Why Making New Friends Is Way More Awkward Than Dating
Everyone’s always talking about the difficulties of single life. How hard it is to find someone to share your days with, how difficult it is to meet someone normal and how confusing it is to sleep with someone you can’t read.
While I can’t disagree single life is daunting and all around miserable at times, I will point out that there’s a struggle far worse out there.
If you ask me, Barney didn’t do a good enough job because by my mid-20s, I’m finding it really hard to makes new friends -- at least ones that lasted past the third drink.
In fact, it's not so much about making them, but exactly how to go about finding them.
Of course, I have a ton of acquaintances and good pals from college and high school, but I’m talking about the sitcom kind of friends I always thought would just appear after moving to a new city with a new job.
Where’s my coed group of hot, single pals who spend all day in my apartment talking about life, love and Donald Trump? Where’s my Friendsgiving? My Chrismukkah?
While everyone’s looking for his or her perfect soulmate, I think another struggle needs to be addressed: Why's it so damn hard to find new best friends in your 20s?
It's slim pickings out there
You spend three-fourths of your time at work, so if you haven’t made friends there, you’re out of luck. Your nightly outings are spent prowling for sex, not platonic conversation.
Most people have already solidified a core group, and even if they’re unhappy with their friendships, they aren’t out going out Friday night trolling for new ones.
People are either unaware they want to make new friends or aren't putting it at the top of their priority list. I guess people are just looking for sex before a platonic movie date.
There's a lot of surface level judgment
Just like dating, we're judging on the outside first. What they're wearing, who they're standing with and where they're hanging out.
We know friendships are all about the deep stuff, but in this superficial culture, we don't have the time to get to know a person's soul first. If someone is wearing an Ed Hardy shirt, we know more about his or her soul than any conversation we need to have.
There's a big chance you'll look creepy
You’re pursuing someone the same way you’d pursue a potential date -- someone has to make the first move.
You both have to play it cool yet overly (sometimes obnoxiously) excited, and you have to convey that you're interested without seeming like there's a reason you don't have a ton of other friends.
It's a delicate balance between friendly and freaky.
We've been scorned before and are pretty lazy about it now
We've all tried the friend date, and we've all been disappointed. We've all gotten dressed, left our cozy apartment and met up with someone who just wasn't worth the subway ride.
So with every new encounter, new opportunity and new number exchange, there’s a chance that one of you will cancel because let’s face it -- we’re lazy as f*ck.
As much as we all want to make new friends, none of us really want to leave our apartments. Basically, by the time they’ve got you to coffee, you’re already resenting them for getting you out of your sweatpants.
Friend dates can be weird
Friend dates, in general, can be awkward. With an actual date, even if you don’t like each other, there’s at least the sex factor riding on it. “Fine, he sucks, but he’s hot.”
Or, okay, so you guys have no chemistry across the table, but there’s enough in bed to balance it out. With friend dates, from conception to end, it’s all about the personality and the connection between those personalities.
But one minor difference, one bad taste, and it’s all downhill. What do you mean you don’t like “Seinfeld”? Well, if you don’t like “Seinfeld,” how the hell do we move on from here?
Stealing friends is not cool
Let’s say you finally meet someone you really click with. Your work friend introduces you to his or her best college friend at a party, and you hit it off immediately.
All your wildest friend fantasies are running through your head -- brunch dates, road trips and matinee showings of your favorite movie that only you guys get.
She’s the Carrie to your Samantha -- and she knows it as well. But then of course, “stealing friends” can be just as awkward and dangerous as stealing someone’s man.
I mean, if you’re not planning on adding both people to the group, you’ve really just taken a valuable friend away from someone -- subtracted one less friend from his or her dwindling group.
But hey, there are no rules in love and amicable friendships, right?