But really, how *do* you make friends in a new city?
January 21, 2012 11:00 PM Subscribe
No, but really, how do you make friends after college?
posted by dekathelon to human relations (122 answers total) 152 users marked this as a favorite
Today was supposed to be my birthday party, except that nobody came. This was devastating but not surprising, because I knew nobody would. Why should they? I have people who say they're my friends but to whom I don't matter enough for them to talk to me more than rarely or invite me out at all. I have acquaintances, to whom I don't matter at all. I've lost touch with almost everyone from college, a fact that's upset nobody who went to college with me; when I hosted some college friends at my apartment a while back, they didn't even invite me to their dinner reservations. I have one close friend left, and he lives several state away. Meanwhile, the only other person I talk to regularly is an ex-boyfriend, whom I'm friends with because nobody else bothers to talk to me, but he always ends up saying things that hurt me and then going to sleep, leaving me to be even more upset than I was when he started talking to me. As should be fairly obvious, this happened tonight as well.
The problem is, you're not allowed to not have friends. You're not allowed to spend most nights alone unless it's by choice; you're not allowed to spend your Saturday nights watching Netflix unless people can see you say that and know that there were at least three parties you turned down or that you could have called up twenty contacts in your phone. So I lie. I have nothing in common with my roommates (Craigslist); I just pay them rent and lie to them about imaginary parties I might go to when they ask why I'm not going out on weekends. Enough of these lies and they might not ask me to be their roommate anymore, but I can't afford a studio. I spend so much time hinting at the social life I don't have, and I'm sure it's completely transparent to people, but more to the point, it's killing me.
If you read all that, I'm sorry, so here's the point: how do you make friends in a new city after college? It's a major city, if that changes things, but still: nothing is working. Meeting people isn't the problem, it's having meeting people matter. I meet lots of colleagues through work, but they never want more to do with me than acquaintances or friends-in-name-only. I'm involved in some groups, but I get the distinct impression that people wish I wouldn't go to their events, and I certainly wouldn't call the people there friends. I've tried going to events by myself, but it is expensive, embarrassing and has never even resulted in a conversation, let alone a friendship. I've tried going to website meetups, but they are either meetups in name only, attended only by the staff and their close friends even though the link's posted publicly, so I feel like I'm crashing a party, or they're places where I meet a lot of people for an hour or so and never see anyone else again.
Oh, and caveat: Please don't mention meetup.com. I was at a UCB show not too long ago that had an extended segment making fun of people who used the site, and the entire (packed) room found it quite hilarious. I don't want to be one of those people. Plus, the only meetups for my area - seriously, I just went on the site and checked - are for moms, addiction support groups, new-age bullshit, fitness fads or wannabe tech-scene meetups (as opposed to the real ones, which as I understand it happen organically and elsewhere). The entire site is depressing. I feel like a lot of people who recommend it have never actually used it.
Thanks again. I'm sorry I ask so many idiotic questions like these. I'd ask friends if I had them.