The one where……….I talk about friends

I have been musing about this post for a while.  Probably for about 15 years, even before the internet started and I knew what a blog post was.  I may or may not be unusual, but here goes…

I really don’t have many friends.

I don’t make friends easily.  I think it boils down to not wanting to put myself up for rejection, so I take a while to warm up to a friendship, I need to know that we are both in it 100% before I can launch into anything.

I wasn’t born in the UK (although my parents were born and raised here) so I had a big group of friends from high school that I hung out with a lot after I left school.  I probably drifted slightly away from them in the mid 90’s when I hooked up with my various boyfriends, partly because I was being all grown up and ACTUALLY having a real relationship (not a pretend one) and partly because my friends knew what I only knew in hindsight, that my boyfriends were dicks.  Anyway……I digress.

Leaving those friends behind to move to the UK was not difficult for me at all. I’m not even sure I said goodbye at the end, just moseyed off.  Our friendship was born out of circumstance rather than any real closeness and I was off on an adventure with my boyfriend (Dick number 2).

I’ve been living in the UK for nearly 18 years now (Dick number 1 and 2 now long gone) and I don’t have any group of people who are my friends, that I can regularly hook up with.  I have my husband’s friends (who we hung out with a lot pre children) and they are really nice and I’m sort of close to a couple of them, but if they shit hit the fan in our relationship I know they wouldn’t be there for me, because they aren’t MY friends.

I have a friend I house shared with when I first came here who now lives in Ireland who I barely stay in contact with and another I used to work with for several years who I was very close to, but lives a fair distance away now.  Another friend, both me and my husband met at the same time at drama school, is more my friend than his and we are very close, but I don’t see her as often as I should and she literally has MILLIONS of friends.

So I’ve got 3 people who are my friends.  They are littered all over Great Britain, they know each other from gatherings but aren’t friends themselves so we can’t all get together somewhere.  I have to see them all separately (if I do at all).

So, who do I turn to in a crisis?  Who do I phone when I can’t make my mind up about which dress is right or whether I should switch jobs or study full-time?  No one.  Nada. Zip!  I don’t ring anyone because I don’t have a friend I’ve ever done that with.  I’m thinking I’m a bit odd, so many people seem to have best friends or (BFF — bleurgh) and “the guys” “uni mates” “Bristol crew” and I’m barely scraping together enough people to have a meal with.

I’ve ruminated on this for some time.  My husband has worried about it on my behalf (I’m sure he has a friend making machine in the shed, because he has thousands).  In my darkest hour I’ve got concerned that I’d have no one to turn to if my marriage fails, no one to support me, dry my eyes and drag me through it.

The bottom line is that I can’t change anything.  I can try to be more social with the ones I have (I’ve just started booking meals, visits etc..) and my daughter is about to start school so maybe (maybe) another mum and me might strike up a friendship and enjoy each others company.  Who knows.  I do know that I won’t push things to try to get friends.  Slowly slowly gives everyone a chance to be sure it’s going to work out.  Too many times we embark on these things only to discover the person in question is an idiot, narrow-minded, alcoholic or just plain annoying.  There’s nothing worse than having to email someone to say you don’t want to see them anymore, because all of your subtle hints didn’t work and they won’t stop bloody calling. (I’m not proud of the fact but yes, I did do this once).

Well, I guess that’s hit the nail on the head huh?  I’m pretty picky about my friendships. I won’t be friends with any old Tom, Dick and Harry.  You have to have similar ideals to me, a sarcastic sense of humour, happy to talk about your embarrassing mishaps for the greater good of entertainment and enjoy a drink or two when the time is right.  If you have kids, my children HAVE to feel comfortable in your children’s company. They don’t have to be the same age, but if you have a “weird” kid, my daughter is going to freak out about it and we’ll end up only seeing each other in the cloak of darkness. Probably not ideal in the long-term.

I’ll keep thinking about it and hope I pick up some more on my journey through life.  I know I’m being a little awkward and whilst I think I’m a great friend I’m under no illusion that people have different views of you than you have of you, so I probably come across as aloof or unfriendly, when inside I’m screaming “be my friend, be my friend”.

So what do you find are the best qualities in your friendships?  Do you accept them warts and all or as you as slow and picky as me?

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About freefallinginto40

I am 40 years old. I blog about how I'm coping with my "new" age at www.freefallinginto.com . I'm a married mother to two after years of infertility. I have a 6 year old called Pickle and a 3 year old called The Monster. I work 4 days a week. We are also planning a move to the country! I blog about that at www.ourmovetothecountry.wordpress.com
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16 Responses to The one where……….I talk about friends

  1. Oh I am uber picky too haha. I like friends to share my values at least. I don’t like friends that want to live in my pocket though. A glass of wine here, a coffee there and the odd kids play date if they have kids then cool. Answer my texts when I text, be happy to chat on the phone should the need arise oh and maybe accompany me on a shopping trip, spar day or for cocktails every so often and that’s sufficient lol. I don’t like to feel claustrophobic. I sound charming I’m sure 🙂
    I only have 3 really good friends but they all live in my hometown 400 miles away. Since I moved (16 yrs ago now) I’ve never made a group of friends like my old friends 😦
    Mostly I’m busy enough not to miss having friends to much but every now and then I think a good friend or two near by would be nice xx

  2. Like you say you probably will find friends when your daughter starts school. I must say I find it harder to maintain my friendships with old friends who haven’t had children. There is a certain lack of commonality with them, even if you want to stay friends it is just more difficult. You will automatically have something in common with parents at school. You just have to hope that you don’t get any pushy stalker types following you around, which happened to me once! My daughter is very sweet natured and it seems other parents want her to be friends with their kids but I don’t always have an affinity with the parents of the friends she chooses. I look around and see people I’d like to make friends with but our kids are not interested….it’s a new minefield of tangled relationships I find!

    • Gosh, that sounds very complicated. Parents “choosing” their children’s friends sounds dreadful. Well, I won’t hold my breath for friends out of school, it’ll be nice but, yeah, I don’t need any pushy ones.

  3. Honor says:

    This really resonated with me – I don’t really have many friends either but I think that’s a lot to do with the fact that I’m not at all needy and am happy with my own company. My children are growing up to be very sociable creatures (like my OH) which I’m delighted about. I wouldn’t ever say I’m lonely though – really just feel happier being on my own.

    • Thanks for your comment. Nice to know I’m not the only one. I’m pretty happy just getting on with things myself and have no overwhelming urge to meet up with people all the time. As with you, I’m hoping my children grow up more sociable than me.

  4. Absoloutely guarantee that you will make some new ‘mum friends’ when you’re daughter starts school. You will probably have a few that you will be spending the next 5 years trying to ditch 😉

  5. Dez Markham says:

    I have been thinking about friends for a long time now and this blog made me reflect. I’m almost 46 and have 4 friends – my husband 46, Dot 60, Evie 44, Ray 72. When the children were growing up I socialised with lots of parents but it was mainly because our children were friends. As the friendships changed the adults fell by the wayside. Evie, Dot and I have been friends for over 20 years. Dot is now retired and doesn’t want to go out much, Evie’s children are younger than mine so a few hours out revolve around them. My children are now 19 & almost 17! I socialise mostly with Ray once a month & hubby every now and then – his passion is gaming! I really need to extend my friendship group to include a few more people of similar age who enjoy meeting for coffee, going to the theatre/cinema or go window shopping with. The 6 week hols have been rather lonely to the point that I actually went back into work for a further week and a half! Good Luck!

    • I guess that’s why we gravitate to twitter. I think if you dont naturally “collect” friends you never will. I can see myself doing all sorts of classes to meet people once my kids are older. Thanks for your comment. Nice to know I’m not alone.

  6. I think we were separated at birth. You can find me on Twitter @kateonthinice and I have already found you so welcome your new stalker

  7. CoffeeCurls says:

    Ohh I like this post too. I think you are very brave to put those words and thoughts out there, I did have a group of friends before I moved but am a proper billy no mates where I live now and as my two children have just started senior school there is no chance of meeting a mum on the playground. Not sure yet how I will get round this, be interesting to see what life brings me I guess.

    I think you sound great and I’m sure you’ll be having cosy coffee mornings before you know it.

  8. Thanks for linking up again. This really is a great post. I commented on it first time round and will tweet it again as so many people will relate, I’m sure.

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