Friends as an Adult

Updated on September 23, 2014
S.X. asks from Libertyville, IL
20 answers

do you miss the kinds of friendships you had in high school? I feel like i don't connect to people in the same way. I have mommy friends and i do have old friends i still talk with... but its just not the same as feeling i have someone i can call anytime, that we keep in regular touch, and they want to make plans as much as i do. I realize life is different as we are different as people... Sometimes I look at friends of mine that have a 'main group' of friends that get together constantly and i feel left out. Does everyone have this group of people? is this an age thing or am i just pmsing? i feel like people don't have time to have anything other than surface friendships???

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answers from Austin on

I was going to post something very similar. I was starting to think it was just me. I'm sorry you feel this way, too, but it's a bit a relief knowing I'm not the only one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I used to have friends in High school that I would / could hang out with anytime, laugh with a lot, and had things in common with.

As an adult, I really don't have anyone close to that description. It's sad. I often wonder why? Are most people like this? Is it an age thing? (I'm 33) is it cause life is busy? I really have no idea...

but I do miss having some great friends!

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answers from Dallas on

I saw that with me and what I realized is it was me keeping people at an arms length because I was just so darned busy and sometimes life is messy and I just don't have the time to keep up and support others until my kiddos were older.
Now that they are, I have really found a group of previously just "surface" friends who I can call on to support, rally around me and that I would do the same for them.
I will say after about 4 years of the surface stuff you can feel very vulnerable opening up and sharing things with others and it does feel foriegn as opposed to in high school, etc when that was just what you did.
If you are looking for a good group, start with a small women's only bible study - I have found there is no greater bond than studying and supporting one another through prayer and study - regardless of religion:)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

I don't know - I feel like I have the best, closest circle of friends ever...
my hubby and 2 kids!
I/we have other friends too of course, but they all have their own lives too, so sometimes it's hard to get together.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I feel the same way... sigh

I long to have a close circle of friends, people who come and go regularly from my home, who I get together with to do things, shop, do activities with kids, evenings out with adults only, hang out at our homes, that kind of stuff.

But I don't have that either. I have perimeter friends, people I am friendly with, who I will get together with on occasion (usually, ok always for playdates for our kids), but that's as deep as it goes, really.

I've often thought about how to change this dynamic. Right now, we live in teeny tiny little apartment, and are completely busting at the seams. We don't even have a table to sit and eat at. The apartment was built for me as a single young woman, and I had a counter table with stools... and even at that, it's really small. So other than our couch, there isn't even anyplace to host guests. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as we are moving this summer into a much bigger house, and I have dreams of having people over when we actually have room to host them. So maybe closer relationships will develop when I feel more comfortable having an environment to cultivate them... but I know there's a personality component, too... needing to be more open to relationships in general, and not so bogged down by my own life and responsibilities... need to balance that better, too.

Hope you find some balance. Just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone in how you feel.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree totally w/ your perception!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

I think it has to do with time. In high school, you saw your friends every day so friendships developed naturally. Now we have to make an extra effort if we want friends like that as adults.

I really believe friends are important so I schedule time to call and set up dates with them. My kids are older so now we can go out alone, but when they were younger, I'd meet with my friends at the park or beach where our kids could play and we'd talk. I used to be the painfully shy kid at school so I know how hard it is to get outside your comfort zone and feel like you are the only one reaching out. But it is so worth it. I've started plenty of friendships that never went anywhere. They are busy, nothing in common, or maybe they just don't like me! But sometimes things just click, other times I'll have a social friend for many years and we connect over some event or situation and become close.

Our lives are richer because of our friendships. Don't give up. There are other women longing for close friendships out there, you just have to find them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Yes-I do miss it very much. My theory is that in high school and college you pretty much pick your friends and they will be probably a lot like you. And then you go to work and you are in an industry that is what you like and "fits" your personality and so therefore you will have the chance to meet other lke-minded people. And then you have kids and move to the suburbs and then all of a sudden you are around many people that you would have NEVER chosen if you had your pick. You are really not similiar in any way other than you have kids. I have really struggled as a mom to form the kinds of friendships that I have always had. I just don't have a lot in common with the people I meet in my neighborhood and at the school. I have lots of friends and I genuinely like most of the people but have not really "clicked" with anyone.



answers from Philadelphia on

I'm not a social butterfly. I have many friends and acquaintances (parents of my kids' friends, people in my tennis clinic, etc), but they are not people I would call to "hang out" with, more like friendly chatting when we see each other at school functions or run into each other at the grocery store. But I have two, I guess you would call them, best friends. One I've known since we were in 1st grade in Japan (coincidentally, she now lives 1/2 hour away from me in PA - both our parents are STILL in Japan) and the other about 1 1/2 hours away in NJ, who I've known since 3rd grade (again in Japan and here we are on the other side of the world still living fairly close to each other). We don't see each other too often, maybe once every couple of months, but when we get together, it's as if time stood still and we're right back in HS. They know me better than anyone else, call me on my BS, are there for me if I need it - I can't imagine my life without these relationships. And I have my sister, who lives 15 minutes away, and is absolutely my very best friend. With these 3 women in my life, I find no need to have deeper friendships with other people. And, like you said, part of it IS that I don't have the time to put into new relationships. But I'm kind of a loner - I LIKE my private, quiet time. I also know women who are *constantly* going out to lunch, getting togther to go shopping, etc. That's something I just wouldn't enjoy, so I don't do it. This weekend, I'm going to visit my NJ friend. We're going to sit around, drink coffee (then wine) and talk and laugh, go into NYC for dinner and just have fun together - THAT'S the kind of socializing I enjoy!



answers from Chattanooga on

I think it's a lot easier in high school. Then, your only worries are your grades. Maybe a job. In real life, ESPECIALLY for parents, there is soo much more going on. You just plain don't have the time to stop what you are doing to go 'hang out' all the time. And when you DO have the time, then they don't!! It can be accomplished to a point with good planning.... but even that is more work. The work is worth it, but that's probably why we don't have the same friendship dynamics as high school. I know that I definitely miss having friends like that!



answers from Chicago on

I'm glad you posted this because I feel like I'm in a similar situation. I do have one "best" friend who I've been friends with since the 3rd grade and we both make the effort and have maintained this great relationship. Outside of that one person, I don't have a lot of friends. I find they come and go with the situation - mostly acquaintences through the kids school or something. I'm so NOT the person who can make friends from a room of strangers it is really hard for me.

I find I can be friends with people on the surface (talk at school or something) but I'm rarely comfortable enough to take the next step and invite them to do something, even if we do click.

A couple times I've invited the kids from school over with their moms for a play date. This last time my daughter really liked the girl from school, their son was our son's age and I really liked their mom. They stayed a long time at our home and I thought it went really well. She said she had lots of fun and would call me to invite us over next time. I even saw her at school and reiterated how much fun we had, but she never contacted me. Maybe she didn't like me, maybe her kids didn't like my kids, who knows. I refused to call her because I really believe if she was interested she would have contacted me and I can't be the initiator all the time - it has to be a two way street for me (I did too much of the calling in my 20's).

I guess it's just the circumstances. Folks are busy and they only want to invest their time in friendships where they really click. I wouldn't think any less of yourself or of the people you try to befriend. You're just different.


answers from Champaign on

I know what you mean. I started feeling that way in my 30's and it has gotten worse in my 40's. Ive just started to retreat into myself because I just got tired of hearing the "Im busy" excuse. Hell, were all busy - jobs, kids, spouses and in some cases (like mine) a return to school but I make time for whats important to me. Spending time with my sister friends keeps me sane and I know because I havent been getting that much in the last couple years, that it has had a dire effect on my attitude. I scream at my kids over the littlest things and I hate my spouse. I cant even control the outbursts because I just dont get any stress release anymore. I dont know why women feel like they have to give all to their families at the sake of their friendships.


answers from Boston on

To rectify this, try to keep several separate friendship circles. This way, you can call on different friends for different occasions: church friends, work friends, old friends, line dance friends, etc.



answers from Glens Falls on

I've struggled with friendships all of my adult life even though I was very social in high school and college. When my daughter was young, there were other moms to chat with, but it wasn't the same as the close relationships I previously had. When I worked, I thought I had "friends" at work...but 99% of those friends go away with the job. I have worked - and I mean worked - at building a couple of relationships where usually I am the initiator to do lunch or dinner, send a funny text or email and almost never let my guard down to be anything other than happy, happy to be around even if I don't feel happy, happy at all. My family members have become the "friends" that I share things with. It is much harder as an adult to achieve that closeness with someone. All I can say is try to a be a happy person and try to keep your eyes open to potential "friends" and make it a priority to keep trying. When I was working and when my daughter was young, I know I missed a lot of opportunities to build real relationships because I was so busy all the time. Then suddenly you're alone. Join a church, volunteer on neighborhood projects, put yourself out there as much as you can even though a lot of it is uncomfortable sometimes. Some day you will be glad that you did.



answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I'm right there with ya! I have a few friends that span the time from highschool until now but I don't live anywhere near them. We have a somewhat transient lifestyle right now and will only live in our current location for less than a year total so honestly, while I am friendly with people and will have people over I'm not stressing on making real close friends, does that make sense? I'm praying that after we get to our next location I can make friends and get involved. As another poster said, perhaps when the kids are a little older it will be easier - who knows? Right now I'm thankful for email & yes, even the dreaded facebook, since it allows me to remain in touch with my friends from other places.



answers from South Bend on

Same predicament here. I have two best friends that I've known since I was 13, but I moved 1,000 miles away from them(and my entire family) almost 2 years ago so my husband could go to grad school. And I got pregnant with twins barely a month after we moved here, thus rendering it even more difficult to make friends because I rarely venture out of the house.


answers from Milwaukee on

I have a close group of friends, we kind of are like the Sex and the City clan... I am married with a kid, another married, one engaged and one single. All three came into my life in the past 5 years, so very new friendship. We realized that outside of work we love hanging out, now with such different life schedules we have a girl's night every other month. One of the girls I still work with so I see her weekly. Out of these 3 friends 1 of them I know I can call anytime for any reason, the other two we are friends and are there for each other and enjoy hanging out.

When it comes to growing up, having a family I really think it is hard for people to balance many deep friendships, so may have one really good friend. Doing things in a group is easier because less worried about how to keep the converstation and connection going.

I have another group of friends that we see each other weekly from spring - fall only due to being in a kickball league Monday nights. Now this group, who are all couples but no kids, gets together a lot more during the winter and through out ther year but I have a family and do not attend all the birthday/whatever get togethers. The funny thing is this group use to be my hubby's school friends group, but I have now become closer friends with most. I do pick a few yearly events that we always try to make, of course any weddings (many just got enagaged!), the boat beer tour (a few hours long), and the canoe two day trip. I wish I could hang out with them more but I have a kid now, and they understand that my family comes first.

More recently I just reconnected with an highschool classmate, we were not even friends in highschool or in the same click. She lives about an hour away and I noticed on facebook she was having some tough times, overworking herself and it really seemed like she need cheering up. So for her birthday last week I stopped by with some homemade cupcakes (dairy free since she is sensitive to it) and in her favorite colors. She hugged me so tight and at that moment it was what she needed, and we are working at being a good support team for each other because we both become forgetful, unorganized, and overworked. I really hope we become good friends but I am ok with just being the support friend.



answers from Chicago on

I don't have any friends like that. I don't know if it's age, or just circumstances.

I think it's a good idea, as people suggested, to find groups of people w/common goals or interests (volunteering, sewing group, cooking classes, etc) if you can get out there and do that. You might find someone you click with.


answers from Milwaukee on

when my son was in preschool(4-5 years ago) a group of us got together quite often. and now as our boys are finishing 3rd grade-our group is still very close. these women are my best friends, my lean to's, my secret holders. i cry-they cry. we all laugh together. we have added another mother into our group. we have fun together and still love to talk.we try to get together once a month with or without the boys. i think a friendship is something you have to put time into and get soemthing out of. if you feel left out than maybe you aren't in the right group of friends. i rarely talk to anyone highschool-i love my friends that i have now!! try finding friends that have alot in common with you and you might have to work at that friendship to get it where you feel comfortable. i don't know if it's an age thing but our group is 35-48 in age.



answers from Chicago on

You took the words, or should I say, feelings out of my mouth. I find myself trying to reconnect with old friends on FB, but it nothing ever comes of it. My bff since sixth grade is single and in FL and my bff from HS lives on the south side w/her hubby and two kids. I am just 15 min away from my old HS and while others have come back to live in the area, everyone is just busy. I had one friend who was my 24hr sidekick and I let her go. Found out she is on FB now, but I don't know how to approach her since I ended the friendship. Or should I say began to ignore her and stopped taking her calls...we were 19/20 at the time. I live in the North Shore now and have joined a women's volunteer organization, but feel like most of them have their established cliques. Since I am a SAHM, I often crave the adult female interaction. You may want to check out the I've met other moms through there an they are great. It is base in HP and I know there are some girls from your area in the group. :)

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