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Making new friends like dating

Like, they’re saying, I have no interest in getting to know you. That’s why I usually ask people out on “friend dates” online or through text messaging (rejection seems less painful that way). It feels weird to ask people on “friend dates” — but at some point you just have to say “fuck it” and do it anyway. You may have to deal with occasional ghosting, as I have. If someone ghosts me these days, I just accept that it’s not me — they probably just have a hundred other things they’re prioritizing — their young family, their career, their spouse — whatever. I thought young whippersnappers could never understand or relate to my struggles.

And people usually say yes, at least to the initial ask. I’m on Bumble BFF, and I’ve asked a few girls if they wanted to hang out. But recently, I met a girl in her early 20s (part of the aforementioned hiking group), and I really jive with her.

Over the years, I’ve tried various methods to make new friends.

Meetups, Craigslist, Facebook groups, attempting to befriend people at work, and most recently friend-making apps like Bumble BFF. In fact, I think it’s want to be friends with them, there’s something strange about asking them to hang out.

But just try hitting that 50 hours with someone who has a spouse, young children, and a full time job. Even if you try to keep in touch, it often doesn’t work out.

It could literally take years to reach that 50 hour mark. Maybe it’s easier these days with the ubiquity of the Interwebs.

Even when we lived in a city far from her closest confidantes, we’d still get in the car and drive over to see a more casual friend, under the pretense of having an evening tea.

Then add to this the fact that I was raised by two alcoholics.But back in my day, when you moved away, it was much harder to keep in touch.And you were dependent on your parents to help you maintain the friendships — through car rides to your old town, etc.If you connect with someone, don’t let that shit fall to the wayside! Plan another outing, even if it has to be a week or two in advance because you’re like me and you can’t do things spur of the moment. Maybe you’re a balloon fetishist, or a furry costume connoisseur, or a short-legged dog enthusiast (if so, please friend me! Whatever it is, there’s someone(s) out there for you.Whatever narrative you have in your head about how you’re fundamentally unlikeable or unfriendable — let that shit go. Trust that fact, and then go out and find your people.Sometimes mindset is more important than age when it comes to making a new friend.Wherever you are in life, understand that a friend can come in any form. But if you’re an introvert like me, sometimes you have to push yourself on this part.Whenever my parents would have an unpleasant fight — a frequent occurrence in my home growing up — my mom would come find me sulking in my room, demand I get dressed, and then pack us both into the car and drive with silent ferocity to some friend’s home.There, she and the friend would laugh together about their terrible marriages, giggling over their shared unhappiness like a pair of secret-whispering and pinky-promising girls.But because I’m shy, it’s hard for me to reach out to people when I feel these pangs of loneliness.I feel like that dog at the dog park who you can tell wants to play with other dogs, but doesn’t quite know how to start.

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