It’s no secret that making friends is tough especially when you’re no longer in school or you don’t have a job with many options for making friends or meeting new people. We lose touch with most of our childhood friends because we become so busy or we just drift apart. And then, some where around 25-30 we lose more friends because we grow up, get jobs or start careers, we get married and have kids—things are just different. But I never expected it to be so hard to make friends once I was married. For whatever reason, I thought we would have a ton of friends to double date with or that having single friends would be easier. But let me tell you, it’s a challenge. For one, finding a couple that we both enjoy spending time with is like winning the lottery. But what I’ve found more difficult, is finding couples that are happy with each other. Unhappy couples are not easy to double date with. And having single friends require a kind of maintenance that I just can’t provide. And so, making friends has become difficult. Throw a baby in the mix and it’s nearly impossible.
We’ve been through it all. We’ve double dated with couples that were on the brink of divorce. We’ve had friends that have asked us to get in the middle of a dispute. We’ve double dated with couples that compared their relationship to ours. We had friends independent of one another that didn’t understand our limited availability or busy lives. We’ve been judged for spending “too much time together”.
The perfect friendship for me, is no longer the kind of friendship I needed in my younger days. In fact, as corny as it may sound, my husband meets more of my requirements for the kind of friendship I need. Outside of my husband, a friendship that can withstand distance and not be so needy, is extremely hard to find but exactly what I need. I’m the type of friend that can check in weekly via text. Perhaps I can slip in a quick lunch date once or twice, but beyond that, I’m not available. I’m a busy mom and writer.
But it seems nowadays couples spend more time apart than together and are encouraged to do so. We tend to think a sign of a happy couple is how much of their independence and freedom they maintain even after marriage. People probably think we’re isolated because we are unhappy. But honestly studies have shown that happy and smart people have less friends. I’m not saying I’m a genius, but it’s starting to make sense to me now.
Finding another happily married couple that understands that we are busy, have a kid, and prefer brunch to 12AM at a bar is like finding a needle in a haystack. And single friends feel neglected easily. I’ve beat myself up about our lack of company, and have even forced convenient friendships. I do have friendships I maintain but I’m far from a social butterfly with a bunch of options for Saturday night. I don’t think we need to only be friends with each other in fact I think that’s unhealthy but I also don’t think I need to have a slew of friends to be happy. For one, I can’t juggle it with everything else I have going on. And to be honest it’s really hard to find couples that get us. I hate to say it but only happily married couples seem to be understanding or non-judge mental when we put our marriage first. Everyone else thinks it’s a joke. And it’s even harder to find single friends that are genuinely happy for you.
What I’ve learned, is much like finding your soulmate, it’s really challenging to find good friends at this stage in my life. And that doesn’t make me a bad person. Being picky with who I spend time with makes sense because nowadays time is so rare.