I read an article yesterday that kind of clicked for me. It was all about how your late 20’s to mid 30’s is this transition period for most people and how a lot of former relationships just don’t make it. Not because of anything in particular either, just because everyone is at a different place (single, married, having babies, starting a business, getting a divorce, finishing school etc..) and the common ground no longer exists. The article talked about how this period is kinda like puberty all over again. It is awkward.
It lined up with some feelings I have been having recently about someone I have grown apart from. We are celebrating her getting married soon and not long after she will be moving out of state. This may be the last time I see her because the reality is the relationship is no longer strong enough to withstand long distance.
This phenomena that happens during this transitional stage of life for most people also reminds me of a This American Life podcast Todd and I listened to about a month ago. When relationships start to drift apart they are typically replaced with new ones which is what this podcast was all about, making new friends as an adult.
It is like the first day of grade school all over. That feeling of wanting to connect but not knowing how. I think it was maybe easier in grade school, we would literally just say do you want to be my friend? That is not how it works now. It is delicate and awkward and tricky as hell.
The podcast outlined a “friend-date” that two men went on as a way to get to know each other, hopefully bond over something, and gain a new friend. It was painful to listen to, probably because making friends as an adult is painful.
I have been on quite a few “friend -dates”. The first date is always super exciting but it comes with no guarantee for a second date. Then you are left wondering, did we not hit it off after all? or did life just get busy for them? or do I smell? You have no way of knowing.
I have made two solid friends since starting back to school in 2012. There are a few more I really like and consider friends but friends that still exist on the outer boundary, it is not quite real or totally comfortable yet.. but it is super close.
The whole thing makes me grateful for the friends I have (new and old), the people on the periphery who have the potential to be great friends, and the friends I have not met yet but I am sure to love when I do. Because being 30 something and making new friends can be painful.