It seems like when you are a kid, making friends is mindless. You go up to another kid, say “Do you want to play?” and you are off.
Why is it so much harder when you are an adult?
The Bear has been in Kindergarten for almost a month and I just recently started hanging out with another mom. Her oldest is in kindergarten, she has a 2 year old, is expecting her third and is Catholic… so running a life parallel to mine. But the funny thing is that we pretty much spent the first month of drop offs and pick ups vetting each other out.
Are we so afraid of rejection that we fear putting ourselves out there?
Are we suspicious of the other person’s motives?
Has life just jaded us?
There was an article in the NYTimes a few months ago that talked about this same thing. From the article:
As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other, said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college, she added.
Repeated, Unplanned Interactions.
A setting that encourages people to let their guard down.
In my experience, I’d have to add longevity to the formula. So far, in our seven year marriage, the hubs and I have moved 3 time: to Chicago (right after marriage,) to St. Louis (in 2007,) and Pasadena (in 2011.) While I am happy and blessed to have friends in each of these cities, it almost speeds up the friend making process when you are not sure how long you are going to be in a city!
We need friends. OK, I need friends. I just wish it was as easy to make friends in real life as it is on the Internet!
(Psst! Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy wrote about this same article. Talk about coincidence, especially since she is an Internet friend. Go and read her take on it!)
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