that is, it’s also nice to actually see people face to face and be in the company of another person. In no way am I diminishing my online friendships because I class a handful (the girls above) as my closest mates, they’re my ride or dies, they know everything about me and they’ve got me through a lot of tough situations. They also totally understand my chronic illness and as they’re chronically ill themselves, they just get it. I wish they lived closer, it’d be the dream!
It get’s lonely. Especially when you don’t see people for days on end. That is totally because of my situation; my health is so temperamental, and since moving away, I don’t know that many people. My friends are all back up north and as much as I love visiting them every few months, it’s not the same as my bestie being able to pop round and watch shit telly with me when I’m in my pjs and feeling like death, like we used to.
I always worry if I make a new friend they’ll not be able to ‘handle’ me changing plans or cancelling because of my conditions, and it’ll drive them away. It’s happened plenty of time in the past, and although I am more than aware that it says more about them than it does me, it’s still a concern.
Maybe I need to put myself out there more. Maybe I need to make more of an effort to meet new people and try new things. Maybe that can be a goal of mine. But how do I do it?
I’m going to be more proactive. Perhaps I’ll join a photography group, or a writing group. Watch this space. Your gal is off to make some mates.
Do you find it difficult to make new friends?
3 thoughts on “Making Friends as an Adult is Hard”
I don't have any friends – in real life or online. I have some acquaintances irl. but no one who I could just say 'fancy going for a coffee' to. I used to have friends before I got ill, but they all drifted. I don't know if I'd even know how to try and make new friends these days! I suppose I'm quite lonely.
Well that was quite miserable wasn't it?! Sorry. I hope you have fun making with the activities – you seem like the sort of person that people will gravitate to and want to be friends with. Have fun!!
Oof! I know this so well. My health has declined rapidly over the past four years. I essentially have my cats, my fiance and my family. I see no one else but have some online friendships that tide me over.
I wish there were ways to make friends again, but it's all so difficult! As you say, the constant worry about putting people off, cancelling at the last minute or being annoying is so stressful!
I hope you find some avenues to meet people in person!
I saw a link to your blog in metro article from a while back and was just scrolling through when I saw this article. Can totally relate, being quadriplegic myself. I have no friends where I live the ones in other countries haven't seen for years, and it's hard to sustain friendships after a certain period. I've tried meet ups when I'm feeling brave enough. Have you? Determined to give it another shot when lockdown is finished.