No one ever warned me making friends was so damn hard.
Throughout the years upon years you’re at school, you have an always constant group of ready-made friends. I wasn’t particularly popular (or well-liked for that matter) in high school, but it was relatively simple to meet people and there a handful of gems I met during my early years who I continue to keep in touch with.
College is the same. The girls I met and lived with at Davidson are my lady soul mates, but we obviously never would have met were it not for college.
When I studied abroad, the guys and girls in my small program became instant friends, both by circumstance and a combined love of travel and London. We still talk to this day.
But the two years since graduating I’ve made maybe one or two new, good friends. The rest have been one-off coffees with Twitter followers or the occasional blog meetup.
Why is it so freaking hard to meet people?
No, wait. It’s NOT hard to meet people. I just had two back-to-back blind coffee dates with friends of friends and have two next week with people I know through social media.
It’s not hard to meet people, it’s just hard to meet them TWICE.
It’s Not You (Auckland), It’s Me
My biggest gripe about Auckland was that people tend to have a group of friends they met in high school and have no desire to expand that circle or get to know anyone new.
In the past week that I’ve been in Melbourne, I’ve been more social, met more people and felt more connected than in the eight months I lived in New Zealand. But instead of blaming Auckland (like I usually do), I realized I was judging too quickly and hadn’t put enough pressure on myself while in NZ. Granted, I still think Kiwis are hard to get to know, but so are a lot of people. One complaint I hear a lot from the friends I stay in touch with back home is meeting people. It has nothing to do with location. It has everything to do with comfort level.
Right now, I’m entirely alone. I just left everything. This trip isn’t like my move to Auckland. Back in December I was with my partner and his family and our friends from London. Here, I literally haven no one. And while that’s scary as all hell, it’s put me in a position of having to grow some damn girl balls. I’m couchsurfing – something I never thought I’d do in a million years. I’m calling up complete strangers and ordering them to have coffee with me. I’m asking anyone and everyone if they have friends in Australia I can meet up with.
Honestly, I feel like I’m dating. Like I’m those horribly desperate women from chick flicks who laughs hysterically at a man’s jokes, just hoping – praying – he’ll like them.
Except it’s with everyone.
And yes, that’s just as horrifying as it sounds.
What’s your experience like with making new friends? Do you stick with your old group? Make a concentrated effort for new ones? Or have you done something similar to yours truly and had to start from scratch?