So lately I’ve been feeling disconnected, which is strange because I have amazing friends. But I figured out what the problem is. While I have this amazing amalgamation of friends, I no longer have a group of friends.
I have dispersed groups of friends. There is a group of about 8-10 close friends that I have from high school but they live in Richmond, Norfolk, Blacksburg, Manassas, Chicago. I have a group of even more friends from college but they live in Massachusetts, West Virginia, Reston, Pennsylvania, Virginia Beach. Needless to say, getting the gang together is a bit of a feat and only really happens over the holidays or at weddings.
I have yet to find a group, emphasis on group, to hang out with in DC. Don’t get me wrong. I have amazing friends, but they’re all individuals. Many of them don’t really know each other and I rarely hang out with more than one person at a time.
This is a new phenomenon for me. I’m not saying it’s good or bad; it’s just different. And I think it’s illustrative of a common fact of growing up: friendships are harder to come by.
When you’re young, something so small as having the same favorite color or the same pencil or a shared enemy in the playground bully is enough to inspire people to become BFFs, complete with sleepovers, hours long phone conversations, and necklace exchanges. When you’re in your mid-20’s, things seem to get a little more difficult.
Someone once told me that your boundaries are beginning to harden at that age. Routines are setting in and you’re much less likely to reach out to new people if you have no other connection to them. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule, as there are to all rules, but unless there is a strong connection or a true shared passion, making new friends at 25 is one of the most difficult things I think you can attempt.
All things considered, I think I’m doing quite well. Amber and Carolyn, Chrissy and Sarah, Melanie and James have all become good friends and are all amazing people, but only 2 or 3 of them hang out with each other as well.
Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe I’m trying to fit a circle situation into a square mentality. Maybe the fact that this realization hit me at 10 PM on the downslope of an amazing weekend with my college group of friends means I shouldn’t give it as much weight as I am. Whatever it is, making friends at 25 is a completely different experience than making friends at 10, 15, or 20. And I’m just learning the ropes.