Everyone has this question, and I think that’s a good thing. A collective with a recurring problem doesn’t stress me out, it makes me feel like I’m a part of something. Oh, this is annoying for everyone? Thank goodness, I’m not alone. The most recurring question I receive isn’t about dating, which is the go-to assumption when you look at…oh I don’t know, literally all content created for single people. The most prominent question in singlehood is actually: How do I make new friends?
We’re not in school anymore. We’re not obligated to go somewhere every day with a bunch of people in our own age bracket who are experiencing the same stage of life that we’re in. School provides common ground, but adulthood introduces variables and iPhones and distances us from each other. So it’s not any great mystery why in adulthood we all have so much trouble making new friends: We never really had to try before. Further, of all those comically useless classes they made us sit through, “how to form and maintain healthy, fulfilling friendships” wasn’t one of them.
On top of this skill set deficiency, friend retention gets more difficult with age. All kinds of adulthood eventualities separate us. Schedules get hectic. We spend more time with romantic partners and less time with friends. (It happens, it’s okay, calm down.) We spend time with colleagues. We move. We procreate. Essentially, shit happens—and we don’t put elbow grease into friendships, because we don’t know that we need to. Friendship was always pretty effortless when we were kids, there was no need for maintenance or even overt effort, really. It’s not until you come up for air after a busy few months at work and wonder why you feel so lonely that you start to realize friendship can’t be on autopilot anymore.
Singles, in particular, are susceptible to friendship droughts. As humans, we tend to befriend those who are in similar boats to ours, as shared experiences and perspectives bring people together. But we’ve all been in this life awhile, and we’ve all seen our pool of single friends naturally dwindle over time, as people partner. Thus, your single friends are the only group you have with a hole in the bucket. Replenishments are necessary. (This is also totally okay, it’s fine to make new friends when your single friends partner, that doesn’t mean you…