I need to preface this post with this statement: My friends are wonderful humans that I would never trade for anything. (if there was a font bolder than bold, I would use it.) Not a million dollars. Not a LoveSac. Not even a personal pancake chef. What makes them awesome is fodder for a whole different post, but please, if you’re a current friend of mine, you’re the bee’s knees, and I adore you.
But I’m going to talk about finding new friends right now.
I’m on an active hunt for a new lady love, dude friend, partner in crime — someone to spend some 100% platonic time with. I don’t want to make out. (Probably) I don’t want to be attached at the hip. I don’t need to be committed to you, and I don’t need to be your only friend.
I just want, bang bang bang…
Do you guys remember that video? The best. In my case I guess it’s “I just want hang, hang, hang.” Like, hang out. You get it? Sorry. It’s really early in the morning, I’m not as punny this early.
I’ve done a lot of soul searching so far this year – mostly trying to identify this dull ache that I’ve been feeling for quite some time. It’s not unhappiness. It’s not loneliness. It’s actually the ache of being unfulfilled – it’s the pang of wanting more.
I’m at a point in my life where I want more adventure, more experiences, more connection. And not having these is causing actual emotional emptiness.
The answer seems simple: “Just hang out with your friends, Katie. DUH!” Ya, I wish it were that easy, internet. I’ve found that in order for a friendship to really make me fulfilled, I need the following things:
Compatibility -I am very tolerant and accepting of other points of view and beliefs, but there are certain things that just don’t go together. Like, if you are a different religion than I am, that’s totally cool. But if you’re an atheist, we probably won’t make a good duo. If you’re vegan, that’s awesome. If you won’t eat pancakes, then turn around and leave right now. That’s just… terrible. I don’t expect you to like every single band that I do, but if you won’t even say “yes” to a Michael Bolton concert just because it would make me happy, and you can’t bring yourself to show a little Time Love and Tenderness in the name of friendship, then we’re probably going to have to break up. So, while being different is super, we should probably sorta like some of the same things. (Wine and Pancakes and non-negotiable).
Availability -We all have lives and jobs and families. But if your first priority is your children, or your spouse, or your 900 hour work week – then chances are, we’re going to be left chasing each other, rather than spending time with each other. Trust me, I’m as guilty as the next guy for highly prioritizing work over my friends. In those moments, career building took more of a front seat. I’m in a place right now where making and nurturing new friendships and connections is just gaining more importance. It’s where I am. And I want to spend time with people who are in the same place.
Proximity (Closeness) – Living within 20 driving miles so that we can have in-person dance parties, weekend brunch, and lay around hung over when we accidentally drink a box of wine while watching Netflix, “attempting” Pinterest hacks, baking cupcakes, and exchanging dating-horror stories. Far away friends are lovely, but there’s something to be said for human-to-human contact. This comes from a girl who spends 60+ hours per week telecommuting to work – from 500+ miles away where she can never touch her coworkers. NOT THAT SHE EVER WOULD, THAT’S HARASSMENT!
Apparently, you have to pick two of the above – any two – but you can’t get all three. At least in my experience.
I have some Compatible, Available friends who live clear across the country. I have some Close, Compatible friends who just aren’t Available. And, I have some Close Available friends who just hate pancakes, and I’ve cut them off completely.
When I take any of my current friends, they always, 100% of the time fit into 2 of the above categories. Never 3. Actually, that’s a lie. I have had some friends who were triple threats – but lives change, situations, change, and eventually they join the ranks of the two-fers.
Don’t get me wrong, I spend time with some of my two-fers whenever we can make it happen, and it feels great. I’ll never ever give ’em up.
Friends don’t have to be perfect – and I don’t expect them to be — but what I’m craving in my life right now are local, compatible, available friends that I can share this journey through my thirties with.