“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone.” – Robin Williams
I recently heard this quote and it started ringing through my ears so loudly. For the last few years, I’ve really been seeing the shift in my friendships and it’s often left me wondering, how much of this is due to age, seasons of life, marriage and kids (and lack thereof), post-pandemic living, and moving to different locations? And how much of it is ME?
I’m noticing more and more the separation between myself and the people in my life I consider (considered?) friends. I’m noticing the one-sided relationships and the isolation that comes from feeling like the friend “left-behind.”
And I want to clarify, this isn’t every relationship/friendship in my life but it is many.
There is a level to which I’ve always known and accepted I will be in a different place in life than everyone simply for the fact that I do not want to have children. I’ve accepted that could cause different dynamics in relationships, even though I’ve been vocal about wanting to be “Aunt Katie” to friends’ kids.
There’s also the obvious fact that I’m single and as long as that remains the case, I won’t be thought of for “couple” events or outings.
But what I didn’t expect was to move somewhere where I thought I had a community only to find myself feeling even more alone. I often find myself asking, is this post-pandemic life and people just not going out as much? Have I lost my “special” factor now that I’m always here? Is it me/something I said?
I’m not here to play the victim but rather just trying to start a conversation that I don’t hear others talking about.
This year I committed to letting go of what’s no longer working for me, what no longer feels in alignment, and what feels like an uneven trade…and that includes relationships.
I’m quickly approaching 35 and there is nothing about my life that looks like how I thought it would which is beyond discouraging and honestly, heart-breaking for me. My career isn’t where I want it to be, my finances aren’t where I want them to be, I’m not getting to share life with someone I love, and I don’t feel as healthy as I would like right now. And maybe this is all made worse by social media and the constant state of comparison that’s nearly impossible to avoid when it’s thrown at your face. I’d love to get rid of it, but I’m also trying to grow an online business so you know…it’s kind of needed.
But I’m veering off-topic. The point is that I’m craving community but finding it harder and harder to come by these days. How do you make real friendships as an adult? Especially as a single adult who isn’t looking to have children?
I’m starting to distance myself from the people who aren’t making an effort or who are constantly making me feel bad about myself as our plans get canceled time and time again or my texts go unanswered for days on end. I deserve more than that. And so do you.
Making friends as an adult can be hard and if you’re feeling it, please know that you’re not alone