I’m about to enter the last semester of my sophomore year in college and I have YET to find a solid group of friends. I hang out with lots of these people, but I’m a floater. I float from group to group, never really finding people to stick to because it just never…flows like that. I feel like I would have to force it. And then I get depressed because I feel like a freak who can’t make friends yet. I know they like me, because they ask me to hang with them from time to time, but I’m sure they don’t want another person to add to their troupe. I think I’m running out of time to find that group…
My boyfriend, who is about to graduate from college, has a solid and wonderful group of friends whom he’s been hanging with since freshman year. Since we began dating, he has introduced them to me, and since I was new to college, I hung around with mostly them. (All the while meeting people in my dorm on my own time and so on.) But now that we’ve been dating longer, my boyfriend wants to meet MY friends. He thinks I’m hiding him from them, but honestly, I’m not! I just have no “solid” friends who I could really have him hang out with. The people I do hang out with, we usually just do small stuff like play video games or watch movies from time to time, but they’re not close, so I feel like it would be awkward bringing another new face along.
I feel like I have to lie to him so he doesn’t think I’m some kind of loser who can’t make friends. I just tell him, “Ah, they’re not doing anything tonight.. But next time, we’ll hang for sure!” I feel bad for saying this. I don’t like lying. But I don’t like him knowing I have trouble making friends, especially when he’s already so good at it. Who wants to date someone like that? Actually, who wants to date someone so insecure. I know I have to tell the truth. I just don’t know how to say it. What should I do? — Feeling Friendless
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
Sonia December 21, 2011, 5:03 pm
but you do have friends, or at least, acquiantances (if not “solid” friends) that you can introduce him to, one of those nights that you play video games or watch a movie.
The thing is, you have to be honest. Not everyone is as socially adept at making friends easily, and you can really damage his trust in you if you keep putting off him meeting anyone that is a part of your life, even if just a little bit. Plus, think of it this way – he may think that he’s then your only solid friend, and that puts a lot of pressure on him. Even just him knowing that you have even a few peeps that you hang out with for random small things would be enough to ease his mind and trust in that you’re not hiding something bigger than what it really is. And as far as what might help you in your floating stages, maybe you need to stop doing that. Stop flitting from place to place and try to communicate with someone people one on one in some of these groups. Sometimes a little “force” is necessary but with a little pushing and just general working at it, I bet you really start to make some one on one solid friendships. Just don’t think of it like you’re forcing it, but just pushing past your own boundaries a little bit…people who are worth it require a little leg work, after all.
AliceInDairyLand December 21, 2011, 5:18 pm
I totally get where you are coming from with the “Floating” thing. When I got to college, I was thrown in with a bunch of people who all didn’t want to feel like awkward losers so we hung out with each other. However I never really had anything in common with them and so I didn’t get super close to anyone. Even now, in my first semester of professional school, I haven’t really made any solid friend group. I just float.
At first this really bugged me, but then I realized I was the type of person who doesn’t really want or need one core “group” of friends that I ALWAYS hang out with. I have a few select people who I really love and adore and so I made an effort to zero in on one or two of these and have made really lasting friendships. I like the flexibility and freedom, and frankly hanging with the same people all the time gets kind of boring.
I would say join a club or an organization that you are interested, and then see if you click with any of those people. Even if it is just one, that is totally a worthy investment. That way you know you already have something in common, and if you have a weekly obligation to this group of people you will eventually become friends and then you can invite your boyfriend along to after-club-social-events.
Another piece of advice is to try asking 1-3 of the people in this kinda-sorta-friend-group to go somewhere/do something where you can have more of an intimate, hangout, discussion thing. Watching movies or playing video games doesn’t always cultivate the sharing of interests, memories, and other conversation that makes people feel closer. As for the boyfriend, just be honest. Tell him that he is so LUCKY to have clicked with a whole group of people, but that you just haven’t stumbled upon such a compatible group of people. You can tell him you have met a few people who you like and want to get to know more, and maybe even have him join the club/organization with you so you can have mutual friends.
*Shameless plug for Ballroom Dancing with your Boyfriend on a Collegiate Club Team*
cdubs December 28, 2011, 7:13 pm
Not only join a club or organization, but you could get a job. I got a job waitressing at a bar my senior year, and I wished I had starting working there earlier. I met some of the most fun people ever there, and they made my senior year awesome! I would suggest looking into something like that. It doesn’t have to be a bar (although since I was 21 it was awesome for going out, since I knew all the bartenders and whatnot) but just any job where you have the ability to be social (e.g. not a help desk person at the library. I also did that and I just sat by myself at a computer). Maybe working in a retail store, or waitressing at another casual restaurant.
Skyblossom December 29, 2011, 3:54 pm
I not only made friends when I joined a club in college I ended up meeting my husband. Joining a club helps you narrow people down to those with a shared interest and so you’re more likely to become friends. The people you meet in the dorm might or might not be similar to you.
silver_dragon_girl December 22, 2011, 9:50 am
I can identify with this. In college I only made one real friend. The other two people I hung out with were good friends from high school. I made another friend through my part-time job, but other than that there were a couple people I’d hang out with or have fun with at work, and that’s about it. Some of us are just like that, I guess. It bothers me sometimes, when I hear people talking about allll their friends and their “group” and stuff, but then I think about how exhausting that must be.
So anyway, I guess I just want to reassure you that you’re not weird, or antisocial, or incapable of making and having friends (if you’re worried about any of that). Your situation is perfectly normal.
But there’s no reason you can’t bring your bf with you the next time you hang out with some of your casual friends. Invite them over for a movie night while he’s there, or bring him with you when you go out for coffee or to a movie or whatever with them. That way he gets to meet the people you hang out with, even if they’re not exactly your bosom buddies.
Skyblossom December 29, 2011, 3:58 pm
I’ve always prefered a few close friends over an entire group of lesser friends. In my mind I group people into three groups, good friends, friends and acquiantances. A good friend is someone that I can sit and talk with for hours and share my thoughts and feelings and hear theirs. A friend is someone I socialize with but I don’t have the same level of sharing as a good friend. Everyone else is an acquaintance.
Carolynasaurus December 28, 2011, 3:09 pm
It’s like my own past is writing this. When I was a freshman, I lived at home with my parents to save money and I found it incredibly hard to make friends because the easiest way to make friends was just to hang out with people in your dorm. So, I basically held on my older boyfriend’s friends like a lifesaver.
But let me tell you, I didn’t start really making friends in college until my junior year. Up until that point, it was just a lot of large lecture halls filled with all the similar majors. Once you get into higher level classes, you see a lot of the same faces every day and it becomes much easier to bond. It’s really the easiest and most convenient way to make friends in college. Do homework together, study for tests together, and celebrate/blow off steam afterward together.
You aren’t a freak, You’re just lonely and stuck in a weird situation. Don’t be so hard on yourself, stand up straight, clean yourself up, and pretend you already have a ton of friends and that everyone else should want to be friends with you too.
ele4phant December 28, 2011, 3:17 pm
I was a floater too! However, rather than lament my lack of one solid core group, I was excited that I knew so many different interesting people all over the place. I was part of a sports club, so I had athletic friends. I had friends from my dorms. I had friends from classes, so I had friends with similar intellectual interests. There was always something going on in one facet or another, and life never felt stale – I wasn’t doing the same thing again and again with the same people. College, to me, was about getting to know all different kinds of people, and try out different activities and identities.
In my second half of college, I started introducing a few of my friends from one group to another, and over time, and most of my networks started to merge together to create a core group of friends. If they weren’t all close friends (which many became), pretty much everybody I knew knew each other so there was never any awkwardness hanging out or bringing along someone extra.
So my advice is, don’t worry about it. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. You’re not a social loser if you have looser social acquaintances rather than a tight little group. There isn’t one right way to socialise or experience college.
The one thing I suggest you do is not be afraid to introduce some of your friends to one another (maybe start with the boyfriend). Don’t think it will be awkward; if its an informal group that’s not an insular click, I don’t see how they would mind another face. Over time, you may just find that you’ll end with a strong group of friends if you take the initiative to introduce people.
Britannia December 28, 2011, 3:22 pm
Not everyone is the same when it comes to how they cultivate and nurture friendships. It sounds like you are a multidimensional person with different interests, and thus you need friends who provide different aspects of friendship and activity for you. That’s not a bad thing at all; I am like this too. Having one static group of friends, as is perpetuated in “Friends” and “How I Met Your Mother” sitcoms, may work for some people to fulfill their needs, but it’s not for everyone!
So college hasn’t been your cup of tea… that’s okay. Maybe you WILL find a “group” one day. Maybe it’ll be in a special-interest group or club. Maybe it will be at the company where you end up starting your career. Or maybe you’ll always be a “floater”. Either way, there will always be myriad opportunities for you to meet people and satisfy your needs for social interaction.
CottonTheCuteDog December 28, 2011, 3:25 pm
I spent 6 years in college I came away with zero friends from it….my fiance has like 500 friends from college but oh well – some people are just better at making friends than others. Nothing to be ashamed about.
L December 28, 2011, 3:45 pm
Join extracurricular groups. I can’t stress this enough. There is BOUND to be at least one special interest group that you have some interest in. Maybe it’s a peer mentoring group or a religious group or an intramural sport. Maybe you want to work in residential life or join a music ensemble. That is honestly the best way to meet people. I was fortunate that in college I was in a very small major so I knew a lot of my peers well (my class sizes had an average of about 10) but I know bio or chem majors whose classes were an average size of 50+. If that’s you, it’s hard to get to know others. So find a group that sparks your interest. I’m not sure if your college is the same way as mine, but at my school, most majors have a club or organization or honor society that we could join. That’s a good way to get to know the people in your classes better.
I know it can be hard to put yourself out there, but clubs for the most part aren’t going to come up and just knock at your door. You need to take initiative and express your interest. Find the leaders of the organizations and talk to them or just show up at their next meeting to find out more about the club or organization. Maybe join a group with one of your acquaintances or join with your boyfriend. I promise it makes college that much more fun! 🙂
Even if you don’t find your “group”, it isn’t the end of the world. I was a floater of sorts too, but now that I’ve graduated I realize that my high school friends are closer to me than my college friends and that’s ok! It’s fine to not have one core group of friends in college, as long as you enjoy your time in school. And one more thing: stop lying to your boyfriend. Tell him the truth: you just haven’t found your friend group. It’s going to just lead to more problems if he thinks you’re hiding something from him. And if he’s a good guy, he’ll understand.
MiMi December 28, 2011, 3:49 pm
It would be interesting to know what your interpretation of friendship is. I would have said the people you hang out and play video games with would qualify for an upgrade from “stranger,” even if they aren’t likely to hold your hair while you hurl or do whatever it is you think friends do for and with you..
Some people are social, have a large group of friendly acquaintances and a number of great friends. Some of us have only one or two great friends in our whole lives. Which are you, really? Did you have a group of homies in high school with whom you’re still close or were you a bit of loner then as well? Know yourself.
And stop lying to your boyfriend. I don’t know how you could shoot yourself in the foot better than by lying and acting shady over something innocent and unremarkable. Not having found your friendly soul mates among endless keggers or Halo marathons is nothing to be ashamed of. Wanting a meaningful connection in order to pursue friendship is perfectly reasonable and you don’t need to apologize or defend your position to anyone.
If going with the flow and letting friendships come to you naturally doesn’t work for you, one suggestion would be to seek out students from other countries or cultures. They always have a fresh point of view, eat interesting things, have different activities, etc. that may spark your curiosity and engage you in a way your contemporaries are not. Good luck!
ele4phant December 28, 2011, 4:05 pm
Good point about asking what her concept of friendship is. I think you’re onto something about her having an ideal in her head about what friendship should be, and what it actually is for most people. Hanging out and doing small things like watching movies with friends is pretty standard from what I know. We may be blessed to have one or two really tight friends in our life, but life rarely imitates movies or tv were people have a large, extremely tight knit group of friends.
Plus I think you made a good point that she should take the initiative at times with her friends. She may feel that they don’t want to be closer to her because they aren’t inviting her to everything, but I don’t think most people are that calculating. If she were to put together a few more get togethers, they may realise she wants to hang out more. People aren’t mind readers, if she isn’t making efforts herself to show she wants to hang out, they may assume she’s not too interested in getting together often. Friendships do take time to develop, so she shouldn’t try to force intimacy, but she can still take initiative invite over people she enjoys hanging out with.
Buzzelbee December 28, 2011, 3:56 pm
I was very similar in college but when I asked my casual friends to do something they said yes and it took a little effort but I did eventually become closer with some of them (I ended up living with two one year after a ‘close’ friend backed out at the last minute). I did not have a cohesive group then and this is a lot of people’s experience and not something to be embarrased by.
Also, just because that’s how things have worked out so far doesn’t mean that’s how they will always be. I ended up with a close group of friends in grad school which was a completely different experience for me.
kali December 29, 2011, 2:49 pm
Good point. And just because LW considers those people to be casual friends, they may not see her in the same way or they may want to be more than just casual friends.
I don’t see this as a huge issue except that LW feels she needs to lie about it. If you don’t like the way things are, change them. But honestly, I don’t see a problem here.
Fabelle December 28, 2011, 4:08 pm
So far it seems like a lot of people are identifying with this, so I’m gonna throw myself on the list. In college, the only real “friend” I had was my roommate & the group of friends my older boyfriend (who attended the same university). My roommate & I found groups to float around in, but she had her own solid group that I wasn’t a part of. It seemed like my friends changed every semester, since I always wound up hanging out with kids that’d drop out, get kicked out, or tranfer. I actually wound up hanging out more at a college nearby, then I started commuting.
So yeah, there’s really nothing to be embarrassed by– I’m sure it feels like everyone is so much better at making friends, but when people see you with your group of casual friends it probably looks like you’re totally fitting it. Only you know that you don’t feel close to these people. Unless you join a sorority (spelling?), you aren’t guaranteed a fixed social circle. I agree with whoever suggested extra-curricular activities, even though I know that sounds lame (it did to me 5 years ago).
Do you smoke cigarettes? That helps for making friends, also. Smoking is bad etc. etc. but yeah, it really does help break the ice– that is, if they allow students to smoke on campus anymore?
iseeshiny December 29, 2011, 9:22 am
No! Don’t start smoking! I started smoking when I was eighteen and I wish I never had!
CottonTheCuteDog December 29, 2011, 9:25 am
smoking has become very taboo.
sarita_f December 29, 2011, 3:04 pm
I really hate to admit it, but I agree that smoking can really break the ice. I was lucky in that I really only did it socially, and “quit” without ever even thinking about it – somehow I never managed to get addicted. Very, very lucky. But it would be lame of me to do that again, pick up a deadly (and disgustingly smelly) habit just to make friends.
spark_plug December 28, 2011, 4:16 pm
So just to give you a different perspective, I had a core group of friends that I bonded with pretty quickly in college, which was great, because I didn’t have to go through the process of making new friends, and we ended up living together all four years. The problem now is that since my network from college is so limited, now that the core group of friends and I don’t live in the same areas and some of us have grown apart, I don’t have that college network to draw upon. I hear other people talking about how they are going to meet up with this person they went to school with or that person they had class with, but since I limited my experience to four or five people, I don’t have those loser networks and connections to draw upon. So while it’s nice having a core group of friends, and the other posters have suggested ideas on that, it’s also really useful to actually have a lot of acquaintances.. you never know who you’ll be friends with in the future. I ended up becoming best friends with one of my acquaintances from highschool AFTER we graduated!
Ruby December 28, 2011, 4:20 pm
I wonder if you’ve built up this idea in your head that you can’t make friends.
The truth is…you have the social skills to have found a boyfriend, and you have some casual friends. So I wouldn’t even say you have no friends!
The thing about close friends is they usually begin as casual friends first! So, maybe take a look at the group of casual friends you have now and see if there are any of them you particularly ‘click’ with! Then ask them to hang out and do something! If you have a friend who’s interested in Art, then ask them to join you at a local art exhibit (or pick an activity that interests you if art isn’t your thing).
Also, don’t lie to your boyfriend. Be honest with him. Nothing good ever comes from being dishonest!
Finally, I think having friends outside of your relationship is very important. So it would be worth your while to put in some effort into cultivating some of these friendships.
Relationships can come and go sometimes, but a true good friend can be there for you in a way that sometimes a boyfriend cannot.
Ladybug December 28, 2011, 4:28 pm
I’ve been a floater most of my life–to the point that my kindergarten teacher wanted to hold me back a year for fear that I wasn’t socialized enough to move on. She changed her mind when she saw me at a mutual friend’s cookout, joined at the hip with another little girl for the entire evening. The problem wasn’t that I couldn’t make close friends, but that I didn’t happen to click with anyone in my kindergarten class on that level. That’s been my pattern though the rest of school, through college and law school, and now out in the real world. Once in while I find a person or a small group that I bond deeply with, and those people tend to be the friends I stay close to even when we have to move on in life. If that kind of bond just doesn’t develop on it’s own though, I just find a few people to talk to in class/the office and hang out with occasionally without being part of a tight-knit group.
The point to all this, LW, is that it’s OK to be a floater or even a bit of a loner. It doesn’t mean that you’re a loser at all, just that you don’t form friendships as easily or as quickly as some do, or that you just haven’t stumbled onto the right people for those kind of friendships at your college yet. Relax, be yourself, and concentrate on things you enjoy. Chances are you will find close friends along the way, even if it doesn’t happen as quickly or as often as you might like.
As far as bringing this up with your boyfriend, just be honest. Tell him there are a few people you hang out with once in a while, but that you don’t have one close-knit group like he does. If you keep putting it off it will eventually start to look like you’re hiding something or you’re ashamed to bring him around your friends, and there’s no way for that to end well. You’ve obviously managed to form a relationship with your boyfriend, so I doubt he’ll think you’re a freak who can’t make friends, espcially if you frame it as having a few casual friends but not having one go-to group. If he does think that your lack of a Sex and the City or How I Met Your Mother type crew makes you a freak, then he may not be the right guy for you anyway.
bethany December 28, 2011, 4:29 pm
I can identify as well- I called myself a “person on the verge”- I was on the verge of many groups in high school and in college. I was friends with people in my dorm, people from class, sports teams, frats, all while staying close to some of my high school friends. I was an occasional member of probably 4-6 groups of people. I had 2-3 “best friends” who were parts of those groups. Even now, 12 years later, my life is still like that. Sometimes I get sad becasue I don’t have a big group of good friends like some people, but I have my solid friendships that I can always count on, and then I know tons of other nice people who I can hang out with at parties or other social situations.
LW, you’re not alone- there are tons of people out there who are just like you, and your bf will probably understand!
Amy December 28, 2011, 4:45 pm
It takes time to make good friends. I’ve moved a few times lately and I’ve found it takes a solid year for me to develop GOOD friends that really care about each other. Things do start casually, then somebody says – hey let’s grab a drink, or we’re going camping this weekend, you should join us, next hting you know we are planning trips to Vegas together. Just be patient with your self and try to surround yourself with people with similar interests.
Ktfran December 28, 2011, 5:01 pm
Add me to the list.
I use to be painfully shy. Making friends was difficult for me, but somehow I always managed to make a few friends to hang out with. The problem was, I would hold onto those few friends and then our lives would change for some reason or another and I would have to start over. Although, I still have that one BFF from 9th grade. However, she’s married with a child and lives about 4 hours away from me.
Anyway, as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that you have to be a little assertive. If you meet someone you like, ask him or her to go for a drink, or coffee, or lunch, or something. Remember, that person might be busy. After a few tries, if he or she still isn’t responding, realize it wasn’t meant to be and try again. There are TONS of people in the same boat as you. I promise. Also, I have found that I’m the kind if person who only needs a couple of super close friends (the bff, for instance) and likes a wide network of other groups of friends to hang with. It makes life interesting and you’re rarely lacking for something to do. If one group is busy, the next might not be.
I don’t think being assertive is being clingy, or needy. It’s taking charge of your own life. It really took me 30 years to learn that. I’m much happier now that at 14, 20 or even 25. Of course, don’t be creepy about it . . .
Painted_lady December 28, 2011, 5:12 pm
Social floater here too! I’m nearly thirty and up until the last few years I never had a solid core group of friends. But when I was in high school I read this blurb in some teen magazine that really helped: apparently people who don’t have one solid clique growing up are far more likely to be independently-minded and have a stronger sense of self than do the ones who join a group and, for lack of a better term, conform to the codes of the clique. Whether it’s scientifically sound or not, it definitely helped during those times when it felt like nobody actually wanted to be around me but rather didn’t object to my presence. I would actually walk around thinking, “Whatever, losers! I’m independent!”
And actually, it turns out years later – thanks to reconnecting with people via facebook – that how everyone else saw me then was exactly like that. Most everyone in college and high school liked me and did want me around, but I seemed to have so many friends no one group felt like they could lay claim to me. It was actually mostly driven by insecurity that I never devoted my time to one single group, and when I figured out that any one of them would have loved to have had me full-time, I started figuring out that I could actively choose my friends, not because we all liked country music or Neil Gaiman or Victoria’s Secret sweatpants, but because this person made me laugh, that person was always honest but kind, that other one was fiercely loyal, etc. And so I have this circle of amazing friends who are varied and interesting and there because I truly want them to be. So quit worrying that you don’t have any friends (except, you know, all those friends you mentioned) and make some closer friends out of the people you already know. Pick the ones you really like; the most interesting, or the funniest, or the kindest. And next time you guys get together for a movie, invite the boyfriend. Is there a limit on seating? Otherwise, I don’t know a lot of college kids who would wonder why you brought your boyfriend along.
katie December 28, 2011, 7:55 pm
this is sooooo true!! in high school i was friends with EVERYONE- the sciencey nerd types, the athletic types, the drama kids- everyone. having a “core” group of friends isnt the necessity that this LW thinks it is, i think…
caitie_didn't December 28, 2011, 5:30 pm
Hey! I’m a bit of a social floater too! It is hard, but I think the best thing to do is to just really throw yourself into your casual friendships: make an effort to text people first, plan outings etc AND be less self conscious. If you act like people are doing you a favour by being your friend, they are going to act that way as well.
drdre December 28, 2011, 6:06 pm
Personally, I have a big family. I do’nt like the idea of spreading myself thin for the sake of having a large group of friends. It’s hard enough to have time for just family or a boyfriend, and then let alone all the friends out there who desire a piece of your scarce time. Do you have a big family too? Of even if you have a small family, it’s nice to really get to know and get close to your family and let them be your greatest friends. On my end, I have 4 brothers, so i’ve always had more guy friends. In college and after, male friends would ask me to bring my girlfriends – most of who i wasn’t close to or couldln’t trust. I would get embarrassed at the thought i couldn’t show off a group of pretty chicks. But now, at 28 i see the value of my family. My boyfriend and I love each other for who we are – not for the “who” that is around us. I keep in touch with those few friends who were there for me and i allowed to get close.
I know most of us rely on the comfort of friendships. But look into the value of one or two good friendships rather than a party of people. Maybe, the reason why you aren’t finding a group is probably because getting close to one person is hard enough. I say, do away with your shyness and give yourself more credit. If you reach out someone out there you feel comfortable with, persue that friendship, throw yourself out there and get a feel for one or two good people. Maybe you just have a different view all together and that’s okay. Talk to your boyfriend, he loves you and should understand. Don’t be embarressed!
katie December 28, 2011, 7:53 pm
i dont think there is anything weird about you!
i had tons of friends in high school and in college and i floated everywhere! people are your friends if you hang out with them- whether its just watching movies, or its sharing your deepest secrets. you have have really good friends (a “best” friend), or people you are friendly with (“aquantances”)- but the bottom line is that they are all your friends. dont put so much pressure on it! just enjoy your time with people who you like to be around. and bring your boyfriend around one night! if your all friends, they will be happy to meet him.
AnotherWendy December 28, 2011, 9:06 pm
Just a thought, do you think you might have social anxiety disorder? Or ADHD? Those sometimes prevent people from forming strong bonds with others. Not always, but just something to consider if you’ve always felt on the fringe. Maybe tell your boyfriend that you’ve been hesitant to introduce him because you have always done stuff with a group, but that you aren’t close enough with any of them on a personal level to the point you would bring a boyfriend along. But, you do have to introduce him to some of these people or he’s gonna be the next LW asking what to do about his girlfriend who is hiding him from her friends!
Anna December 28, 2011, 9:52 pm
I just love how in 2011, everyone who is insecure is or may be mentally ill. SMH. I call it being human.
AnotherWendy December 29, 2011, 9:41 am
Some people do suffer from mental illnesses, and suffering is the key word. We all comment based on our own experiences. Thats what makes the dear wendy community work so well. Suffering is part of the human experience, but doesn’t mean one should shun tools that can help ease their suffering. SMH at your need to put down my comment that was offered up from my own human experiences.
Anna December 28, 2011, 9:50 pm
I’ve been in that boat. You can’t force close friendships, you are right. But who said you need a whole group of close friends in college? That seemed like the protocol in high school where any lone stragglers were bullied relentlessly, but I was relieved when I got to college and all of a sudden it was ok to just have casual acquaintances.
As a 27 year old now, do you know how many college friends I have kept up with? A couple on Facebook and that’s it. I have two best friends, neither of which I went to college with. Independent adults don’t need a “group.” You just need a couple close friends that you can always count on. The best way to obtain those is to hang out one-on-one with those who just may fit the bill. That’s how I got my 2nd best friend. We met through a mutual friend and I thought she was so cool I asked her to go out shopping and to lunch with me for girl time. We’ve now been besties for 6 yrs.
At the moment, your dilemma with the boyfriend has to be resolved though. Think back to the DW letters where women are saying “He won’t introduce me to his friends!” then the comments speculate that he’s probably cheating and the friends are all in on it, or is married, etc etc….you don’t want him thinking things like that. Just explain to him that you hang out with these people casually and invite him along next time. What harm could possibly come of it?
cporoski December 29, 2011, 6:38 am
I am a little different then everyone here because I am extremely social. It happened because I moved all my life. I lived in 7 states and nine schools growing up. So I had to start over again and again. This might be the first time you have had to make friends if you lived in the same place your whole life.
I will say this, when your boyfriend graduates, you will be very lonely if you don’t make a life outside of him and his friends. You might be hanging out with them too much so you don’t have time for activities. What about joining a social club like a sorority or a business fraternity. What about starting a study group in a class and offering to buy the pizza? The gym at you school probably has activities like hiking or intermural sports. Here is a little secret, most people get nervous or insecure when meeting new people. Being friendly, making eye contact, and smiling goes a long way.
Budj December 29, 2011, 9:54 am
Good point about her maybe spending so much time with him that she isn’t allowing other relationships to blossom. I can’t even count how many relationships I saw in college where the couple secluded themselves and then wondered why their friends stopped asking them to hang out.
Budj December 29, 2011, 9:53 am
I have a floating tendency myself…things that formed strong bonds for me were joining a group focused on a goal…i.e. clubs, sports teams, charity stuff. Find an interest, hobby, or cause you want to support and see if you can’t blossom some close bonds there. When I was in college the swim team was my core group of friends…without that I think I would have had a hell of a time maintaining a friend group in college.
As an aside – I’ve yet to have a constant best friend relationship and I think that’s just how shit goes sometimes – so don’t think you are a freak. Best friendships have come and gone for me. There is one friend I keep in contact with from college via texting, but we barely see each other in person. My friend group now is not what my friend group was even 2 years ago…these things ebb and flow. You aren’t a weirdo.