Sunday, August 25, 2013

friendship dating

The other day a friend of mine posted a link to an article about friendship dating. I read it and wondered how on earth I never posted anything like that before. Lord knows I go through it each and every time we move. Especially this last time to Monterey. It was the first time in a long time that I was in a town where I didn't know anyone. (Ok, we knew one other family, but that was it) Yes my family was close by, but not "hey I'm coming over for dinner, see you in 5" close. And since I was a new mommy I wanted some mommy friends. More than just acquaintances, friends. 

As most of you know, military or not, once you are out of school it is HARD to make new friends. People have their established little groups and it is not easy to get invited in. And if you are lucky enough to get extended an invite, it takes a long time to feel comfortable with the group. And now that I am a SAHM, it is even harder to make friends. 

When we moved to DC, I got a job. And there I met one of my best friends Meredith. We worked in the same area, were close to the same age, both engaged, a lot in common. And we bonded immediately. It was meant to be. We could talk about anything and everything for hours, and we did. haha. It made living in a strange new town easier. 

When we moved back to San Diego I had a whole established group of people I knew from college. The pressure to make new friends wasn't there. If I met cool people, great, but it wasn't necessary. 

And then we moved to Monterey. No ship. No college friends. No job. 

After settling in I quickly started going stir crazy. I needed something to do with my time, besides running errands and playing with the baby. I needed adult interaction. After some internet perusing I found Stroller Strides. A group of Moms and their babies that get together and exercise. Perfect. I needed to get back into the workout scene anyways. So I signed up and started attending classes. And I met some really awesome Moms. But it isn't immediate and it definitely isn't easy. I am actually pretty shy. I have gotten better the older I get (and the more I drink), but when I don't know people I am really quiet. Observant. But that can easily come across as bitchy. I don't intend it to, but it can. And I am sure you can see how that goes over real well with other women. :) 

Perfect example: I recently started taking Charlotte to swim class. In the class there are 3 other Moms that are similar in age to me and all have little girls around Charlotte's age. My first thought was: new friends! Play dates! But for some reason they all bonded immediately, and not with me. hmmm. So one day when they were all circled up talking I swam over with Charlotte and we played near them. In my mind I was screaming "hi! Talk to me!" but trying to play it cool. I would ask a question here or there or say something relevant to the conversation at various points, but I never got a warm and inviting feeling. Mostly I just felt awkward, like I was trying too hard. And seeing as there are just two classes left, I doubt any solid friendships will be made here. Oh well. Could I have been more outgoing? Yes I suppose I could. But it is really hard to put yourself out there.

I am sure the whole process of friendship dating will become easier and smoother over time. And the more and more we move. Getting out of my comfort zone is key, but who likes that?! (guess I better learn to LOVE it!) Really, I just hope someone looks over, sees my smiling face, and breaks the ice first. It is smooth sailing from there. 


Anonymous said...

Love you, testing comments section!

Anonymous said...

For the third time I'll leave some comments. I agree with every though and each feeling experienced. As I read it I caught myself saying yes, yes, for sure, yes, oh yes, etc. I think be the first to be outward and inviting. If that don't work then swim away as under your breath you say "oh well your loss you Bitches." Those people worth being a friend will come!

Meredith said...

So did you say there was alcohol during the stroller strides class?? haha, jk. People have said the same things about me, I seem intimidating, standoffish, etc., even though I'm definitely not trying to be. Just keep chatting those girls up! And ask if they are taking any more classes, going to a story-time, do they know of a local soft-play gym for the kiddos, etc., or if anyone wants to grab lunch after the next class. Hopefully they will open up soon! And definitely an interesting article!!

Anonymous said...

Great post! If you ever find a way to enter an established group and make friends, please write about it! I'm shy before I feel comfortable with new people, too. You totally captured the experience of trying to make new friends as an adult. Nanette