making friends as an adult, social anxiety, making new friends, how to make new friends, this stuff is golden,

On Being Lonely At 25

Okay, I admit it – I’m a bit lonely.

However I am not Bridget Jones kinda lonely, I’m not getting drunk and singing All By Myself, though it may reach that point. What I mean is, I’m not lover-lonely. I have one of those, a very lovely one who I imagine will end up being my husband at some point in the near-ish future.

What I mean is, I’m lonely for friends.

I do have some friends, some really great friends actually. One BFF 4EVA, one that I can only describe as the devil on your shoulder, and one I need to reach out to more often (hello!) – but those three are all around 400 miles away.

You may know that I moved to pretty little Edinburgh from down South about a year ago. You may not know that I partly used the move as a way to run away from my problems (guess what, they followed me – turns out you can’t pack up everything and not take your depression with you). So, once I got to Scotland, I spent a year being a hermit. I was too sad to go out because I genuinely didn’t feel good enough to be social with anybody. I didn’t feel worthy enough.

To be honest I’ve always had a self-esteem issue when it came to friendships. Since I was a kid I never thought I had enough friends, never thought I was liked enough – and that has made birthdays a bit of a downer ever since I was 11 years old.

In recent years I have had the worry that I won’t have enough friends to invite to my wedding. I had a dream a few nights ago that I was getting married to my SO. The dress would have fitted right in on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and I was late to the ceremony. I was then paraded around the tables doing a strange meet and greet to the guests – my SO’s tables were filled, and mine were empty apart from a few random ghosts from secondary school (who in real life I had never actually been friends with in the first place). Stephen Hawking was there, which only added to the weirdness. He was nice though.

I have actually made one very good friend since moving to Edinburgh, though it was kind of by accident – he was sitting next to me on a RyanAir flight as I was coming back from a visit to see my family. He was the window seat, I was the middle seat, and I was watching another plane through the window as we sat waiting to take off. I was hoping that we were racing the adjacent plane, and decided to say this out loud. We’ve been friends ever since.

I was very proud of myself for making a friend that day, because generally I am not very good at doing so. I am the type of person that as soon as I see somebody with potential friend material written all over their face, I want to skip all the first friend dates and climb aboard the best friend-ship. And yes, that even counts for people I have met online.

Unfortunately for me, friendships are like dating. You have to woo them. Go out with them and get them to like you. You have to know the right things to say, especially when using a BFF finder app (I’m on Bumble, FYI, hit me up).

So my quest to make new friends has begun. My bumbling on Bumble hasn’t landed me anything yet but it’s still early days. I’m re-reading the amazing book MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche for some tips on how to meet more people/potential BFFs. I installed Meet Up on my phone again (which is actually how I met my BFF 4EVA). Who knows what progress I may make!

P.S

Just curious though – is it okay to invite online friends to your wedding?

14 Comments

  1. Emelie

    I’ve totally been where you are! I moved to a tiny town in Connecticut at the age of 23 and I literally knew nobody here when I arrived. I moved for a job and it was terrifying but exciting. And then the loneliness set in. I had some people that I had met and liked, but I wanted those deep connections I was missing.
    Here’s what I learned: those connections take time to make, but they can and do get made. It’s waiting for them that’s the hard part. Four years later, I do have those friendships that I depend on and love. It takes persistence, but it’s worth it.
    Until that time, I lived for FaceTime sessions with the people I was missing. Thank God for modern technology.
    I believe in you! You can do this. I know it. And while you’re waiting, remember that the Internet is here for you and we’re all cheering you on.

  2. Annika

    I can really relate to this post. It seems to be harder in adulthood to make friends. As I have gotten older (I’m knocking on 30’s door), I have realized that having a few real genuine friends is so much better than having a bunch of casual friends. I still don’t have a bunch of girlfriends to hang out with and my wedding party will likely be small, but I’m at peace with that.

    Great post and I hope you have success with Bumble and Meet ups :).

  3. Quinn

    I did not know you could use Bumble for friends! I’m pretty shit at friend-making thanks to ye olde social anxiety but I did go to Paris with two blogger friends a couple of years ago and it was a blast. Lots of wine was drank and lots of crepes were eaten!

    I’ve been eyeing up Girl Crew but don’t really feel like I’d have much to bring to the table… Meet Up sounds like it could be fun! How did you get over the nervousness of walking in for the first time? I feel like I’d get to the door and then just think “…Maybe next time!” and run away.

    1. Lauren

      What is Girl Crew?!
      Oh wow, a Paris trip with bloggers would be a massive social achievement to me!
      With Meet Up I kinda cheated and made my own group just so that I didn’t have that feeling of being a newbie in a group of established friends! It worked well for a little while, and then myself and my now BFF just started hanging out without the others…

  4. Jenny Mullinder

    I am exactly the same as you – when I connect with someone I’m like ‘I want to be like best friends’ but also am awkward as to actually doing that….
    For what it’s worth you can invite me to your wedding! xx

  5. Bexoxo

    I’m having the same issue, but you seem like you’re using different resources to find potential friends. What is Bumble? I’ve just recently found Meet Up, but no groups of interest in my area. 🙁

    1. Lauren

      Bumble is a dating app that also features a BFF bit for women only (I think). It’s like a Tinder for friendships!
      Yeah I’m finding the same kinda problem – the groups around me are either 1) full to the brim 2) not my kinda thing or 3) used by businesses to sell yoga classes.

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