Making Friends as an Adult is Hard [Penny’s Rambles]
Good Afternoon Friends!
I hope you all are having a relaxing Sunday. Today I am swaddled up in blankets with a cup of tea deep in thought. It feels so good to be back writing again. It’s like someone blew a deep breath of air through my lips and breathed life back into me again. I feel like myself again as thoughts flow onto the page organically. Anyway, I digress. Today I was quietly reflecting in my mind on how different it is to make friends as an adult versus how children form friendships. As a child in school I remember having “friends” that were in the same classes as I was. “Hey, we’re both in the same A.P. Spanish class! Let’s be friends!” wasn’t an uncommon thing to hear. We formed friendships based on similarities that were simple and factual. Of course this was appropriate for adolescents, as our life experiences back then were minimal and our ability to understand complex emotions wasn’t there yet.
In my own life I didn’t have the opportunity to have many friendships while I was in school. I took care of my sister who is in a wheelchair, while my parents worked full-time, so my life was spent getting good grades in school and hurrying home to care for her in the evenings. When I left home at 18 years old my definition of friendships changed again. Suddenly I was working full-time and my co-workers became the people who I chatted with on a daily basis. We groaned over low wages, long hours, and bosses who were arrogant and demanding. There was camaraderie but not…. depth to the friendship. Does that make sense?
As I was reflecting today I realized that there isn’t a manual for how to form friendships as an adult. Yes, we tell each other to attend a local munch, convention, or join a lifestyle site to meet new people. And that’s great, and I also advocate for you to do so if you feel comfortable. But for someone (like me) who is a bit more introverted, going to a munch can seem daunting. Who makes the first move in the conversation? What if I seem “old” at 37 years old? What if I come across as unknowledgeable and dim-witted to an experienced veteran of the lifestyle? These questions roll through my mind and I grow nervous to my core. I try to read lifestyle books as often as I’m able. I try to keep myself abreast of new terms that are ever-changing in the BDSM Community. But I never want to come across as completely uninformed about things.
Forming friendships is hard. In the past I’ve opened my heart to friends in the lifestyle only to have things go completely sideways for one reason or another. I’m the type of person who isn’t afraid to self-reflect for hours to assess what I could have done differently to learn from my mistakes. I wish there was a way to connect with people who you know are just as eager to make friends too. People who are trustworthy, kind, understanding, patient, honest and blunt, and…. kinky. Yeah, let’s throw that adjective into the mix because I don’t think I’d mesh well with someone who is too “vanilla” (lol). If I had the technological know-how I would create a friendship-matching website to help people make friends (even across the many miles!) who have like interests and an open mind. But alas, I’m actually a “noob” at technology.
I blame my age on my struggles with technology. I vividly remember life before the internet. I remember when you had to pick up the phone and have a conversation with someone in order to get to know them. I dated in a time where texting was just beginning to pick up, but normally people still met face to face. I connected (before I got in the lifestyle) with dates because we had mutual friends or they were “a friend of a friend”. I remember when stationary was a “thing” and letter writing was a skill that everyone knew how to do. I guess I’m an old soul at heart. Sometimes I feel like too much technology, and the speed of things these days, has taken away the personable feel for meeting people. One click, one block, one trash button and that person vanishes forever. No longer do we need to muster the skill to actually talk to other human beings to make friends. Instead we text or use emojis. (And I’m not totally hating on emoji’s 🙂 I promise). We can remain in our tiny, bubble on our smartphones instead of looking up and seeing whose eyes you meet.
Anyway, I apologize for rambling. I just thought I’d post a little Sunday reflection post and share a bit of what’s on my heart. I hope everyone is having a lovely day and I will see you back here for the next post! <3
8 thoughts on “Making Friends as an Adult is Hard [Penny’s Rambles]”
We are so very close to the same age. I’m 38 and also introverted, which comes a shock to a few people with how I write. I find it easier to be my truest self when I am with like-minded individuals and it is easy to forget that I’m a private, reserved person when expressing what I do or what I am passionate about.
I feel the struggle completely with making friends. I have made many and lost many over the years. It has reinforced a negative mindset that I struggle with: nobody stays. As someone is is obscenely traditional in most senses, I find the lack of honesty and loyalty to be completely off-putting and it forces me back into the introverted shell.
I know exactly how you feel, Storm! Like you I’ve connected with people over the years and watched them come and go from my life. You have those moments where at first everything is exciting and new. Then, life happens and for one reason or another people leave. I also understand what you meant by a lack of honesty and loyalty. I’m the type of person where, I don’t have many rules for being friends with someone…. however, I expect 100% honesty at all times. I prefer to have a blunt, open, honest conversation and to deal with things as friends rather than do things behind each others back.
You know, it can be easy to become jaded when we have these experiences. It would be so simple to clam up and assume that everyone is out for their personal gain. Admittedly, my retreat from this space for the past couple of years was largely due to me needing to heal, regroup, and find my sense of hope again. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that while it is easy to assume that most people lie… or that most people are disloyal…. it takes more courage to assume the best in people before casting anyone aside. 🙂 I know I probably sound a bit foolish. And likely I’ll get my heart stomped on a time or two again in this lifetime. But, I’d rather connect with people and experience everything this life has to offer, than be chained up by my own anxiety. Does that make sense? 🙂 From one introvert to another, trust me, I feel your words 100%.
I demand honesty. It is no longer an expectation. If someone can’t be honest with me, I don’t want them in my life. I am brutally honest. I try to keep a soft approach with it, but I find little value in sugar coating or filtering. If it’s a duck, I’m gonna call it a duck.
I agree about it taking courage. I can’t clam up. I’ve quieted my voice and who I am for too long. I refuse to go quietly into the night. Heartbreak is inevitable, I feel at this point, but I am not so jaded that it is an expectation. Hopeful, never hopeless.
I’m literally clapping over here, Storm! YES!! I agree 100% and that poem is a great one! 😉
Penny Penny Penny… you’ve always been there to dole out the advice to me, and so today’s my turn to return the favour. Get ready! Hehe.
I can’t advice you on making friends in the real adult world, frankly I’m pretty hopeless at that too. All I know is that my neighbour across the street waves to me any time she sees me, my neighbour upstairs always wants to talk to me instead of Matt, the postman always smiles and I’ve got a full 5 stars on OLIO, where I give stuff away routinely, so I must be falling on the right side of people somewhere. It does suck a bit not having people that you can call up, but hey, you know what I’ve found over the years? These digital friends, they matter. Get yourself on Slowly and make some e-pen pals! That’s what I did when I was in a rough patch and I still Slowly more than two years, I’ve met some truly great people there, too boot. You can thank me later 😉
Regarding events – been there, done that, got the (kinky) t-shirt hehe. I still remember my first munch and yes, it is nerve-wracking, but to be honest, most people are really nice, genuine, and just want to get to know you, your story and support you if they can. Clubs and events similarly, I was pretty much on close friend terms with the House Mistress at my local BDSM event after about three months – she used to look out for me! Of course YMMV and you may definitely me tone or two as-… not very nice people there (I did, one fobbed me off because he asked me to guess his role and I guessed sub because he was wearing leather chaps) but for the most part, people are kind. Remember that absolutely everyone is nervous when stepping into these events for the first time, but the hosts know that and they will do all they can to put you at ease. I promise you my friend, the first time is always scary, but you’ll probably have so much fun, you’ll want to go again and again! Hehe. Good luck! x
Oh, and as an aside, I used to run a munch. Trust me, we WANT you to want to join us again 😉 x
Helen, you always make me giggle and feel SO loved! What excellent advice and maybe I’ll reach out to my local munch and give it a try when it comes back around at the end of the month? We’ll see! Until then, you’re right! I feel so blessed to have a few digital friends who I cherish very much. Sending you GIANT hugs, my friend! Thank you for the pick me up! x
Not a problem at all my friend, keep your chin up and good luck on your ventures! 🙂 x