Recently I've moved and find it difficult to make female friends like the ones I had back home. I know it's a new place and I need to give it some time, but it's been over a year and things are still the same. I work at home, so I don't go out much (which I am aware that doesn't help), but I did have a job for 4 months and still no luck. Everyone was very nice when I worked there but as soon as I left, no one kept in touch. I tried to call people and do things but it never worked out. I know I will never have the exact same type of friends like the ones I had before, but I like to meet new and different people, so I wasn't expecting it to be this hard.
My best friend moved closer but is still too far to make a daily trip, so I don't get to see her that often. When I do, I feel great for a few weeks, then it's back to having no one around except for my kids (though I enjoy their company very much, I still want to have adult friends). When my boyfriend is around, I'm perfectly fine. I'm happy, busy, and creative. When he leaves for work on his 8 day sessions I want to hang out with people, have adult conversation, and basic interact. Back home all I had to do was go across the street or make a phone call and someone was there. Here I have my neighbors but no one ever wants to do anything. One of them I get along with the husband better than the wife so hanging out with them doesn't work. I always feel extremely uncomfortable and refuse to feel like that any more. I've met a few women and when I tried to hang out with them they were either oogling my boyfriend (which I will have none of) or wound up being absolutely insane (even by my standards). I get depressed often because I literally feel like I have no one to talk to when my boyfriend is gone. There is no social connection here unless I drink, which I don't anymore, and I'm getting frustrated with it all. I even went so far as to sign up on a girl friend hang out website online to find female friends. And though I deleted it (because it was super weird to me), it made me realize something:
In high school I got along better with the boys than the girls. I loved to play sports, climb trees, get dirty, and have fun. Even though I liked to dress up sometimes, do my hair, and other basic teenage girl stuff, I still would rather build a tree house if I had a choice. Not to mention the fact that most of the girls I was around were mean as hell. It was pretty much like the movie 'Mean Girls'. (Not to say that the boys were any less mean, but there were a lot fewer who were). In other words, it was less drama being friends with boys.
Several years, and a few moves, later I wound up in a place where I made a lot of girlfriends. They were all amazing women, each in their own right, and I loved it. I spent years in this one place with good friends and thought it would be like that everywhere. I found out quickly that it's not. It feels a lot like high school pettiness all over again. That's when I realized, all of my friends, including my male friends, have something in common. They are all strong, loving, loyal, and independent people. Every one of them. Even when they don't feel that they are, they are. They are the people I look up to and that I'm happy to be around because they are very much like me. And that's when I saw that the people I've been trying to be friends with are nothing like that. You see, being strong is different than being stubborn. Being loving is different than being in charge all of the time. Being independent doesn't mean solitude. And some people have no idea what loyalty means.
So I believe that this is my problem. I have yet to meet a female friend who has these qualities, therefore we wind up not getting along. Or they get weirded out because I want to do so much stuff, like hang out or have an impromptu BBQ. I feel like I know as soon as I meet them. I give it my best chance and then, BAM!, the person I thought they were in the first place emerges. I'm not going to change who I am so I can make friends who aren't real. That's not me and my friends have always accepted me just the way I am, crazy and all.
So my question is: How can I meet friends that are like the ones I had back home?
You have the answer right in your first paragraph…you can’t. You can’t meet friends just like the ones you had back home. But that certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t make good friends. Even girls. We all think that being an adult is going to somehow magically transport us past all that high school bullshit but it doesn’t unfortunately. It sounds to me like you’re stuck between wanting what you had and embracing your new home. But consider this, you’re in a different place and you may have to take a different approach to making friends.
What I’m hearing is that you want female friends who will accept you just as you are (the good and the bad). That’s an excellent goal. What I’m also hearing is that you tended to have more boy friends than girl friends because of the activities they liked to engage in. Have you considered looking for friends based on common interests rather than gender? For instance, maybe you can find a group of proverbial tree climbers and join in. If you’re outdoorsy, look for some hiking groups or learn a new sport. Let the activity come first so that you are enjoying doing something first before you have to worry about meeting people.
I moved back to my hometown about 7 years ago and when I arrived I thought “this’ll be great. I have so many friends already.” Guess what, not so much. I was never as lonely as I was in that first year back home. All my old friends had moved on and they weren’t very inviting. I missed the place I moved from. I missed my friends and my life. I worked at home too so I never met anyone. It wasn’t until I joined a civic group that I started meeting people. Most of them weren’t really “friend” material but getting back into socializing made me feel less lonely so it didn’t feel as weird waiting for the good friends to happen. It still took a few years before I really made a small group of close, best friends. But it wasn’t so depressing after I go involved outside of the house.
Having a job helps. But people you work with can sometimes be tricky to hang out with outside of work. I would suggest getting involved in other things. You have kids right? Have you thought about volunteering for the school or joining the PTA? Whatever you decide to do, I think you’ll find it less gruesome and trying if you focus on activities and interests before people. The people will come and in the meantime, you’ll feel a lot less isolated.
Don’t give up. And just be yourself. It worked before and it’ll work again.
Don't be shy! Say what's on your mind and get a good dose of perspective in return.