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Dear QuirkyAlone: How do I make new friends? August 24, 2009

Posted by Onely in quirkyalone.
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“Dear Quirkyalone: Advice for QuirkyLiving” is a weekly guest column by Christina and Lisa. It appears every Monday (crossposted here from Quirkyalone). When you’re making up your own road map for (quirky)living, you need thoughtful advice. We’re here for you. Quirkyalone and Onely welcome your questions; send them on to onely AT onely.org.

Dear Quirkyalone,

Many of my friends are having children, and this is putting pressure on our friendships. Not only do they have next-to-no time to catch up, but all our conversation centres on their children. So it’s time to find new friends –but this is proving really really difficult. Can you talk about the phenomenon of having very few friends and where and how to make new friends (either single or childfree friends)? Thanks.

–Singal (in Australia)

Dear Singal,

I think many readers will identify with your problem. But before I answer your question, let me offer some annoying unsolicited advice: don’t give up on your friends right away. Friendship is about weathering life changes together. It’s normal for people–especially Quirkyalones or Quirkytogethers–to develop different goals and interests through life (would you want to be friends with them if they didn’t?). Consider yourself lucky that your friends are not taking up B.A.S.E. jumping (or something more terrifying, like scrapbooking). Some relationships can survive such shifts in interests, and others can’t. In any friendship, one person will sometimes tax the other’s patience–think of vacation slideshows. But when a friend really hurts or neglects you, try to decide what would be least stressful: abandoning the friendship, or taking action to fix it–whether through a frank talk with your friend, a simple apology, a monetary stimulus, interpretive dance, whatever. (more…)

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