Not to sound all ooh this search is bigger than just me but… I think this search has gotten bigger than just me.
Here’s what I mean. I started this shindig in order to make new friends. I was short a few pals, so I started reaching out to friends of friends, long-lost acquaintances, pretty much anyone who would have me. Eventually I met enough people that I decided the only way to maintain any semblance of consistency with any of them would be to form some sort of group. That way I could see a bunch of pals at once. Enter cooking club. Or any number of instances in which I have introduced my new friends.
As time passed, those friends I introduced became friends with each other. Some of them started making plans completely independent of me, doing their own things, just the two of them. Holding hands on the path to BFFdom. Which means that my decision to go on a BFF search has not only afforded me friends, but it has reached one step further, creating third party friendships.
I don’t do much sitting around thinking about the far-reaching consequences of my random decisions. But today, as I was going for a walk after work (sunshine! thank you!) and thinking about how a few ladies in my cooking club went on a group trip to Bridesmaids last week, or how two of them spent their Memorial Day at a Cubs game, I must admit I got a little self-congratulatory. To think that one day I was driving home from work, internally pep-talking myself into going public with this search (I was so embarrassed!), and because of that car ride two girls who probably never would have met are now close friends?
It’s kind of trippy.
6 responses to “Friendship Dominos”
I love how excited you are about this! Me…I’m the total opposite. I probably would be freaking out. I try not to introduce my friends because if they hit it off, then what about me? (please don’t judge me! lol) So it’s really rare if my friends from college meet my work friends or friends from grad school. I really like my lil’ worlds that I’ve created to be separate. Different groups bring out different parts of my personality. For instance, my college friends allow me to reminisce about the good old days in school and crazy crushes that existed plus it’s so much more relaxed. With my grad friends, the topics of conversation are more on the lines of politics and career tracks. Is it weird to want to keep them separated? I don’t recall if you brought this up before in your blog, but there is a Seinfeld episode where George goes berserk because his girlfriend was invited to hang out with the group. Do you remember that episode? If not, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPG3YMcSvzo
Anyway, I say all that to say that mixing friends is something that doesn’t come naturally to me. I had a housewarming last year and I begrudgingly invited mixed groups. It turned out to be ok, but when I overheard my friends making plans with each other…ugh!!! I don’t know how you do it. I think FOMO (fear of missing out) is so much greater to happen when you introduce the people. I do get that I don’t share EVERY interest of my friends and that they may even have more in common with friends in other groups, but I just can’t bring myself to bring them all together. I think of it as this: What if I call S to go to brunch, but when she answers she’s currently with R vintage shopping? That would really get under my skin. It’s not the fact that S is not available, it’s the fact that she’s not available because she’s with R whom I introduced to her! Ugh!! I just feel like it would be some sort of friend poaching. You couldn’t get other friends, so now you’re stealing mine? That’s what I think.
A couple of my friends have brought the issue up to me. They’re all like: “What are you, six?” or “You know you’re being incredibly selfish when you don’t mix your friends, right?” My defense…I just don’t mix friends. How do you NOT get upset when 2 people you introduce that are your BFF potentials become BFFs? Really…I would like to know. Now that I’m getting older, I do see the advantages of mixing friends; however, I feel stuck in my ways. Rachel or anyone really…any suggestions on how to smoothly mix friends?
Tonya, I think your feelings are totally understandable and we’ve all been there. In fact, I’ve blogged about it! Here’s that post:
And the fact that this ecard exists says you are note alone:
And yes, I do feel that momentary pang of “oh, you didn’t invite me” when I hear that two friends who I introduced hung out without me. For sure. But these days that pang is quite brief. For a few reasons:
1) I’ve been really busy lately, so I know I haven’t been as available as usual. I can’t fault my friends for going out without me when I know I wasn’t around in the first place. (For example, two friends went out during a weekend I was out of town…)
2) Because this search and this blog is about making friends, I get a special satisfaction at the thought that my search has helped other people in anway. So the idea that I could have introduced them, thus helping other people who were feeling locally friendless, makes me feel pretty great.
3) I have made a lot of new friends this year. So I’m lucky in that I don’t feel like if these two become best friends I’m SOL. If I had fewer local pals, I might be less excited about this.
My advice for mixing friends, I guess, is simply that in the end it will benefit you. Creating a “group” just increases your support system and will make it easier for you to see all your friends more often, since you can see them together instead of having to do one-on-one meetings.
I love it when friends I love meet other friends I love. I couldn’t wait for my Colorado friends to meet my best friend from home. I knew they’d love each other and I was right. And then when my sister-in-law met my Colorado friends, it was instant liking again. In fact, my sister-in-law would like my friends to move to Illinois. 🙂
Tonya, I totally understand not liking the feeling of being left out. I’ve had friends who’ve met through me and become friends on their own and then go and do things without me. But, sometimes I only call one of them because I know that third friend hates antiquing or hiking. Maybe I’ll call that third person when I want to go outlet shopping because the second one loathes shopping with all her being. I’m not leaving them out on purpose (and even invite them along in case they’d rather tolerate the activity just to have some friend time) and so assume they don’t leave me out of things on purpose as well.
Once again (or as usual), I can totally relate to your thoughts, Rachel (and Tonya and Virginia). Sharing/spreading friendship is a wonderful feeling, but can get complicated too. I have a few friends who wouldn’t be friends if it weren’t for me. We all feel so fortunate. I do think that it makes sense that your friends like each other! Yet, I do understand Tonya’s apprehension and have sometimes felt a pang of jealousy if they get together without me. In fact, they have formed another friend group without including me. And, it’s really okay–the group might formed appropriately, due to their common-aged children. At times I might have even felt some relief–“Oh good, they can get together to do that and I get a night off!” If they were to start to not include me in an obvious and carefree way, I hope I’d see that they are not meant to be my bf’s.
In general, “the more, the merrier.” And, in the end I think it all works out.
I have 2 friends from grade school that didn’t know each other back then. One I’ve been friends with all along over the years and the other I lost touch with after high school but we reconnected on Facebook. 2 years ago when I was planning the seating for my daughter’s bat mitzvah I put them at the same table because I thought they would get along well. They are both divorced. Little did I know how well they’d hit it off. They have spend almost every weekend the last 2 years out partying at the bar scene cruising for men. Now this is not my scene at all. I’m married 27 years and although I enjoy going to bars occasionally, like to watch games with friends or outings after work, it’s just an occasional thing for me and never my 1st choice of an outing! Well, these 2 have gotten really tight and I’m basically out of the picture. I know I’ll be friends with the one I’ve been friends with all along forever but it’s not the same and at first I did feel that twinge. Now I have accepted the situation for what it is and it doesn’t bother me all that much unless I really start to think about it, like while typing this.
Thanks everyone for sharing! I do not have a huge local friendship circle, especially that of single women. Thus, I know I can get a bit territorial. I know I shouldn’t, but in the back of my head it’s still there. Since reading this blog and seeing other friends maintian group friendships, I figured I should give it a try. However, I’m mad cautious. Yes it’s great that everything seems smooth sailing. But what happens when there is a falling out with 2 friends within the group? I know from prior experience that this can be sooooo awkward. Freshman year I linked up w/ this guy and it lasted perhaps a few weeks? However, he infiltrated my frienship circle and I had to see him with my friends ALL the time. Not to mention see close acquaintances try to hook up with him occasionally. I know it should be different when guys are involved, but I think friendships are a bit more intimate. I’ll give it a test run and see how it works. Maybe I’ll try with acquaintances first or does that seem too ginuea pig-ish? lol If two friends I introduce get along better without me, then I’ll just have to deal and think of myself as giving an assist their new friendship.