I had never given it any thought: how to make friends. I had loads of friends in Holland. Thinking of it I made most of them through school; which is basically the easiest place to make friends. Think about it: you go to school with thousands of other students, all of your age, with kind of the same interests (even if it’s not studying, it’s probably partying ), so there’s bound to be one or two that you totally connect with and can call your friends.
Then I moved to Portugal, to be with the love of my life. And stupid and naive as I was, I thought my Dutch friendships would survive. We have internet, phone, Skype and whatever else, even old fashioned ‘real’ mail, so why shouldn’t we be able to keep the friendships alive? I couldn’t have been more wrong. At first there were emails, postcards and some phone calls, but soon that got less and less until there was nothing left. I’m not saying that I was on the phone with them the whole time, but I do think I put I little more effort in trying to maintain the friendship than the other party did. And that hurt me. I thought I was more important than just happen to be living in the same city. Making friends in Portugal was more difficult than I thought: I couldn’t go out much cause we had the boys and not a babysitter most of the time. And it wasn’t like I was still going to school there. Or knew a lot of other moms. We lived in a party town, were everybody was basically partying the whole time and more concerned about beer, vodka and tanning (or just surviving the next day with a hangover ) than play dates. I tried to make friends, but not being successful at it for a while had made me very insecure and I started doubting myself. Maybe it was me? Maybe the friends I had in Holland I only had BECAUSE we went to the same school so they didn’t really have a choice, but maybe they were glad to see me go, which also explains why they didn’t want to stay in contact with me when I finally left the country. Maybe they even celebrated. Or maybe not. I turned into an insecure girl, who didn’t know how to make small talk anymore, who always thought people didn’t like her and were only friendly to her to her face, but couldn’t wait for her to turn around and walk out of the room. So most of the time I was just sitting at home, with my boys, wishing for friends. And then we moved to Canada.
Turns out, it’s equally as hard to make friends here. Again: it is the situation, of course. I spend almost all my time with the boys, at home or at the playground, sometimes the library or other fun places, but I don’t really meet any other moms there. I don’t have the luxury of going out a lot, and if I do I swear, I’m trying to make friends. I always meet girls that are a blast to hang out with, I tell them we should hang out and they agree and give me their FB and phone number, I go home full of hopes and dreams of me and my ‘new best friend’. But then days, weeks and months go by without hearing from them, even after sending them a very fun and super ‘casual’ message on FB. Which makes me doubt myself again. Maybe it is me. Maybe people don’t like me. Maybe they pretend to like me but call their friends the next day and say ‘You won’t believe what happened to me yesterday! I was in the bar and met this weird chick and I tried to sneak away but she kept talking to me and thought we were best friends or something. I had to go home to get rid of her, and now she keeps sending me these messages on FB.’ Okay, that probably never happened, but still: why don’t I have any friends here? Or in Portugal? Or in Holland? If it’s three countries where the same thing happens, it must be me, right? But I don’t know what I’m doing wrong for people to not like me, so I don’t know what and how to chance.
It’s hard though. Cause without friends you don’t really have anyone to talk to. To bitch to about life, your relationship or whatever else. Without friends there is -for me anyway- no ‘proof’ that you are likable, that you are funny and cool to hang out with. I know, I know, it’s not my friends, it’s me that is horribly insecure and just a sad basket case. It sucks though. I wish I had friends. I wish I was confident.