Making Friends as an Adult, part 3

Categories Making Friends As An Adult Is Hard, Randomness1 Comment
oliver beg

oliver begI think they were able to smell my desperation.

I was at a playground letting the kiddo play while I tried to gather my thoughts about what to do with my time out here in Singapore.  There were a couple moms there with little ones younger than the kiddo.  I was not really open to meeting anyone, as I was still mourning my friendships back home that were going on without me.

You feel sort of like you are cheating on your old friends when you make new ones (back to friendships being almost like romantic relationships).  I also feel like I’ve been replaced as my old moms’ group now has new members and I’ve felt the tiniest twinge of betrayal when they have started having fun with these new people who weren’t there when I was.  Ha, like I expect them to just sit there and miss me.  I guess it’s because I am just sitting here missing them.

Aaaannnd back to the playground. The sprinkler system turned on for the grass, but it was somehow pointed straight at the bench I was on.  So I moved to a bench close to where the other moms were standing, but I still did not speak to them. It’s just so hard to let down your guard again, put all that energy into getting to know someone, and risk getting hurt or not being liked.  (HA!  Truly like romantic relationships.)  I opened my notebook to keep working, and then another sprinkler turned on and started soaking my new bench.  (Seriously?!? Anyway…) The other moms tried to help me find a new bench, so we started chatting.  They were super nice!  And they had daughters the same age as the kiddo!  And they were into green beauty products!  And one even spoke some Spanish too!  It was meant to be!  I shoved my old business card into each mom’s hand, said they could email me any question about green cleaning/beauty/etc., and to please find me on Facebook to keep in touch as I had forgotten my phone at home that day.

Yes.  I do think I reeked of desperation.  But I SOOOO thought we hit it off! Quick aside… giving out your number is the most awkward thing ever, when you aren’t sure someone wants it.  I am so glad Facebook exists, because it seems so much “safer” to just friend each other on Facebook than to say, “Hey, can I get your phone number?”  So awkward…  When I moved to our previous home, I saw a mom in our neighborhood pushing a stroller, and I was so anxious to make a friend nearby that I pulled my car over and basically chatted her up and handed her my card so she would have my info.  Yeah…. She never called….  I guess I should have learned not to come on so strong.  Again with feeling like dating… I always came on too strong when dating.  Patti Stanger has since taught me to let a man be a man.  But with meeting potential new girlfriends?  I thought there weren’t rules like that.

I really thought I was going to get a friend request that day, but hey, moms are busy right? But the friend request never came.  No email, text, nor carrier pidgeon. Nothing.  Still nothing, and this was a month ago now.  Sigh… I guess they just weren’t that into me.

Finding new friends can be so hard as an adult.  I read an article a few years ago that really explained why this is.  It seems that without major life changes that break down the walls that separate us (like starting high school or college), people don’t glom together as easily as friends, or for as long.  New friendships just end up being more superficial.  It explains why I feel such a connection to the girls I became friends with from a new motherhood support group I attended.  My barriers were nonexistent from the desperation I felt as a new mom trying to cope with radical life change.  And we had stationary babies so we got to sit on a couch together and just talk and talk at length.

But since then, most friendships have not run as deep.  I love my newer friends, but I think it will take a lot of time and long chats that delve into our pasts and such to really glom together.  In high school, we had so much time to jabber away at each other for hours (and our personal histories weren’t nearly as long…).  Now, we can’t finish a thought without having to intercept a child trying to stick contraband up his or her nose.

boogerBut I have since made some friends.  And they are lovely.  I am so glad I waited for the “right ones” to come along.  :)  And they came just in the nick of time, as I am grappling with stage 2 of culture shock.  The best part is they completely understand what I am going through, having gone through it themselves, except the one who is local to Singapore (the rest are expats).  So I am trying not to come on too strong… ;), hopefully I don’t scare them off!  I hope we have time to get to know each other well before they (or I) move away, as that is expat life out here.

Jennifer Jasensky is a Dubai resident, United States transplant, former mathematics teacher and dancer/choreographer. She is an outgoing homebody and perpetual idealist whose love of learning knows no bounds. She is most happy enjoying a good book with a plate of kaya toast, runny eggs, and kopi-c peng siew dai, but now that she has moved from
Singapore to Dubai, drinking an iced latte in the ocean is fast becoming her happy place.

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