make new friends but keep the old

I was reading this post on Melissa’s blog, and I had read the article she references previously.

I do wonder about friendships. I’ve posted about this before, numerous times. I have never been good at making friends. Acquaintances, yes, but friends, not as much. Still, I wonder if this is because my expectation of friendship is wrong. I consider a friend someone who could cook you dinner if you had surgery, someone who would come over and cry with you when you find out about an illness in the family, someone who calls you on your birthday.

Because, that’s what I would do.

I have a couple almost friends, people who have reached out, invited me close. I still feel a distance, I don’t feel as comfortable as I would like to. I want to be better friends, but I’m not sure how to get there.

I think I make my own conclusions about it. I feel I’m missing that commonality with these women because they all have children. I am not a mom; they are. It’s an invisible line that I’ve drawn all by myself, but it’s there, for me.

Many of my friends back home were “our” friends, and many were made through the infertility group I led. Most of them drifted away as they became parents. This was the first time I really felt that distinction between parents and childless. I had friends previously, but as my path towards children became more difficult, they moved on to birthday parties and school activities. It was natural that we were no longer running in the same circle.

I’m glad I have these almost friends, but I wish I had a friend who really understood. I am afraid to reach out to women in those infertility circles, for I’m no longer in that boat. I’m nervous around moms because I’m still grieving the loss of my own motherhood.

I know I make myself feel left out. I’m a loner, and have often preferred my own company to a large crowd. Still, I crave companionship from these women, though I’m not sure how to carry it out. I don’t know how to find a best friend, D is the only one I’ve ever had. I envy the women I know, including my sister, with these groups of female friends they can socialize and commiserate with without feeling awkward.

3 thoughts on “make new friends but keep the old

  1. Girlfriends were never easy for me, either. Female friends are important to me, though, and since I’ve lowered my expectations, I’ve discovered them in the oddest places. I don’t need a best friend necessarily. You’re my friend if we share similar interests, if you have opinions and an open mind, and if you laugh at some of my wisecracks.

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  2. That is the definition I have for friendship too. Also to celebrate with you when there is something to celebrate. I’ve been told that my friendship standards are too high. But I care about people a lot, and I want them to care back.

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  3. When Susan finally conceived after sharing the mutual bond of infertility with a co-worker, she knew her friend would feel isolated. Finally she sent a note that said, “I’ve written this to you three times. I keep tearing it up because it’s too hard to say. The fact is, infertility is just plain hard. I want you to know I had a positive pregnancy test this week. Call me when you feel like it. Believe me, I’ll understand.” Her friend ran for the phone.

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