Adult female friendships: They're not so easy.


Aristotle said that "friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies."And while that certainly seems nice, a soul to go thrifting with would be nice too. But sometimes, it seems like even a shopping buddy is hard to find when you're an adult woman.

Many woman talk about why they find it so hard to make friends. They consider themselves loyal, approachable, sincere and genuine. But for some reason, they struggle with developing the kind of intimacy with other women that we all think should come naturally.


In kindergarten, I was best friends with a girl named Melissa. Or Danielle...I can't remember which. We climbed trees and had play dates and shared our sandwiches. Then one day we stopped being friends. I have no idea why. Clearly, we're not in touch. In middle school there was Melanie, who was my best friend on and off for a year until she graduated into the cool girls clique, leaving me behind. In high school there was Jennifer, an art major who was my best friend until I decided to date one of her classmates. Then she proceeded to ignore me for the rest of my life.

It has never been easy for me to make and keep female friends. As I progressed through school I learned that girls who were friends told and kept secrets. To be a friend, you had to know something private and hidden. And too often, your secrets were betrayed. There was boyfriend-stealing, public humiliations, and the horrible gut feeling of finding out on Monday morning that you hadn't been invited to what happened on Saturday night.

For a long time I saw women as mistrustful, gossipy harpies whose only intention was to undermine me and steal whatever success I'd accomplished. It didn't helped that I was teased mercilessly in my early years of school, and spent my adolescence competing with peers in music conservatory. As far as I was concerned, I was better off being alone. Whether the trouble was with boyfriends, academic or work achievements, or power struggles within our social strata, the most logical choice seemed to be for self-preservation, even if that meant I'd be lonely.

As I've gotten older, I've allowed myself to trust other women more. And thank goodness for that. The supportive, intimate qualities of female friendships are what makes them so valuable. And there are a slew of health and psychological benefits for having friends. A consistent and loyal social support system lowers blood pressure, boosts immunity and promotes healing. The very nurturing power of female friendship may help explain one of medical science's most enduring mysteries: why women, on average, have lower rates of heart disease and longer life expectancies than men.

"Women are much more social in the way they cope with stress," says Shelley E. Taylor, author of "The Tending Instinct" (Owl Books) and a social neuroscientist at UCLA. "Men are more likely to deal with stress with a 'fight or flight' reaction--with aggression or withdrawal." But aggression and withdrawal take a physiological toll, and friendship brings comfort that mitigates the ill effects of stress, Taylor says. That difference alone, she adds, "contributes to the gender difference in longevity."

I might always struggle with navigating female friendships, despite the benefits the relationships contain. I have a low threshold with feeling left out. I don't forgive easily. I become a tad bit competitive when I suspect that one of my closest friends is becoming equally close with someone else. I often wonder if I'm the only woman who wrestles with this. It seems like such a natural thing for some people. I am 37 years old, a mother of three, have had hundreds of different friends over my lifetime, and yet I am still not sure what female friendship looks like.

Is it talking to someone every day about work and what went on sale at Anthropologie?
Is it waiting a year to call someone but when you do it's as if no time has passed?
Is it feeling sorry about what you've said and wishing things could be taken back?
Is it feeling left out because you wasn't invited?
Is it sitting on the couch with a girlfriend watching Project Runway and eating popcorn and not having to carry a conversation?
Is it feeling jealous that your friend is friends with someone else?

I suppose the answer to all of these is yes. And as a black-and-white thinker, wrapping my head around such a complex picture of female friendship isn't so easy. In addition, as a friend, I have a tendency to be loud. I talk over people in my quest to show empathy and understanding. I overshare. I interrupt. I overEVERYTHING. I don't call enough. And I've heard from more than one person that the tattoo on my neck can be off putting.

But I can be a good friend, I think. I'm going to try harder. Being lonely stinks.

Do you have a lot of friends? Do you have just one or two that you confide in? Have you every struggled to navigate the somewhat complicated web of female friendships? Does making friends come naturally to you?

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44 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more with this post - I have had problems making deep friendships with other women & find that most are either competitive & only interested in small-talk OR they already have a "best friend" and aren't looking for another one. I seem to unintentionally make female friends easily who are my mom's age - LOL! They are more mature & less catty!!

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  2. I strugge with this a lot, too. I think it's hard to make and keep friends. Period. I've never really had male friends and don't even know how to go about making them. I just moved and am trying new tactics for making friends, but it's hard! I think it's a lifelong thing trying to figure this out.

    --Courtney

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  3. I'm currently struggling with this. I have several close female friends, but I just moved and they are all elsewhere. We talk, text and chat online, but it would be nice to have some local friends. I moved to a much smaller town and I'm not sure how to meet like minded people here and can't go up to people and say "let's be friends!" So what do I do?

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  4. I think friendships are what you make them. For the longest time I felt that my friends had to be my end all be all, and now I realize that that is not true. I have a good group of gal pals, but each of them gives me a different thing and I'm sure it's the same way for them. I don't tell my friends everything and I quite prefer it that way.

    I think the stereotype of women being catty is just that, a stereotype and when you find women who nurture and complement you, friendship just comes naturally.

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  5. The "talk[ing] over people . . . to show empathy and understanding" is a New York thing, ya know. To me it seems completely normal! I live in New England now, and it's often really tough for me not to do it.

    And the friend thing does not come naturally to me either. I often feel like I don't know how to turn a friendly acquaintance, someone who seems really nice, into a real friend.

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  6. i have always had a hard time making friends, mainly because im often unbearably shy around strangers. this completely changes once i know someone -- then im tough to shut up!
    i think making friends was easier back in the school days when you were stuck in the same classroom with people or living on the same hall in the dorm: friends, in a way, were built-in. but these days, how do you go about making friends? and how do you keep close when you are all going through different phases of life?

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  7. I have this same problem. I am not sure really how to make friends. A couple of weeks ago I bumped into three women from my church having dinner at a restaurant next to my yoga studio. I felt a profound sadness for several because I wanted so much to be part of that group. Just not sure how.

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  8. Ah, thought provoking for sure.
    I am SO lucky in life to have 8 best friends from college (one of which is my bf since age 11) and feel so connected to this group of women. The problem for me...is that we all moved to different areas etc...and I have a hard time making NEW friends...always comparing them to these amazing relationships I have....sort of setting myself up for failure for sure....
    I hope I can make some adult lasting relationships w people right HERE in my own backyard so I don't have to constantly complain to my family and hubs that " I have no friends, at least not any that live around here".
    C

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  9. I think there are lots of women who have had very similar experiences to those you've described. I've always been 'one of the guys' myself. I'm 37 as well and remember very well the loneliness and seclusion I felt in high school. Luckily that time has past and I've had a wonderful friendship with another female for over 15 years.

    I've never been one to have a big circle of friends. That's ok. In school (middle and high) was the only time when I thought that there was something wrong with me because I didn't make friends easy. Now I know I am likable I just don't get too close easily.

    Any relationship is going to have it's issues and everyone of us has to choose what we would like to fight for. Sometimes I feel that it's too easy to just 'let them go' then bring on the stress of trying to work through difficult issues.

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  10. Oh my goodness. I struggle with this all of the time. But here lately, I've realized the importance of having a good friend. And it's been a long time since I've had a good friend, within my driving distance. All my other good friends are scattered across the US. I was actually just talking about this the other day. So glad you posted about it. I realize I'm not alone!

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  11. Preach. Seriously. I am an only child, so having female friends has always been important to me - but I have also been with my husband since we were in high school and he took priority, so sometimes it was harder for me. I would say I have a couple of friends whom I consider close friends that I have had a long time, otherwise the rest of them have been in and out of my life quite a bit. My husband and my mom are really my best friends. And that's ok with me for the most part, but I have the same feelings as you from time to time!

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  12. I hope you find comfort in the fact that you are not alone. I've sruggled for most of my life with women relationships until the past few years. During this time, I've taken the time to really discover and understand myself which has enabled me to make better choices in relationships. I realized that I spent waay too much time trying to fit into groups instead of finding people who accepted me for me. B/c of this, my circle of friends is pretty small. But the circle I do have is a very supportive and committed group. We don't always hang out. In fact, sometimes it months before I see a friend based on what's happening in our lives. But we do make a consistent effort to get together for something. I also take my time getting to know people and realize that some people are only meant to be in my life for a period of time. That is hard b/c I do cherish my relationships. But the key for me was getting emotionally healthy which has now translated in to healthy relationships with others.

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  13. I'll raise my hand and say "yes, I struggle with these things too!" I worry about the same things you do as well. I'm 38 years old and really only have a handful of "great friends"...by this I mean ones I can call on to do anything for me in an emergency and trust them with my child completely.

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  14. For the record, if I lived in your area I would love to be a thrifting friend. That sounds fun!

    I think that women are hard to be friends with because they are so emotional, yet non-confrontational. Women tend to let feelings fester until something blows up instead of bringing up what's bothering them. I try to be as honest as possible and I'm a pretty up-front person. This is the healthiest way to be in a friendship, I think, but some people are intimidated by this. Not saying that I'm a perfect friend, but it's helped solidify my friendships and get over bumps in the road.

    I don't know what this means, but the friends that I've made in the past 2.5 years (since moving from Michigan to California) are better friends than people I've known half my life. They are smart, encouraging, ambitious and loyal. They are the friends I always wanted in high school and college. Maybe the best friends you've ever had are people you haven't met yet. Perhaps you need to leave your comfort zone. You don't have to leave the state like me, but maybe you should join a club, group or class -- get in touch with brand new people.

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  15. I've had a really hard time making friends my age so for the longest time all my friends were 7-10 years younger (and most were only acquaintances with the work connection) It doesn't help that most people I work with are in their 20's. Just recently I've been developing an internet friendship with one of my husband's long time friends. We met in person a few times and continued things online. I consider her now to be one of my bffs and that is rare for me. Because my only bffs are my sisters. I think for many different reasons friendship can be challenging for many people. Great post btw

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  16. I'm only 22, and I struggle with this as well. I still have a couple of good friends from high school, and I've hit it off really well with a mate's wife, but I am terrible at making new friends. I went through three years of university without making a single new friend!

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  17. Interesting post. I've struggled with friendships too. When I called one of my female friends earlier this year to invite her out for a drink she told me she'd moved on with her life since we first met at university. I was really hurt at first, but realised that she had moved on (married, planning to start a family).... and so I had. Plus when we first met I always admired her honesty. And I'd prefer to remember the fun we shared as students instead of trying to drag out a friendship because we feel like we're supposed to.

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  18. I have a core of 5 very long term friends, 3 extremely close 10-years-friends and one known-since-a-baby friend. I'm not a naturally trustful person and have elements of ASD - but people seem to get on with me, the problem is it takes me ages to have the confidence 'OK this person actually likes me I can call them a friend without it being wishful thinking'. I wouldn't like to presume someone's friendship.

    My long-time mates are all different personalities and although the vast majority are female, I have never thought to categorise 'female friends' in any way bar 'there and then' throwaway moments, e.g. mentioning to male ones that we'll be spending time in dress shops so they might want to go to menswear and meet us later, when shopping.

    One thing that shocked me was this question "Is it feeling jealous that your friend is friends with someone else?" I have never felt tht way (they're friends, not lovers) and when - once - someone started getting like that about me I backed away from them. That 'she's MY BEST FRIEND not YOURS' is something I remember causing fights in the playground as a kid and it makes me uncomfortable. But I can see some people like one 'best' friend, I am happy with my mixed bag of friends.

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  19. This issue has plagued me my entire life. In fact, I wrote a similar post a while back:

    http://www.gritandglamour.com/2009/11/04/losing-friends-and-alienating-people-101/

    There are good women out there, and good friends. If you find just one, you are incredibly fortunate.

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  20. I find female friendships hard also. I have a few long term friends that I speak with every few months. But, it is so hard to gain the BFF or crew that I once had as an adult. We all have lives, and you don't want to impose too much on their time. It is difficult to make good friends. It's like dating or something!

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  21. What a good an open post. As you'll know by now, you are certainly not alone. I've found it quite hard to keep solid female friendships. Of course moving countries very often doesn't help either. One of my good friends just left to live abroad and it's pretty tough starting again with others and going through that chatty, getting to know eachother phase again. But good, true friends are so important!

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  22. This post feels really poignant to me. for several months, I've had a theory that many bloggers are by nature introverts. Having blog allows one to feel like they have friends...but at arm's length. I know in real life, I can count my close women friends on one hand.

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  23. I have struggled with maintaining relationships with females. My two best friends are guys. I've lost touch with 3 friends in the past year. I'm not sure what it is about the women I chose to hang out with but they either become consumed by men and turn into drama queens or just don't bother to pick up the phone and expect me to initiate all the plans. Friendships are hard but it feels like the one's with women are even harder.

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  24. This post really rang a bell with me when I read it. While I think at times we've all felt that that we were unusual by not having either big groups of friends or a smaller group of lifelong best friends (tv and movies certainly doesn't help with this impression), I think we can see from the other comments on here that this is not necessarily unusual at all. I have close friends where one (or both) of us have moved away and while thanks to things like Facebook and email we'll forever be friends, we've lost that closeness that vacinity enables. Friendships are like most other relationships; they are often easy to develop, but maintaining them takes work. I have been lucky with my friends in the past and I hope that I continue to be so in the future, but I don't expect it to be easy. Maybe that's what makes friendships so rewarding.

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  25. I struggle as well. I have several friends, but no one I call regularly or hang out with often. I've had friends like that in the past, but I find I sometimes feel almost smothered or used by people who constantly need to talk or have me watch their children. Despite growing up with 3 sisters, I have no problem being alone, and actually prefer it.

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  26. This post came up when I googled "adult women no close female friends". I had a fun group of friends in high school but we grew apart in college and then I moved to a different state. I know a few women in my new state but none of us live close by and we always have to plan get togethers three months in advance b/c of everyone's busy schedules so I don't feel as close to these women as I'd like b/c we don't get to hang out very often. What I would like is to have someone that I can call up and say "Hey, wanna see the chick flick my husband won't see with me today?" or "wanna go to the mall today?" Living in a town of mostly retired folk makes it hard to find women my age to meet and hang out with. Oh how I long to have a group of girls over for Project Runway viewings. But I am starting to feel like everybody already has their friends and I've missed the boat.

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  27. wow, great topic & posts. i'm so glad to see others struggle with this as much as I do. I find I'm most comfortable with my two closest childhood friends but I don't always like the dyamics between us. One of us always seems to compete for the attentions of another, leaving the the other one out. WE've all grown close & apart through the years but there is always a tinge of jealousy when 2 of us get closer. your comment, am I jealous of my best friend having another friend hit home and I'm wondering if adult friendships between 3 women childhood friends really work? In a trio of friends, is one always the third wheel?

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  28. Hey - I just googled 'I find female friendships difficult' and found this blog. I have a hard time sometimes as I feel many women, in the same vein as women's magazines, seem to assume they know what I want, because all women want the same things, don't they...? You know the kind of thing: 'Hey girls, we all know we just want that one perfect guy to buy us lots of shoes and handbags...wink wink'. I mean I'm not even so sure I know what I want myself so this kind of conversation always puts my back up. I then get defensive and withdraw because I don't relate - or rather, feel that they don't relate to me. I'm not saying I am really special and different or anything, and lumping all other women in together. Not at all. But the women I tend to love being friends with are the women who dare to go against the grain a little. The ones who let me not conform and who don't follow the usual path themselves. Perhaps I am threatened by more 'girly' girls as they have succeeded in following a path that leads to the stamp of social acceptability. I mean, I am pretty mainstream myself, but something in me hangs back from female friendships. I find them hard. Or I am at the moment. Kinda related to why I started my blog...

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  29. I'm going through a hard time with my good friend(who is also my roommate). Lately I have felt left out when she hangs with another friend (I think I am reasonable, and I definitely don't need to be included in everything they do, as I don't include her in absolutely everything). But I found out recently that I was purposefully not invited out with them, even after I opened myself up and revealed that, lately, I have felt left out. Luckily I have some other great friends who I can vent to.

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  30. People come into your life for a reason...a season..or a lifetime.... I have had my share of all. At age 38, I often sit here and wonder why so many people have let me down..but then I realize..they did not let me down, I chose unhealthy relationships and people for a reason. I am now working on me....time at the gym...quiet time to reflect...gone back to school... working on being the best mom..wife..and daughter I can be. I think when we are unhappy with ourselves, we attract others who tend to make us unhappy in the end too! :)

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    1. Rose, that was so well put. In reading your post here, it really made me think. Every word you said is so true. Great job in making me feel a little better.

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  31. Thank goodness I found this blog. I cannot seem to keep any adult female friendships. I am what I consider normal and have one daughter. I think I try to make friendships based on who my daughter wants to be with and we hit it off for a while, but of course once my daughter gets slighted I can't seem to hold back and question (nicely) what happened. well I guess relationships today are very different from my 20' s and 30's relationships. I'm 42 and am having extreme difficulty finding couples who have the same moral values as my husband and myself. We have encountered many a couple who either do everything seperately you know the type she has her friends and hes got his but never anything together. I am hoping that things turn around for me soon as it gets very lonely. I work part-time so I am home alot. I think that today, relationships are quite disposable and people dont really care as much about people. I dont know, maybe it's me. But after reading this post. I don't really think so anymore.

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    1. Anonymous, you are not alone. I too am in my forties, and my husband (50) and I cannot find someone with the same sort of values as well. Although, my husband coming from a military background, is completey "ok" with not making new friends. In fact, he tells me his "friend list is full."

      I have three children, (24), (11), (9)and when I would make attempts to befriend someone that also had children with hopes my children would make friends with the children of new friends, it only worked for a short while. The children realized they had their own differences.

      We moved to a new state eleven (11) years ago because of my husband's new job, and since I've only made two (what I would call) friends. Someone that I thought I could be completely transparent with. Sadly, those two individuals are no longer my friends. One possibly because of cultural differences, and I just didn't fit into her customs, there were language barrieres, and I felt as though I was judged for having more. The other possibly because after ten years, I confronted her about what I felt she had as a gossiping problem and didn't want my personal life ahred with others, as I observed how she would share about others to me. Though she promised me she didn't, I explained if she had I forgave her and wanted to move past this issue. Unfortuntately, she said I had issues of holding onto things from the past, and told me she couldn't be the friend I needed her to be.

      I'm in a state where I am a minority, my children are minorities, at school, in the neighborhood, and we aren't happy here. Even my children have trouble making friends. Sadly, they've (the little ones) have had friends and the very next day after the parent(s) meet me, the children are no longer friends with my girls. It's quite depressing!!

      I guess my point is, keep smiling, be kind to others, and when you or your daughter are momentarily friendless, tell yourself "chin, up, buck up, I am beautiful, will make someone a great friend someday and I am ok without a friend!"

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  32. Yay - it's not just me! :) Great post and all of the comments are great, too. Like so many who posted above, I am in my mid-thirties, have great female friends, but none of them are local. There is one girl I've been more-than-acquaintances-but-less-than-friends with for almost two years. I have been feeling like something is wrong with me for being upset when I realized/decided that it's never going to get to full-blown friendship status. It's just a bummer because we are pretty compatible but between busy family lives and the fact that she already has a "bff" here(honestly, I feel like a 10 year-old girl!) that there's no time/room for anything more. I feel like a weirdo for feeling so sad about it, like I've decided to "break up" with her. LOL

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  33. Making friends, especially female friends, has been a struggle all my life. I have often said I like being a loner, but it gets lonely sometimes. I have a wonderful boyfriend who is also my best friend, but I often wish I had one good girl friend. Like you, I'd LOVE to have a good thrifting buddy! I don't want 20 million superficial acquaintances. I just want one meaningful friendship that is meant to last...for at least more than a year or two.

    I just started grad school a month ago, and sometimes I feel extremely excluded by my classmates. But then I was invited to hang out with a group of girls last week, and that was fun, but I still get the feeling sometimes that everyone is connecting better with someone else, and I'm just left on the side waiting for that special somebody to come along and be my friend. Wow, that sounded kind of pathetic and childish. I know that I bring some of this on myself, though, by keeping to myself a lot of the time. I'm comfortable with being a loner, but I'm not ok with feeling left out. Maybe it won't always be this way. It's a little comforting to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this.

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    1. I feel exactly like you - I could have written your message. The problem for me now is I am aware of some ora, (awkwardness) that I have that keeps people a little leary of me and I now I seem to overcompensate when getting together with friends. I alway have lots of questions, laughing at their jokes, really listening to them, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. I'm always left out of the phone call the next day and am rarely invited to one on one coffees. I wish someone would tell me exactly what my issues are - even if it was brutally honest because I think it would help me. I think the secret is to really 'not give a crap' what people think and let your true thoughts and feelings flow and you would have more carisma and interest for other people. I just can't seem to truly do that - its a block.

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  34. Well, considering all the comments under this article, I think it is obvious that this is a real issue that affects a lot of people!

    I think we need to accept that after high school, friendship is different. You might have different friends for different parts of your life, e.g. friends who have kids, friends who like to exercise, and just hang out. And with our busy lives, spouses, etc., we need to accept that while we won't see our friends as often, we need to keep in touch- it might not be an all day hangout like when we were younger, but just a quick lunch, or a coffee, or even a walk.

    For all those who wish it was easier to just find new friends in your area..have you heard of FriendMatch? It's like online matchmaking, but for friends instead of dating, might be worth a shot! I have also seen people seek friends on Craigslist, but this doesn't sound as appealing to me..

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  35. I am having the same problem, over the years I am always a loner but yet I am a good person. Each time friends have a problem my phone keeps ringing but as soon as the problems solved then I never hear from them again. I always encourage my friends and never have an inch of jealousy in my heart towards anyone. Whenever my friends comes to my house it always create a problem becuase my house is like a little palace and that's how I like it, I am a very simple person and just a plain jean in other words. My friends always saying that they wish they could be like me and it makes me wonder as to why they would think that way. I never be a person to gossip or speak bad things of other people, that's who I am and I will not change in order to fit into circles that I clearly dont belong. Most of my friends are very materialistic but am just the opposite. I am very down to earth and never allow certain things to be of a trouble to me. I live a life of naked I come into this world and naked shall I go. I never worry about money or to have a secure future because I leave things into Gods hand and I also live within my means, hence I don't have to worry and try live a stress free life. Why would I want to change that for anything ? I am all on my own without kids or a husband which I longed for but I don't want to conform to this world but to transform by renewing of my mind and to stay true to myself and God.

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  36. Your not the only one. I am 45, and I still feel the same lonely leftout feeling I felt when I was 12. All my life I will find a friend and then someone else will come along and take my place. It hurts just as much as it did all those years ago. I too long for a friendship where I am enough but it just doesn't seem to happen.

    I think I will try to be content without having that special friend. I feel so stupid being a women of 45 and having the feelings of a 12 year old. I don't want to feel that anymore!


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  37. Hi, I am in my late 40's and I have struggled all my life in keeping friends. I have only now realised that I am just too kind and tolerant of my friends behaviour at times towards me. I have beenin a friendship with 2 ladies for 3 years until 2 weeks ago when I realised I could no longer keep thie "friendship" anymore as it was affecting me emotionally. I realised I had only kept the friendship going for the sake of my son who is in the same school class as these two mums sons. In the past 2 years these two friends have ganged up on me in a nasty manner over a very trivial matter, they have insulted me on many occasions, and many times have told me how to live my life, and insisted that I adopt their values, they have openly lied about me to other parents in our children's class.I finally had enough and confronted one of them knowing full well once I did this I would be ostracised by many of the other mums in this class as they are friendly with this horrible mother. So now I am totally friendless but I still have my wonderful husband and children and parents whom I know love me and want me and I know I have been true to myself and my values.

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    1. You are better off being true to yourself and have no friends than put up with that treatment. Bye the way - those women sound nasty and I wonder how it is they are able to influence other people so successfully. I have had some similar problems and I think being nice is sometimes a curse - it seems to lessen one's status or respect when you are just nice. (Shouldn't be that way).

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    2. OMG, this is me to a "T" . Two mothers, friends with me for 3 or 4 years, then they decided I wasnt what they really wanted as a friend. I was trying to keep the relationship going for the sake of my daughter, but now am alone. I am pretty sure they have blacklisted me as other mothers who used to talk to me , no longer do. I figure I'm better off without them, but it sure is lonely now. What ever happened to the real friends we made as kids? I guess those days are gone, It's too bad though. I really had alot of friends when I was younger. Its hard to be happy when you have no one to talk to.....

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  38. I'm glad I found this post because I find it very difficult to talk to anyone about the fact that I really don't have 'close', 'best friend' relationships. The topic just sounds so petty and immature to me (my husband thinks so). I have some very nice friends but have never formed a best friend. So I've always felt somewhat unfullfiled. I'm in my 40's now and have learned to live with it to a degree but find it painful from time to time. My four main friends are paired off into two best friend relationships, even my only two sisters are best friends. One friend I've had for years (she stood up for me at my wedding) - is kind and lovely - but even she has a best friend she would call before me and has asked this other friend to stand up for her wedding. (Sounds so childish - i know). I act very happy, uneffected and grateful to have them all as friends, but the truth is it really hurts and
    makes me question - what is wrong with me? Why am I not the person people confide in, I never seem to be the person other people would like to get to know better. I put in so much effort - I host dinner parties - I ask lots of questions about people and really listen and take an interest in them but I'm doing something that keeps people at a distance. I really would like to know what that is. One article I read recently said "JUST RELAX" - don't overthink things. But it hard to ignore the hurt that I feel when people think I'm 'nice' but don't have any desire to persue a deeper friendship. It's true I do suffer some social anxiety - before going to any party i have nervousness - but I think I fake it well. Anyway - just feels good to get it out....

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  39. it's unfortunate everyone is replying anonymously....there may be a circle of good friends right here.

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