Friendship for Grown-ups: A Look Back

Three years ago, I reviewed a book by Lisa Whelchel called Friendship for Grown-ups: What I Missed & Learned Along the Way. Lisa talked about how she was on this show that was all about the strength and support that comes from having close female relationships, yet she was all alone. 

Lisa’s words spoke to me at that time. I remember I was going through a period of deep loneliness. I was surrounded by people {family, an online community of friends, coworkers} but I was living this incredibly solitary life. This life that made me feel like I was somehow incomplete…

Recently, during a phone conversation, a friend mentioned that she’d had an experience that made her realize just how completely and utterly alone she is: her husband and a couple of guys were making a delivery to an area that had been hard hit by some storm damage and she decided to stay at the church rather than ride with them. After about half an hour of cleaning up the church, she decided to take the church van and head home, but the van wouldn’t start. As she sat there wondering what to do, she realized, she didn’t have anyone to call to say “Hey, can you come get me” or “Would you like to go for coffee?” She sat in the church for six hours, feeling the most alone she’d ever felt in her life.

I didn’t realize that there were other people out there who experienced this.

I’ll be honest and say that most of my loneliness stems from my own insecurities:

  • I over analyze conversations
  • I worry that people will think I’m bothering them
  • I have a low tolerance for crazy/drama

And, last but not least, I don’t like to feel like I’m being used. To me, friendship should be a two-way street. I know that there will be times when one party is giving more than another but there should be some sort of reciprocity. If all I’m hearing is “I need…”, “Can you…”, or “Will you…” chances are I’m going to end the relationship.

Sometimes, I feel like that single girl in high school who thinks everyone is paired up and she’ll never find “The One”. I still battle feelings of intense loneliness especially when I feel the need to get out of the house and I realize have no where to go or no one to go with… But I deal. Maybe it’s acceptance. Maybe it’s surrender.

Do you have a hard time making friends as an adult? What do you expect for/from your relationships now that you’re an adult?

Daenel T

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