This Is Me. Being Friendly. And Ruining Your Life.

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It is so flippin’ hard to make friends as adults. It is especially hard to make friends as adults when you have wee ones. I meet a lot of moms through my kids, and those are really great friendships because it gives you someone to commiserate with through motherhood. That’s an absolute necessity for survival. But aside from our kids, I usually don’t have much in common with these women, so our friendship never really develops past “How are your kids doing?” “Great! How are yours?” “Great! Okay, bye!” And being friends with people who don’t have kids is kind of tricky sometimes because most of them want to have children someday and so I don’t want to scare them by showing them the full, unfiltered Brown Family Craze.

They’d never procreate.

What complicates friendships even more for me is being a working mom. One of the special challenges that come with working with a young family is that my free time becomes incredibly precious. (But isn’t everyone’s free time precious?) I can’t really get together with people on week nights because I don’t get home until 5:00, then there’s dinner, baths, bedtimes, and, hopefully, a little down time with Chris before I have to start blogging. Throw in a class or two of papers to grade and my weeknights keep me active until about 11:00 every night. Weekends are awesome, but my first priority is always spending time with my family. We don’t get to hang out and do stuff during the week, so weekends are when we are on the go together. It’s not that those plans can’t be changed, but I’m just not willing to give up parts of my weekend every weekend. And friendships (especially new ones) require some time and commitment. How will I ever get to know someone if I don’t make time for them? BUT WHAT TIME IS LEFT?!?!? I have started some really great friendships over the past year, but finding the time to grow and maintain them has been a real struggle.

All of these things are working against me these days and so I am friendless.

Well, except for Sarah.

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And then, a friend appeared!

She is actually one of Chris’s co-workers and I kept seeing her at his work functions. Whenever we hung out at those events, we got along so great. She is my age, doesn’t have any kids, but her boyfriend that she lives with has a little girl about Bean’s age. So, she’s almost like a working mom, too, and – bonus! – our kids don’t even know each other! So, we got to know each other for, like, real!

I swear, making friends is the exact same process as dating someone. Seriously. It’s ridiculous how giddy I get about potential friends.

At Chris’s office Christmas party, we hung out and I got the distinct feeling that she was ready to take our friendship to the next level. So, I got her email address (which is like a phone number, these days…) from Chris and I emailed her an invitation to a jewelry party that I was going to at Sarah’s house.

I HAD A DATE!

I was so excited! My new friend is super chic and trendy. She reminds me a lot of my sister, actually. As all good friends should. So, I thought all week about what I was going to wear on our date.

(I settled on jeans and a long sleeve casual tee and a chunky sweater wrap, for those of you who are interested…)

Finally, date night came and my new friend came by my house so we could ride over to the jewelry party together. We had such a fun night! She got to meet a few of my co-workers, old friends from high school, and, of course, Sarah. It was critical that Sarah approve of my new friend. I kept sneaking looks at Sarah to see what she thought and finally she pulled me aside and gave me the big verdict, “She’s fantastic!” she whispered. “We have to all go to lunch soon!”

LUNCH! My new friend had officially been approved.

After such a successful first date, it was time to try out the next dreaded phase of forming new adult friendships. The foursome.

I invited my new friend and her long-time, live-in boyfriend over to our house for dinner one night. They brought her boyfriend’s daughter, who played awesome with Bean for hours, and dinner was really nice. We all seemed to get along great and the conversation flowed naturally. When they left that night, I turned to Chris (who, oddly, knows my new friend better than I do because they work together) and asked if he thought they’d had a good time.

“Definitely,” he said. “It was a good night.”

“Yeah,” I agreed. “I think it went well.”

I went to sleep that night so excited about my new friendship. Things were going along swimmingly! Maybe our next date should be a dinner out. Alone. How exciting!!

And then the next morning when I got to work, Chris sent me an email that said after dinner the night before, my new friend and her boyfriend of several YEARS had gone home and broken up.

Uhhhhh…. what??????

Yep. They broke up.

“What the hell did you say to them when I was in the bathroom???” I replied to Chris’s email.

When I texted her that afternoon, she insisted it had been a long time coming and that it was not, in fact, my lasagna that had broken them up. But still.

WHAT KIND OF FRIEND AM I?!??!

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34 thoughts on “This Is Me. Being Friendly. And Ruining Your Life.

  1. Ha, I love that “What did you say when I was in the bathroom???” Bad timing, but I’m sure it wasn’t your lasagna 🙂

  2. Katie

    You should check out this blog post over on MWF Seeking BFF: http://mwfseekingbff.com/2012/01/24/is-there-an-anti-mom-sentiment-when-it-comes-to-friendship/

    It’s an interesting discussion about the friendship part (not so much the relationship-killer part :))

  3. Brooke

    That’s nearly as bad as finding out that someone that you dated came out of the closet. I commiserate over your issues finding adult friendships because I have many of the same ones (even though I’m single, but I have one of those jobs that you marry). It’s so hard to meet new people.

  4. Oh, I would be so freaked out! But I know EXACTLY what you mean about the whole analogy to dating. I might even be more nervous for the girl “dates”!

  5. SO been there! One of my very very good friends started dating someone she was super excited about. Since she was SO excited, she was nervous about pushing too fast and hadn’t really introduced him to any of her friends (including me). I pushed and pushed and she finally agreed to invite him to go wine tasting with the hubster and I. They had been dating exclusively for about three months at that point.

    And yep! You guessed it! He met us and they promptly broke up that night.

    I seriously had to ask – “was it us?”

  6. well…maybe seeing you and Chris & little Bean…a nice family…made 1 of them rethink their current situation. For instance, maybe they were like “why aren’t we ‘there’ yet?” or “I’m not sure I’m ready for foursome dates with a future spouse or future kids” or {gasp} maybe they’re “just not that into each other?”. You sound like a fun and great friend (minus the FSU part of you..hehehehe) but I think anyone reading this knows it was NOT your foursome date, your lasagna, or your child. Meh…sorry. But hopefully it doenst mean that you can’t be friends! She probably needs a good friend to go through the break-up with. I think I see an ice-cream sundae, chick-flick, movie night in your future…and wine. lots of wine.

  7. Bahahaha omg that’s horrible. I am so glad you are having fun with your new friend 🙂

  8. That’s just such a funny story. Except for the couple breaking up part. Hopefully she will be happier in the long run though if he wasn’t the man for her.

  9. Jen

    Oh, no. That is crazy! I totally commiserate about the making friends. I don’t have kids yet, but even just as a working adult, it is hard! It’s just been recently through our church that I have finally made some grown up friends (aka new friends I haven’t known since high school!)

  10. Turner

    Sooo not expecting that ending. Oh bless her heart!

  11. Bec

    I hope you guys stay friends…she probably needs a friend more than ever right now!

  12. Shocker! Geez, Katie. That really stinks! I totally agree with you: it is so hard to make friends as an adult. People are so busy, myself included, that when we get down time, we don’t want to have to work at a friendship!

  13. We moved to this town 2 1/2 year ago and still don’t have a lot of friends outside of who we work with and we don’t really socialize with them. I totally agree that it is hard to make adult friends. I’m so happy that you have a friend, which I’m sure you’ll still be even though they broke up.

  14. Gin

    I just moved to a new town a few months ago and am trying to make friends. Currently, I’ve got a whole group of people that work and hang out together I’m interested in being friends with and it is just like dating. Right now it is at the stage where I think in circles. “I want to call them, but they haven’t called me. Do they not like me? Or maybe they are just busy. If I call do I seem desperate?” Of course when I do call, they are perfectly willing to hang out and we have a great time.

  15. Bahahaha. IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! Too funny.

  16. Nikki

    This is so tough! I’m not super outgoing so other than nice pleasantries, I’m really bad about pushing for friendships. I’m only married- I can imagine how tough it will be when we have kiddos!

  17. Haha! Great post.. very funny and so true about how exciting it is to find new friends as an adult 🙂

  18. Oh Katie,( by the way suggestions on the.kindle fire for.your name include Mariel.and.Matisse….which looking nothing like Katie)
    If we lived close to each other we could be best friends because I have a horrible time making friends. I don’t have kids but I grew apart from high school friends for the most part and lived at home during college so I didn’t meet many people. It is very hard! I usually just make friends with the wife’s of Jacob’s coaching friends! This post made me laugh really.hard though.because that would happen to me!

  19. jenny-bird

    Oh no! Maybe this will provide a good opportunity for some one-on-one time with your new potential BFF. She’ll need a friendly face in the coming months ahead. I know what you mean when you speak of finding a new friend. I’m 25 and my closest friends are the ones I’ve known since middle school. I’ve made many friends since then, of course, but I’ve never had such a strong connection as I did with my old friends. Now, I’m over one thousand miles from my old friends. We still talk on the phone, but it would be nice to have a close friend here that I hang out with. Best of luck!

  20. I wonder if it had something to do with wanting to be married & have kids, seeing you guys reminded her what she was missing. Long time live in boyfriends that aren’t ready to get married & truly commit sometimes have to go…: )

  21. Mary K

    Yep, friends of ours broke off their engagement at our wedding. That was weird.

  22. Heather

    Meeting friends SUCKS!! My (ex)husband was in the Army our whole marriage and I had no idea how easy it really was to make friends until he got out and it’s completely different in the civilian world! Now my (ex)husband decided the week of Christmas that he was done with marriage (Merry Christmas to me!!) and I’m living back in with my parent’s with NOTHING in common with my old high school friends. Boo! Being a grown up is no fun sometimes!!

  23. Ana

    First thing I noticed in this blog post was your t-shirt in the picture! I had/have that exact same shirt from college but with Lubbock (TX in case you haven’t heard of the great metropolis of Lubbock) instead of Tallahassee. That alone makes me smile 🙂 The story was hilarious! I am sorry you won’t be able to double date!

  24. Kat

    First off, omg it’s impossible to make friends as an adult. I honestly doubt that you had ANYTHING to do with their break up but WOW! Holy crazy series of events.

  25. I definitely hear you on the making friends thing. As someone who got married youngish and wants to have kids soonish, it is really hard to connect with some of my new coworkers who are older, married longer and don’t really want kids. There’s a great group of younger moms too though! I’m just so in between!

  26. Wow.
    That’s crazy!!
    You’re still friends, right?
    Two friends of ours broke up after our wedding… And it was kind of “our” fault, because after our wedding, she wanted so badly to get married that she was almost forcing him to marry her… He couldn’t bear that pressure and they broke up. Sad!

  27. Hahaha oh man… Fortunately I haven’t had anything quite that drastic happen, but I do agree it’s difficult to make good girlfriends. We’ve moved a couple of times and it’s even harder being transient. I usually have to look at the relationships as being “for a season” and then if they last beyond that, it’s great, but I don’t really expect it.

  28. If it makes you feel any better, I think it’s equally as hard for a SAHM to find a good friend. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of play dates and activities and such and you do lots of the small talk and the talk about your babies, but a true friend… that one is harder to come by.

  29. Katy

    OH NO!!…they actually went home and broke up…that is insane!! Being a married working mom of three (1, 4 and 6) I can totally relate to not having any of my own friends. It is such a lonely feeling to have no one to really connect with…I am right there with you. I am so glad you brought this topic up…I have been feeling so in need of a good girl friend recently…my husband is working on his masters right now so is often gone in the evenings…talk about feeling all alone. If you move to Ohio I would be glad to be your friend!! 🙂

  30. Becky

    I understand COMPLETELY. It is so hard to find a true friend as an adult. My husband is my best friend, and I love him and my 2 year old daughter with all my heart, but I do miss having the girl time, someone to go to a movie with or shopping or girl-talk, someone who will tell me that those pants make my butt look way too big. I’ve met a few who I thought would be good friends, and they say one thing and do another, and that just is a total turnoff to me. It is now difficult for me to establish trust anymore, because I’ve been burned quite a few times by people. Sad.

  31. OH MY GOSH! That’s honestly kinda hilarious, in a not so funny way. But, I totally understand what you mean about mom friends. As a stay at home mom, honestly, I get really really really tired of other stay at home moms and conversations that revolve solely around children.

  32. Lea

    That is exactly how it is with me! I just moved back to my hometown and got a new job, so I have tons of people I’m friendly with, but don’t ever see after work, and I realize I don’t have anything in common with my old high school friends! I also mourn the end of girls-night sleepovers, since I moved in with my boyfriend. Not that I would change it, but still, even having a friend sleep in a guest room is SO DIFFERENT from the slumber parties of bygone days.

  33. Oh, bless her heart! I hope she’s doing okay.

    Loved this post! It’s so true…you do feel like you are dating someone when you try to make new friends! It’s even harder than dating sometimes!

  34. I completely agree that its hard to make friends as an adult. Especially before you become a parent. :-p Become my friend – I’ll take the risk!!

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