Meeting new people and making new friends is just as challenging and as difficult a process as dating. Basically it’s platonic dating without the enjoyable and exciting pieces. In college, it was so effortless to make friends. “Aren’t you in my philosophy class?” “How do you like Professor Whatshisname?” “Can we meet up and compare notes before the midterm?” You have so much common ground with the people surrounding you that it’s like a big lively forest of possible new friendships.
You graduate from college, get a grown up job, and learn not to mix your personal life with your professional life. While all of this is happening, all of your college buddies start to have long term relationships, start moving away to fun and exciting places, get married, have babies (not necessarily in that order). And then there’s you –working full time, growing into an old lady or man with a set bedtime, multiple dogs or cats that you prefer to hang out with more than people, and declining going out for a drink past 9pm because you know how beyond grumpy you’ll be in the morning –hasn’t anyone heard of making plans on weekends!? So where do you go from here?
I have never been one to have a huge, concrete group of friends that has stuck by me throughout the years –this was never my path in life. I have had friends come into my life and just as easily we grow apart. Nonetheless, everyone comes into our lives for a reason and at exactly the right time. I think there is a purpose as to why I haven’t had consistent companionship in my life. Instead, I have a handful of true best friends that are all over the world. These are the types of friends that no matter how much time has passed, no matter what little tiffs have transpired over the years, we can start chatting with one another as if we had just spoken yesterday. Those are the kinds of friends I keep–the resilient ones that have the adaptability to endure our ever-changing surroundings.
So how do you find these certain individuals? –you look for the signs that are all around you. If you find someone interesting, and you do not know what to say, start asking questions–what do they like to do, what’s their favorite food, have they ever traveled, etc. Finding a foundation for shared interests is the start to a good conversation and this can lead to a great friendship. As with dating, if you have to push it and the conversation is obviously not flowing naturally, don’t sweat it –it’s not you, it’s not them –just some people do not mix well together. Look for those that you are drawn to based on your passions and your interests.
When I was thirteen years old, I was sent to a private high school where I only knew one other girl from my previous school. I was very nervous and uneasy about not knowing anyone, especially since everyone was familiar with one another beforehand. My good acquaintance had told me to find a girl she knew whom would also be attending my high school. I kept this thought in the back of my mind, and finally a few months later, I found her –curls of thick golden hair, a big bright smile, and a tremendous welcoming demeanor –she was exactly who I needed in my life at that time. We instantly bonded and became best friends and about a year later, her family decided to move to Nevada for work. Funny thing is, she is still one of my best friends today. We do not have to speak every day, or tell each other everything, but we have that friendship that is unspoken and irrepressible. For these types of friends, you have to be aware of the hints and indications in your life that try and steer you towards them. Chances are, you will learn your biggest and best lessons from them, so pay attention!
Just as with the soul mates that come into our lives (read my previous article for more info 🙂 ), you are pulled and nudged in the right directions when meeting new people –there’s always illuminating clues that predict if a person is meant to stay in your life. The universe gives you exactly what you need at that time, so be cautious with what you ask for. Be passionate, be genuine, be completely and irrevocably yourself, and those that are like-minded will start appearing more and more in your life –you just have to look for them.