I’ve recently come to the conclusion that making new friends is a lot like dating.
You have to find people you have chemistry and connection with. You often have to leave your comfort zone, put yourself out there and be open to new possibilities and opportunities.
One of the most important thing in every single person’s life is their friends. They often substitute for family, significant others and rescue us from ourselves on a regular basis. For the last 13 years I had a pretty steady group of people that I hung out with. They poured into my life and vice versa.
This year through relocation, marriage and other circumstances that core group of friends has drifted out of my life. I am still in touch with a couple of them but they are no longer a daily, regular part of my life. It was like I woke up one day and realized, I don’t have any friends. Now don’t cry for me Argentina. It was an overly dramatized realization, but still necessary.
For the first time in over a decade I had to make a concerted effort to find new friends. It felt like I had just moved to a new city, even though I’ve lived here for over a year.
This finding kindred spirits and simpatico people is hard work. I remember in college it felt like I was meeting new people every day. There were a constant barrage of people all over the place. Then I hit a rut. I was comfortable. I surrounded myself with a core group of people and I didn’t work that hard to reach out and meet anyone new.
Now I remember why. I am not an extrovert. A room full of strangers makes me very anxious. It’s hard for me to throw myself out there. I don’t like walking up to strangers. I hate attending events and not knowing anyone. I’d rather stay at home, call a trusted soul and stay in the familiar.
Then I realized this is like dating – throwing myself out there, trying to meet new people, being open to new things, not falling into the same patterns. Finding chemistry with a friend is almost as difficult is finding chemistry with a boy.
There are some people that you just don’t have anything to talk about and it’s awkward, weird and uncomfortable. Then there are those that are nice to talk but you wouldn’t want to hang out with them on a regular basis. Finally, once and a while you find a friend that you just click with, you have a lot in common, and can really share your heart and life.
That is as rare as a good date.