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

  • HollyM

    I swear we are twins.

  • elliereads

    I am often lonely, but at the same time, I often like being alone.

    • I don’t mind being alone. Not at all. In fact, I crave it. It’s the being lonely that can get to me.

  • I know what you mean. I don’t really have any good friends, but I’m working on it. I joined a new homeschool group, and the moms have a mom’s night out every month, but I’m hesitant to go, because it’s a Christian group, and I’m more than a little worried about not being accepted. :/ I’m also introverted, so I feel more comfortable spending a Saturday night with a good book that out with a bunch of girlfriends.

    • Lisa, I understand your hesitancy, but I think you should give it a try. You may find that these women are warm and inviting.

  • Colette

    Great read! Totally ME!

  • I totally get it. I only have a handful of people in my life whom I would call “true friends” – people who I can call at a moment’s notice. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate those friendships more than the acquaintances who have come and gone. It’s been tricky for me to make friends easily – as an introvert I find it difficult to make small talk and be in a group of people I don’t know well. That being said, I appreciate my online friends as well – since that’s the easiest medium for me to communicate – writing! I’d love to meet you sometime IRL. On a side note – Lisa Whelchel’s BFF is one of my clients: Jennifer Rothschild, and she is lovely and every bit the epitome of what a Christian woman should be. If you get the chance, you should go see her speak sometime. Very inspirational. Those ladies do a lot of the same conferences.

    • Paula, small talk is the bane of my existence. I don’t do well at parties or other social gatherings… If I can avoid them, I do. Or I set a Time limit on how long I stay.

      I would so love to do a photo walk with you or visit some of your vintage faves. I know in that space, there’d be no pressure on either of our parts.

      That’s so cool about Lisa Whelchel. I would love to hear her speak. I’m going to have to seek them out.

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