I’ve moved enough to know what it’s like to make new friends, and each time I move, I seem to have a whole new set of problems arise. People are different in every area I’ve lived, and without fail, I always seem to be just on the outside of what is readily acceptable or sought-after as a good friend. First impressions are key, right? Don’t you go to the playground and scope the moms out, wondering if you could be friends with each one there? That mom pushing her kid on the swing? Nope. Couldn’t be friends with her, I loathe pushing my kids on the swing. Let them learn for themselves. That mom over there on her phone? She looks kind of unapproachable (I’ve been there, no judgment). The mom in the group of two or three other moms? Not gonna happen, breaking into a group is impossible. That mom has a weird haircut, that mom has a FUPA, that mom drove here in an old car, that mom has seven kids, that mom, that mom, that mom, that mom . . .
I’m the fat, tattooed mom. Skinny moms don’t generally want to be friends with me at first glance. Once they catch a whiff of my killer personality though, it’s a completely different story. Let’s just be honest with one another for a second, okay? We generally want to be friends with people who are like us, and when someone doesn’t look like us right off the bat, well, we don’t really want to be their friend.
Yes, this is insanely judgmental, but it’s just the laws of Motherhood in nature.
Finding new friends when you’re a stay at home or work from home mom is so difficult and it completely reminds me of being back in the dating scene. The only difference is this time I’m not trying to get into someone’s pants, just onto the coveted mom’s night out text list.
Let’s not forget to throw husbands and kids into the mix. What happens when you think you’ve found a really great friend and you find out your kids hate one another? Is there really time to try to forge a friendship with someone whose kids your kids can’t stand being around? I’m the selfish mom all up in my kids grills like “Yes, you WILL play with George, because Mommy needs a FRIEND!” I’m in the minority.
What about husbands? This has been one of my biggest hurdles. My husband just isn’t a big people-person, but he has to be a people person for a living, so when he’s done being paid to be a people person, he doesn’t want to do it to satisfy some primal need of mine to have a gaggle of friends. I generally have to drag him, kicking and screaming, out to hang with other couples. Husband chemistry is nearly as important as kid chemistry, which is almost as important as friend chemistry.
What happens when you do find someone you think you could be compatible with? Well, here it is:
30 ways making new friends is like dating
- You catch each other scoping the other one out.
- You make eye contact then quickly look away when they catch you staring at them
- You run into them a few times in public before exchanging niceties.
- You leave these encounters wondering when they’re ever going to finally ask for your phone number or Facebook profile.
- You hope to catch their last name during conversation or a quick glance at their personal effects so you can Google them. Don’t want to be hanging out with a stalker!
- You wonder if you’re the crazy stalker and have difficulty making eye contact next time you see them lest they see that knowing look in your eyes.
- Phone numbers are finally exchanged and you immediately call your mom, your husband, the local news station, and tell all of Facebookland that you’ve finally made a connection that you hope will work out.
- You wait days for them to call or text you, but all you get is radio silence.
- You eventually text them to ask if they have any free time during the up coming weekend.
- When they don’t answer for hours, you are mortified that you texted instead of called and you obsess over looking like a crazy stalker person for texting first.
- When they answer that they can’t come because they’re going out of town for the weekend, your heart sinks into your stomach because you just KNOW they made that up and rehearsed the delivery for three hours before texting back. Because all texts need rehearsing.
- You give up ever talking to them again.
- When you run into them the next week, they invite you to go hang out with the kids and you silently scream, “IT’S A DAAAAAAATE!” before casually saying, “Yeah, sounds cool.” all mellow-like.
- During your date, you talk their ear off and over-share your entire life. You feel good during the conversation, but you leave the date thinking, “OMG WHAT HAVE I DOOOOOONE?!”
- When they text you later to let you know they had a good time, you get all nerve-ridden, butterfly-stricken and think, “OMG, maybe this is it.”
- You don’t hear from them for a few days and don’t bump into them in the regular places. Oh crap. They’re avoiding you. You really DID over-share.
- Your phone rings or dings and you immediately hope it’s them. You’re devastated when it’s not and all smiles when it is.
- You sit at home and wonder what they’re doing and if it’s something you could be doing with them too.
- They invite you to a direct sale party at their house. You go back and forth about going, but your desire to be around them and prove how awesome you are overrides, so you go. You meet a few of their friends, they seem cool and you had your charming pants on. You think you nailed it. SWEEET! Three new friends! They promise to invite you out when they hang out with “the girls” next time.
- Your invitation to hang out never comes and you spend hours wondering where you fit into this relationship. Is it happening? Is it not happening? Did one of the friends not like you? Is it your nose? Is it your hair? Maybe it’s because you had pantylines! CRAP! It was definitely the pantylines.
- When you see pictures of your new friend with their old friends on Facebook, you get kinda jealous and think, “they’d like me toooooooo!”
- You want to call them every weekend to see if they’d like to hang out, but you still don’t want to be the crazy stalker person, and the possibility of rejection completely crushes your self esteem so you never call.
- When they disagree with you about something, you leave thinking, “yep, just ruined it. They’ll never want to be my friend now. Goshdarnit, I really enjoyed that friend. Why couldn’t I just agree?”
- You wonder if they’re thinking, “Gee, we really have a lot in common. This person must want to skin me and wear a Me-Coat.” even if the truth really just is that you have a lot in common.
- When the opportunity arises for you to help them through a problem, you are on the edge of your seat until you see them again and can find out how it ended.
- The first time they tell you a secret, you vow to keep it until the end of time, and you ride the high for a week.
- The first time you hang out with them two days in a row, you wonder if you’re ever going to get to wear the BFF necklace.
- You find yourself inviting yourself along to things and you wonder how irritated they are at you for always wanting to be up their skirts. Shoot, you know you’ve just blown it.
- When you pull back a little bit, they contact you after a few days to see if you want to hang out and it’s like you’ve been rescued.
- When other people offer to hang out with you, you decline because maybe, just maybe . . .
AMIRIGHT? Do you have any more to add? Do you find it difficult or easy to make new friends now that you’re all growed up?