By Scarlett Sykes
Making friends starts early, I am discovering. Today my 5-year-old daughter informed me that there are three girls in her class who are ‘besties’, they hang out together and ‘love’ each other, apparently. She didn’t seem bothered about not be part of the ‘besties’ gang and seems happier hangout with lots of different people, including them.
Oh, how easy it used to be to just ‘make’ friends..
Fast forward (with a few dramas in between), you’re mid (okay late) thirties and frankly clueless on how making friends is meant to work. To be honest, I don’t have a lot of time for much at the moment so friendships have to be worth the trouble. That makes me sound heartless and cold, hear me out…
Gone are the days where you just ask someone to be your friend, it’s a much more complicated process now. A lot of time and effort must be made to make sure that you invest, maintain, and enjoy said friendship. I’ll be honest, I can probably count my close friends on one hand and I’m really okay with that. I find it hard enough to see my husband, who I live with, so friendships have to really mean something to me now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against making new friends but it’s a complicated one. When you meet someone you think could become a better friend or someone to bring in to your (very tight if you are me) friendship circle how do you make it happen – this isn’t tinder, there is no swiping to make a connection.
I have started to take a more ‘what do you have to lose’ approach now when it comes to making new friends or forming bonds with people. If it doesn’t work out or doesn’t go to anything more than being nice when you bump into each other then that is also fine, you are no worse off.
It’s so important to have a close network of friends when you live away from your home country and family as they are your support network. Who would you call in an emergency? Who can you really rely on?
You are going to have to put yourself out there to reap the potential friendship rewards. If a simple message asking them to meet up seems a little much why not organise a dinner or drinks with a few people that you think might get along. Not only will you potentially gain new friendships but so might other people – friendship matchmaking... or something like that.
Be prepared to invest time once the initial meet up is done. It isn’t as simple as one coffee and the friendship is formed. They take time and a lot of commitment and effort from both sides to ensure they become something more solid.
So if there is something you think could be a good friend why not ask them for a coffee (obviously I mean the Martini kind)….