How Many Friends Do You Have?

Updated on November 08, 2011
M.L. asks from Ellicott City, MD
22 answers

I ask these questions not as an ego boost but to get some real help....Is it possible to be loyal, good listener, polite, kind but not interesting and therefore have no friends? I admit I can get anxious in some social situations because I put so much pressure on myself to be fabulous and friendly. I second guess myself all the time. I know I'm a nice person and will help a friend anytime. So how come i have so few friends? I feel like I have acquaintances but not the 1 or 2 BFFs that I really want. And don't tell me that I should call them because I have and my phone still doesn't ring. I've often wondered why I have a cell phone! All i want for Christmas is a sad.

What can I do next?

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answers from Tampa on

I am the same way...I just do not make friends as a adult like I did when I was younger. I know lots of people...just none that I can really depend on...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

yeah, i think i focus more of my energy on my kids and hubby and haven't really been able to put the effort into a BFF. And really at this stage of my life I don't want someone else to totally be the focus instead of my family, For now it will be acquaintances for me, pehaps there will be another season for BFFs.

What i would really like for Christmas is another couple to be aquainted with, that comes with instant playmates for my children. I would prefer get togethers every three months and if they had similar morals that would be wonderful.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

I have felt what you're feeling. Lots of acquaints, but no one really bestie died a year before my dd was born and my other one from childhood recently moved to TX. It made me so sad and it's difficult to meet other women once we're out of school (well, my experience anyway). I just started reaching out to some of the women in my circle a little more, inviting them to go out for a cup of coffee, to the movies, etc. Honestly, the next thing I did was pray that God bring someone into my life and He has since brought two people into my life that are great friends to me, but I still had to stretch myself out of my comfort zone when called to do so. One girl posted on here that she had just moved into the area and wanted to do a playdate or something so I invited her to a public play date...something I would typically NEVER do, but it worked out and she's great. Meeting her and wanting to get to know her a little more made me invite another girl who seemed to keep showing up around town out to dinner with us and she and I have gotten extremely close in a short amount of time. We have similar values, kids ages are similar, small world that our husbands were friends in high school. Hang in there. It will get better, but you may have to stretch yourself a little bit first. Praying for you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Yes you can be an awesome person, but still not have any really close friends. I have many fairly good acquaintances/friends from church and such, but I wouldn't consider any of them best friends. I didn't even have any bridesmaids when I got married, just asked my future sil, my sister and my brother's girlfriend. So yes, I totally hear you. It's just me and my husband who are bff's :) And I understand too how you feel, it often makes me sad, but then I try tell myself I'm a good person and people are just too busy or already involved in their cliques.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


It could be that since you are trying so hard to be "fabulous and friendly" that people are PERCEIVING you as fake. While it may not be true, perception is reality.

Stop trying to impress people and just be yourself!! Some people get put off when one party is trying to hard. Does that make sense? Just BE YOURSELF!!!

We don't live that far apart - maybe we can get together one Saturday or Sunday and see what happens?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The ones that I consider real true friends are from way back. After the boys were born, I felt like I could not make new friends. It has gotten a little better. But time will tell if the new friends are in it for the long haul.
I have been told that I am one of the most loyal of people and I just don't understand people who aren't.
Not one of the 4 women I chose to stand up with me at my wedding are still in my life. One I thought of as a sister, so it was devastating when she dropped out of my life with no explanation. One of the others was my "best friend" in college--again drops off the face of the earth. I say they are people I mistook for friends.
Things are even worse for one of my dearest friends who moved to Tucson. She has been there about 10 years and still doesn't have a true friend there. It's like you have to be tenured or something. There is not a better person on the face of the earth. She is one of the most giving and loving people I have ever met. So go figure!
Hang in there. Stop second guessing and be yourself. Maybe there is someone you have met that you haven't given a chance. I could not stand one of my best friends the first few times I was around her. It turned out we were emotional twins! I went to the same counselor she did for a while and he would sometimes call me by her name!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

My one TRUE and best friend is one that I have had since middle school and she just moved to the same city as me so now we're finally spending more time together again. Agreed that it can be very hard to make close friends as adults - if I hadn't already become so close with her in highschool I would probably feel really friendless as well.

I have multiple other acquaintances as you do - my son's old daycare provider, wives of my hubby's co-workers, etc. but don't really socialize all that often and would probably feel weird about calling them up to just chat or something.

I would try not to make yourself feel bad. You said you aren't interesting and you second guess yourself. You should try not to think this way because I'm sure it has nothing to do with you and more to do with the situation or other people. Maybe they're feeling the same way - or in my experience - many people just already have their close friends and so they're not feeling the desire to keep adding friends to their circle.

It is hard, I feel for you. I don't know how old your kids are, but I always thought once my son is in elementary school we would naturally start to befriend his friend's parents. My parents' closest friends when I was growing up was my best friend's parents so it seemed natural to me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I only have one "good" friend and one so-so friend. She is only so so cuz she has so much drama that she stresses me out and I tend to distance myself from her because 4 years ago when I turned 40 I decided I was going to eleminate all negative things and people from my life and I did that. Hubby doesn't even really have any friends that he would consider "close". We do go out with couples he knows from work on occasion, but really we do things as a family or together. I don't really think there is anything wrong with that. It limits all the possible drama for sure! Lol!!! But I would like a bigger circle of friends and hubs and I have talked about taking steps to meet some people we could hang out with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I have felt exactly what you are feeling. The pressure to be "fabulous" and pretend to be something you're not, it's painful. I really struggled with friendships from about age 20-30. Friends left as quick as they came. I didn't mesh with some or something was off or just missing in the friendship. My husbands friends wives were nice, but we had nothing in common.

I didn't have true best friends until about 3 years ago. Ever heard that you'll never have friends like the ones you had when you were 12? Well thanks to facebook, I reconnected with my childhood friends. 4 amazing women. We are all mothers now, and closer that ever. 3 years ago we started up a girls night. We would have dinner 1 time a month to catch up, and soon after, we were seeing each other weekly for play dates, shopping trips, and still girls night out. I love these girls! Don't know how I did without them in my life for so long.

You could join a moms group and meet new people. Attend a book club or other activity. Forgot about those people that don't call you back! They're not your friends. Friendships should never be work, if you're giving more than you are getting, then you move on. You WILL find where you fit in.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I know how you feel!! But in reality, I think that when you reach adulthood, you really don't have all the friends flocking around you all the time like when we were younger. Sure there are some people that are that way. I would say, maybe try not to be so fabulous. Maybe that is scaring your friends away? Do you have a lot in common with these friends? If you are too loud and anxious maybe that is too much for them. 2 and a half years ago, we moved 5 minutes down the road, and I pretty much lost most of my friends. Kind of out of sight out of mind. It is hard to get together with everyone too with everyone's schedules. I just try and make new friends in my neighborhood. Good luck to you, I hope you find a good friend soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My honest answer? You say that you get anxious because you put so much pressure on yourself to be fabulous & friendly. While your heart is in the right place, that type of behavior can come across as forced, awkward, trying too hard, and not very genuine.

My advice? Be yourself. Stop trying so hard to what you think people want you to be, or act how you think they want you act, and just "be". The best friendships occur organically & easily (with equal effort from both parts).

Also, it depends on what your definition of a friend is. For me, adult friendship is worlds away from childhood/teen friendship. I don't really have a BFF, as I've found that I can't get everything I need from one person & I think it's actually limiting to put all of your eggs in one basket. I have a select handful of close friends. It's all about the quality of person they are, & what each friend brings to my life, which is what I prefer. I have girlfriends that would bail me out in a pickle, but I may not speak to every week, because, well, life gets in the way. We all know what it's like to have a family, job, home, etc. and there are no demands or expectations.

I didn't grow up where I currently live, and I lost all those home town bonds & friends I had made from the place I grew up. I had walls up for a while because I thought I wouldn't stay here & I would move back home & not need anyone here. Fast forward to 10 years here, and I was lonely. I had to start over & it's taken me a lot of time, heartache & energy to get to this point, and I've made these friends through various avenues over several years. To be honest, finding friends is like dating. You have to weed through the bad ones to get to the good ones. It really does take a lot of time & patience.

So, what I'm saying, is, chill out, be yourself, be patient, and try, try again. I know how you feel, I've been there & done that. I know how much it sucks. Good luck :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Hi M.,
Yours is a question I've been asking myself for years. So glad that you posted. I'm so sorry that you're lonely, and can totally empathize. Been there, done that - and still don't have a solution. I try to trust that God will put the right people in my life. I've tried, not tried, cared, not cared. It's frustrating. I hope you find what you're looking for. I watch so many other moms and parent couples being close friends (or at least social, genuine friends) and while I feel a twinge of jealousy, I do remind myself that at least I have a calm life in which the most drama I have is with my kids. Doesn't help, I know. My fear is that my kids will see me having few close friends, and not know how to make friends themselves. Maybe a therapist for you and me? Haven't tried that. Please, please feel some comfort in knowing that you're definitely not alone.
Hugs to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

My best friend once told me that there are people who come into your lives for different reasons and seasons. I completely agree. Besides my husband and brother, I have one great girl best friend. We have known each other forever and seem to be able to get through anything, the death of my mom, me having two children, her having brain cancer. There are those people who will always be there for you and then there will be those people who come into your life to help you through certain periods and then leave. I'm sorry you are lonely. I think it's hard to make a good, true friend to last a lifetime the older we get and more responsibilities we have.



answers from Richmond on

I wish we lived closer - we could hang out. I am so glad you posted this - you put into words something I have been feeling for several years now and it's nice to know I am not alone. My husband is my best friend but 1. he's a man and 2. he's a homebody. I need some girlfriends to go out with. I have a lot of casual friendships but there isn't anyone that I feel like I could call up in the middle of the night. I have reconnected with someone on Facebook that I used to be VERY close to - that has been nice but we can only really communicate via email since she lives about 2 hours away. My best friend from me childhood is so very, very different from me that it's hard to connect and she moved several states away so that doesn't help either. Most of my close friends have moved away - 2 best friends from high school are now in FL and TX. Very good friend of mine from one of my former jobs is now in GA. I feel like there is no one left in VA! That said, there are still times when I stop and think about how I have probably not cultivated my friendships very well so this is partly my fault. I am terrible about calling people - just hate the phone and don't have time even if I didn't. So it's a mix of not knowing how/where to meet people, not knowing what to say/do when I do meet people, not following up with current/past friends and having little time. Sigh...middle school was easier than this and I never thought I'd say that! LOL Keep your chin up!



answers from Washington DC on

You asked a real question. Don't be sad you asked it.

I recently moved to VA and I've heard it can take a year to make good friends. Maybe it will or maybe it'll take longer. One thing I knew I'd hate to go through again is making friends. Like another poster I thought my bridesmaids be my friends for life. Most are, but not all. The friends I miss are actually more recent friends (within 4 yrs) since that's when my eldest was a year and I put myself out there. I got out of my comfort zone and tried a moms group. In retrospect i got lucky since i met great people and they had great activitis. here, i haven't found that group yet. Nice ladies, but not people I connect with.

Each of us is different in what we want from a girl friendship. For me, I like playdates but i also like just girl time over dinner or wine. I love my hubby, but i need that away time from family every so often. I haven't found that person here. Like you, i'll keep looking and make myself every so often get out of my comfort zone. some day i'll find a connection like you will.


answers from San Diego on

Some of us just are not cut out to be in those kinds of relationships. But I understand where you are. I wish that I could find someone with similar likes and goals and someone that enjoys the way I like to connect with people.

Don't give up. Just keep trying. It'll happen.



answers from San Antonio on

I feel like only my husband is my real friend. I have some ladies I talk to when it's convenient for both of us, but no one I can call at 2 in the morning if I was being rushed to the emergency room. I like feeling like someone has my back.

I decided I am going to find a smaller church and really try to get to know people. I am going to keep volunteering and try to avoid the drama queens.
It takes so long to find a friend, but I think it is worth it. I have given up on couple friends or family friends. The odds we all get along are pretty slim.


answers from Norfolk on

True kindred spirits are few and far between.
You have to meet a lot of people in order to find the few you will really click with.
Take classes (yoga, art, craft, dance, etc), join a church group, a friend of mine met her future husband by joining her local Chamber of Commerce (but you could find friends there, too).
I don't have many, but I have enough and I am content.



answers from Detroit on

I have lived through what you have described, but right now I have a comfortable amount of friends. Other than childhood friends, very few people have time to extend the time it takes for a new relationship. I've heard people express guilt about not being able to take on new friends.

One good option is to find folks who are new to the block, to town, to the workplace, to being a mom with a kid in kindergarten. Those folks are looking for friends, too. Seek the company of those folks.



answers from Raleigh on

I always say I want more close friends, but in actuality, I am not sure that I mean it. I can barely keep up with the few friends I do have. Two small children and a full time job- sometimes I feel like all work and no play. I have a very, few close friends- lifelong friends I call them. These are the people that know the real me- not the me I show to the rest of the world. We don't talk every day, and I wish we could more. But it makes me just treasure them all the more when I do see them. I have made very few new friends that I really trust in recent years. I think it just gets harder the older you get. Life just gets in the way. Don't be sad, and don't worry. The true friends are not easy to find, but when you do find one, it's a real gift- one worth waiting for.



answers from Denver on

Having one best friend is a true gift. I am totally best friends with my hubby - he and I have been together for 20 years and he is always my default. However, I also have a best girl friend who I have known for 15 years - she is awesome. Drives me crazy at times (we are so opposite) but truly has my back and I have hers. I feel blessed. :-)

Take some time - don't try so hard - and see what happens.



answers from Washington DC on

My 3 true best friends, the ones I would call in the middle of the night for anything are all from way back and we are all friends with eachother. One is from highschool and the other 2 we met in college. We don't see each other all that often but we are still good friends.

Possibly go that route and see if there is a person that you can connect with from the past that lives close by. It is nice to have a history with your friends.

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