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An Unexpected Friend

Making new friends has never really been my forte, and trying to establish new friendships or even just maintain existing ones as an adult is not an easy task. Because of my social anxiety, I rarely venture out into the unknown (bars, clubs, or pretty much anywhere that new friends can be found), and even when I was younger and in college, I never really formed those close-knit friendships with my classmates or sorority sisters.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve started taking more chances and making the effort to actually plan out things with existing friends, but most of the time am content to just hang out at home and work on other things instead of going out and being social. A quiet night in with a good book or tv show, and good food is definitely more my speed than getting dressed up to go out and spend money on overpriced drinks at places that are so loud having a conversation is nearly impossible, but sometimes it is good to step outside of your comfort zone and change up the routine.

About a week or so ago, I was shocked to receive a text message out of the blue from an unknown number, and pleasantly surprised to discover that it was from a friend-of-a-friend who happens to live fairly close to me and wanted to make plans to hang out.

In the past, whenever she and I would be at the same place, our mutual friend was also present, so I wasn’t sure how us hanging out one-on-one would go. I was worried that I’d show up for drinks and dinner, only to discover that without a middle person we’d be bored out of our minds and have nothing to talk about. I think over the last 6 years, we’d only really hung out maybe 6-7 times, each of which were with a larger group at parties.

I shouldn’t have worried, as having a common friend gave us a good jumping off point in conversation for our girls night out, and I found out that we actually have quite a bit in common. Over a couple of cocktails and a delicious pizza (I’m not sure how I’ve managed to live in/around St. Louis for most of my life and never eaten at Pi, but will definitely go again), we were able to catch up on each other’s lives and by the end of dinner, it felt like we’d been life-long friends.

Over the course of our conversation I learned that we are both are in that awkward place of being one of the few unmarried and childless women in our separate existing friend circles, which means that going out usually requires extreme scheduling instead of being able to, on a whim, make plans to grab a bite or drinks out.

The whole experience of finding a female friend who not only is in a similar place in life to me, but also lives very close was pretty cool, and I’m very thankful that our common friend (my friend Lauren who I  just visited in Vegas) figured it all out and encouraged us to hang out without her.

We’ve already made tentative plans to do the whole happy hour dinner and drinks again, as well as some other stuff this summer.

It’s silly to be so excited about making a new friend, but for me it feels like an accomplishment, as it’s something I did mostly on my own that I probably wouldn’t have been able to do even 2 years ago. So for that, I give myself a gold star. 🙂

Have you ever experienced this phenomenon of the “unexpected friend”?

 

 

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