No New Friends

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Resolution number two is one I’ve been actively avoiding in life. Not just within the scope of resolutions but in general. However, since I’m still “on the wagon”, I might as well ride it all the way.

We’ve moved around quite a bit and I haven’t found any motivation to get attached to where we’ve been. That’s based on a defense mechanism I’ve adopted that if you don’t get attached, you won’t feel any loss.

Makes sense right? It’s generally been a satisfactory way to live, specifically in the realm of friendships. #NoNewFriends was a hashtag that could have easily hung on my front door because I already have the greatest friends in the whole wide world, so I don’t need to rock my boat with any new passengers. (Lots of vehicle metaphors today I guess?)

But it turns out, gushing about new restaurants or analyzing things your co-workers said isn’t something as suited to my husband as I’d previously thought, and if anything, his sanity demanded that I make a local friend.

Fiiiiineeeee. I’ll do it the old fashioned way though… by meeting someone at a workout class, or in Target while we’re eyeing the same ruffled sweater. A classic lady-lady meet-cute. Except, I’m not 21, and going to places like the gym and Target serve very specific purposes so my friendship vibes are probably at a super low frequency, attracting only the most desperate of middle-aged complainers who only want to commiserate about the price of chicken being cheaper somewhere else. So.. I guess I should maybe try a different tactic.

No, I’m not going to the bar and bonding with the nearest babe in the bathroom, because those relationships didn’t last in college and most of the bathrooms I frequent as of late are ones where the lines of squirming bladders are distinctly absent. The trade-off is they’re significantly cleaner and lacking in vomit, a trade I am more than happy to keep.

What about your work friends? Hmm. Well the thing is, this is a fine line to dance and once you start the waltz, you really can’t turn back. My co-workers are fantastic. They’re smart and funny and I like them a lot. But I wonder the separation between desk and drink needs to be there? All of my work wives are transplants, and since we’d really only be hanging out with each other it could turn into a really toxic bitch-fest about office irritations. It could also be really fun. It’s a toss up, but it’s risky. I’m not ready for risky yet. Some day (like probably next week), perhaps, but not quite yet.

There was a blog post by my former editor, Danielle Moss, co-founder of The Everygirl, where she invites women to Find a Friend in Your City. It seems to be wildly successful, except for those of us (is anyone actually out there?!) in Omaha. Either the fan base for TEG is absent in Omaha, or those here are like me: comfortably anti-social.

Sooo now what? I love my friends from home. They’re the best damn tribe of humans I’ve ever met and I don’t want to even consider allowing anyone else into the inner sanctum that is my life with the hubs, because overall we’re content having nobody to answer to while we’re here. But then again, there are only so many times I can drag him to brunch and make him watch me take photos of our drinks;  a new comrade might be just what I need so I have to keep trying.

This resolution is to make a friend (or friends depending on how ambitious I’m feeling). After a cursory search in the app store for new entertainment, I stumbled on an app that I honestly thought was about wine (oops!), called Hey Vina!. It’s basically like Tinder (at least that’s what I assume because I’ve never used Tinder) for friendship and for women only. I set up my profile, took some quizzes about my aura (I’m pink supposedly but I don’t know how much value I’d attribute to that), my interests, and so on.

So I swiped right a few times.

And I matched with someone.

And then I proceeded to panic: What was I thinking?? I don’t need any new friends! I don’t want to tell a stranger my life story! I don’t want to explain anything to anyone. This is what happens when I peruse the app store with wine.

But then I said screw it. Worst case scenario, I never talk to this gal again.

I’m happy to report that I had coffee with my Vina match today and she actually kind of kicks ass. She’s my age-ish, not ready for babies, and is down for trying new restaurants. Honestly, we started talking about food before we even did the awkward ‘So why are you doing this’ convo, so we definitely jive.

Obviously there’s more to making friends than one coffee date, and debating the merits of donuts with someone, but I think this is a good start in remembering what it’s like to put myself “out there”.

Dating was weird in college, but this friendship equivalent might be even more delicate because it’s all optional, and in your hands. No teachers here to make you bond over the woes of a final exam, or annoying classmates to roll your eyes at in a show of solidarity. It’s just you, and that’s certainly more terrifying.

But if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worthy of a resolution, would it? We’ve tentatively got plans for happy hour or something this week, so I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m curious… What do other people do to make friends these days of digital connections? Or do they just live in contented solitude? When was the last time you made a new friend on your own?