Am I Too Old for Friends?

This recent article in the NY Times asked the question why is it so hard to make friends after age 30.  As someone who has been trying to figure out just where her social life has gone, the article definitely spoke to me.  When we relocated two years ago, I knew it would be difficult to basically re-start our lives here on the West Coast, but I have to say, I didn’t expect it to be quite so hard. 

The article brought up many factors that make finding new friends at a certain age hard.  Timing was a huge one discussed.  For me, that worked in two different ways.  I found out I was pregnant with LC about two weeks after we arrived in Seattle.  This clearly changed our lives and how our future in Seattle looked.  Timing – as in the lack of time – is probably the biggest obstacle to having a social life right now.  One of the biggest thing I miss from our life in DC is my knitting group and friends.  I’ve discovered a knitting group here in Seattle, but just haven’t figured out how to make the time work to go knit each week.  (Or knit period.  And trust me I have lots o’yarn to be knitting.)

Having kids both introduces places and ways to meet people (and potential friends) while at the same time being a huge barrier to having a social life.  We’ve met people through PEPS and day care – all very nice – but no one who I feel I can call on for a girls’ night out.  Part of this is because the only link we have is that our children happen to be the same age, so friendship may be a little forced.  However, at this point in my life, having friends who understand what it is like to have a child the same age running through your house (and why bedtimes at 9pm are a pretty good idea) it really nice.

One of my own theories involves the ease with which we can stay in touch with people from other parts of our lives.  I talk to my friends from DC daily.  We shared pregnancy tales by email and gTalk – and when our kids were born, we were able to share photos of the babies within minutes of their birth.  All of this both keeps me in touch with my friends (and feel less alone in Seattle) but I think it may reduce the effort I put into finding friends here, though I’ve yet to figure out how to participate in dinners or book club via the internet.

I don’t know what the answer is to why it is so hard to make friends after 30.  (And for the record, I don’t think the NYTimes knew either.)  But it is, it definitely has made having a life out here more difficult than I thought it would be. I try to keep in mind that our lives in Seattle are so much different than our lives in DC were – after all, we have a kid and a house.  Both of these things are time and energy sucks (I mean that in a good way, LC, really) so going out for drinks starting at 8pm on a Saturday night and roaming bar to bar until last call is no longer our reality for many reasons.  (Mostly being that I now consider a Saturday night where I am not in my pjs by 8pm a total failure.) But I’m beginning to reach this point in our lives here in Seattle where I really need a social life.  I want to be able to find people who I can chat with both about my kid, but about other things too (like Emmy noms, because these are important things).  I know so much of this has to do with me and my social inactions, but seeing it in print in the NYTimes certainly made me feel a little bit better about myself.  (Though I did think, if all of us over 30-somethings are out there trying to find friends, we all just need to do a better job of seeking each other out.)

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Comments

  1. I'm not entirely sure we have loads in common, and I don't even have kids (yet, hopefully!) But I'm great for TV chats and Seattle fun stuff, and I'd love to grab a coffee if you're ever up for it. I've followed your blog for a long while now; it'd be fun to put a face with the stories!

  2. I wish you were in Orlando, I have SO much in common with you but just no kids lol. I also enjoy saturday evenings in PJ's and netfliix lol. I struggle with finding friends since I moved… I hope when we have kids it will just fall into place but who knows! If you ever move to FL let me know! :)

  3. Robin, this is beautiful. I like the fact that I cannot see a grid or pattern. It makes me keep looking at it to figure out the cooutrsctinn. To me, that makes a great quilt! One that constantly asks me to take another look.

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