Family, Self

Why It's So Freakin' Hard For Grown-Up Adults To Make Friends

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adult friends

For most of my life, making friends has been easy. Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by teammates, roommates, and bros (yes, bros) who loved and cared about me.

But a few months ago, everything changed.

I moved away from the epicenter of sh*tty apartments and dollar slices known as New York to a faraway, much flakier place called Los Angeles.

I knew a handful of people out west, but in general, I was looking  and looking hard — for the company of male friends, because what's one dude without bros? A dreaded only child.

As far as I know, there's no Tinder for finding people to watch basketball games with (you're welcome for the billion dollar idea). So, I started reaching out to everyone to look for friendships: friends, friends of friends, even acquaintances of acquaintances.

"Yo man, just moved to LA. You know any cool dudes out here?"

Now at this point, I'm fine with coming across a little desperate because hey, I'm yearning for some straight-male-on-straight-male time. But see, when you're a "grown-up" making friends is hard.

Fortunately, my desperate "dude-seeking-dude" e-mails were beginning to pay off and I had a ton of guys to follow up with. So, I shot out a casual: "Hey man, I live on the east side but could meet up wherever, wanna grab a beer?"

After sending out a few, I begin to reconsider. Was I coming across too desperate? Did I really want to say that I'll meet up wherever? I've got something to offer!

Insecurity and impatience flared up a voice of anxious reason. Beggars can't be choosers, but wait...when did I become a beggar?

No longer in my early 20s, I've started to prioritize my time. And I get it  the idea of hanging out with some rando isn't that exciting. See, when you're my age, finding a friend is really no different from finding a significant other: there's no time for bullsh*t.

Neither bro nor hipster, I fall into a weird category. I played lacrosse in college, but also love sketch comedy. In theory that's a good thing because I'm versatile, right?

Yet I learned that too much range can be a problem. Often times when being set up with potential friends, I just wanted to say, "There's no chemistry here, dude."

Like the comedy nerd who was balding and nebbishy whom I met for ramen. Walking through the door, I knew it was over.

Then there was the frat-dog who wanted to grab wings. "Dude," he hit me on the shoulder, "LA has the hottest f*cking Asian chicks. You're gonna love it!" I told him I had a girlfriend to which he responded, "Sucks."

And then of course, there's the guy who was great — funny, cool, like we could actually be friends! And when I texted him, I heard nothing back. I haven't been single in a while, but this was giving me a taste, and I don't miss it.

I was so persistent, so eager to find friends and find them fast. I had to wonder, was I forcing it? Like the person who always asks, "Do you know any single people?"

Even if I ran a Bro-thel (sorry, had to),  I wouldn't introduce the over-eager person to anyone. Sh*t, am I that person? What's wrong with me?!

After countless conversations with my girlfriend, parents, or friends back east, they all had the same response: it takes time. Of course, in the moment I was like, "You guys are stupid and don't get it."

But the truth is, they're right. Nothing is wrong with me. I'm fine! Hell, I'm pretty f*cking great, and while meeting cool people is hard, it happens.

You can mock bros as much as you want, but godd*mn do they love their other bros. I am who I am, and I guess I'm out here looking for love in the form of high-fives and chest bumps. But in the words of The Supremes, and then Phil Collins, and even The Dixie Chicks, "You can't hurry love." 

With that said, if you're a cool dude in LA, get in touch. I'm around.

Alex Alexander is a pseudonym. The author of this article is known to YourTango but is choosing to remain anonymous.

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