Dear Head Pro,
I moved away from my hometown almost four years ago to a new city. I haven’t been able to make any friends here. At first, I thought the best place to meet girlfriends was at the bar, and that never really led to anything. I have (half—assed) tried to make friends in college and at work but nothing really lasts. I think its a combination of shyness and a feeling like I haven’t found anyone that I really connect with. Any advice on where to go to make girlfriends and also how to make the friendships blossom?
God, making friends as a post-grad adult is the worst fucking thing. It’s at LEAST as hard as dating, because it’s basically the same thing only without the motivation of having someone maybe touch your no-no zones. You’re not gonna wanna hear this, but unfortunately you’re going to have to put in work to find some decent friends, and even then they’ll only be a poor facsimile of the handful of actual, close friends you’ve made in life. People think that it’s the big memories and OMG moments that make a friendship, and that’s true to an extent. But I don’t think anyone realizes that its as much (or more) about the thousands of hours you spent with them doing absolutely nothing. That’s when you’re really intimate with someone—when you can sit, silently watching TV and the sound of their voice doesn’t immediately make you want to kill them.
The standard advice here is to join some kind of dipshit adult rec sports league (softball, kickball, fucking bocce ball, etc.), and that’s because it works—coalescing around one single, uncomplicated thing exposes you to all sorts of people, some of whom you might get along with. You don’t have to be athletic to do any of these things, because very few people are actually there for the LOVE OF THE GAME (note: I am one of these people. I’ll slide into you spikes up, don’t even test me). Most people are just there to get drunk and enjoy the weather, and just like you they probably want to branch out at least a little bit.
Other than that, you’re going to have to get extremely online with it. That sounds nerdy as fuck, but then again you’re already writing into an anonymous internet person to ask about something 5-year-olds do with ease. MeetUp.com is lame, yes, but they seem like they do a phenomenal job of organizing events and activities that appeal to every interest under the sun. You’re shy and that’s not helpful, but the thing you have going for you is that literally everyone else is in the same boat—they’re all there explicitly to meet someone, and if they were gregarious social butterflies, they wouldn’t need a website to help them, would they? In the same vein, you can sign up for classes and activities via Groupon, LivingSocial, et al. if you want a more casual vibe.
As for making a friendship blossom, I assumed women did that by having a steamy, pseudo-sexual (no penetration) encounter after a night of too much wine and complaining about boys. My understanding of female friendships is not the sharpest.
Dear Head Pro,
I met this guy on Hinge and we get along really well—we text a lot throughout the day and in person we crack each other up. And he’s extremely hot. And has told me that he really likes me (the feeling is/was mutual).
Here’s my problem: he lives in Jersey (why do I do this to myself?) and so far I’ve only seen him once a week for the past like, month or so. Honestly, I’m at a point where I either want things to ramp up or I’m over it. I’m just tired of all the texting back-and-forth and putting mental energy into playing that game when I don’t see him all that much, and when I do our conversations are a little surface level, even if the rapport is good, and I have no idea what he wants out of this. So my questions are:
1. WTF do I do? I recognize that it’s pretty fucking insane to be like “what are we/where do you see this going” after a little over a month of hanging out because I don’t live in an episode of The Bachelor. And I don’t really want to take that route unless that’s objectively the move.
2. Should I just nope out now? I’m suspecting/worried he’s kinda giving me the fade… his texts are getting further apart although he does respond to each one. Then again it was just the holidays and we’re all back at work and shit so there’s a chance I’m being insane. I’m a pretty passive(-aggressive) person and will usually err on the side of inaction to prove a point whenever I start to question things… should I just assume he’s over it too and ghost accordingly?
I feel like there are two types of women in the world: ones who are completely batshit but think they’re normal, and those who second-guess themselves into thinking they’re batshit. You’re the latter, which is I guess better than the former (though I imagine trying to pick a restaurant with you is its own fresh hell). But I feel this. Most of the time people write in with apocalyptic dating disasters, but this is more realistic—how do you handle a thing that’s for the most part pretty good, but like not as good as you’d like it to be? Most people are naturally risk-averse, and prefer to have that sure thing in-hand before letting go of even a shitty thing, to say nothing of a decent thing. If I’m on a road trip, I’m not gonna pass-up a McDonald’s because I think there MIGHT be a Chick-Fil-A further down the road. You’d probably be like “that’s ok with me I guess, I don’t mind either way, whatever we do is fine,” and I’d kick you out of the car at highway speeds.
Anyway, these are not two separate options; they’re a natural progression. If things are stagnating and you’re considering breaking things off, what do you have to lose by asking where it’s going? We’re in that shitty post-holiday slump where everyone’s catching up on work, so there’s always a chance he could be otherwise engaged. I know SOP here (and everywhere, really) is to let the man take the lead on furthering the relationship, but I don’t see how that benefits you in this instance. It’s not a crazy thing to ask about after a month! People have been proposed to in far less time, and I should know because that’s how I close out every 3rd date I go on (this does not work well for me).
The worst he says is some version of “I dunno, I’m not really looking for anything serious.” In that case, you say “I respect that, but I kind of am so I think it’s best we bring whatever this is to an end.” That’s it! And in the (less likely, tbh) event that he reaffirms how much he likes you and enjoys your company, you would then express your concerns and see if you can’t come up with a solution (matching with girls in NY when you live in Jersey should earn you a spot on the sex offender registry). I know it sounds crazy, but putting, like, actual work and effort into a relationship is a thing I promise you people have done and continue to do to great effect.