At some point, for some reason, this reality hit me hard, and made me reevaluate the people I had been surrounding myself with in Florida. I felt they were now holding me back and I was losing my “depth” and “intellect” by missing out on stimulating conversations. This realization soon turned into lack of respect towards them. That lack of respect then turned into resentment, and today we are no longer friends. I feel awful for writing them off like that, just because they were not like my “Boston Friends.” I started comparing everyone I met to my “Boston Friends,” and there was never a comparison. Till this day, everyone I meet I feel like the minute they piss me off or do something I don’t like, I cannot be friends with them. I tried changing and giving people a chance, but maybe I am the one attracting weirdos. The type of girls I meet here are either boy crazy whores, really air-headed, compulsive liars (they fabricate most of what they’ve done or have to impress others) or just party girls.
I am 27 now, and over the drunken weekends (although I don’t mind stepping out from time to time). I’m also in a 5-year relationship and over the whole dating scene (although I don’t mind giving dating advice and hanging around single people at all). But why am I attracting these weirdos? I understand I have high standards for friends and the people I surround myself with, but why can’t I ever meet someone who meets those standards? And believe me, I have tried so hard to overlook certain flaws, and it’s just so hard to find that too. I always blame it on Florida, and how it produces a bunch of shallow idiots, but now I can’t help feeling like it’s me, but I don’t know what to do about it. — Make New Friends, but Keep the Old
Well, you got one thing right: it is you. The reason no one can live up to your standards is because you’ve made it so impossible to be your friend so you don’t have to ever go through the pain of losing a friendship again — either to a move, lifestyle change, or a friendship breakup. As someone else who spent her childhood moving around all the time, I can appreciate the walls you learn to build up in order to protect yourself from the pain of saying good-bye to people you care about. But you take the wall-building a step further and turn your nose up at everyone, deciding anyone who isn’t exactly like you is weird, shallow, stupid, air-headed, and crazy. In doing that, you make yourself utterly unlikeable. I guarantee, most people who just read your letter have an idea that you’re a real piece of work (and that’s putting it nicely). You don’t attract cool people into your orb because you, frankly, are not cool. At least, you’re not giving off that perception of yourself.
You should feel bad about dumping your Florida girlfriends, whom you said you had a great time with, simply because they didn’t mesh with your Boston Friends. It’s okay to have friends who meet different needs — in fact, you should have friends who meet different needs — and it was stupid to dump a group of people whose company you enjoyed because you felt they didn’t provide the deep, intellectual conversations you suddenly remembered you craved. You should have kept them and joined a freakin’ book club or signed up for a anthropology or political science course somewhere.
What you need to do is stop trying to squeeze everyone into a one-size-fits-all robe of standards and. instead, appreciate the gifts each individual “weirdo” in your life brings to the table. So what if you have a few friends who like to party all the time? If you can enjoy that from time to time, keep those friends around for a fun Saturday night out. And since your 5-year relationship is a focal point in your life, why not try to make some couple friends whom you and your significant other can hang out with together? And if you want to meet people you feel you have more in common with, search for like-minded friends at places where your common interests are the main draw, like a trivia night or Meetup groups or a yoga retreat or whatever it is that nourishes your intellect. And if you can’t think what that might be, I’d say that’s your main problem right there, and you need to stop relying on other people — like your Boston Friends, for example — to define what’s important to you, and start taking some ownership of your life.