Erin Spatz photo (copy)

Erin M. Spatz

I’ve decided to award myself with the worst friend-maker- ever award. This is not like the time I named myself an employee of the month, either. This one is real. Making new friends as an adult is hard. It involves three things that make me very nervous; people, new things and new people.

When you are a kid it’s literally your full-time job to make friends. Since it’s your whole focus, it’s not hard. It’s just about finding someone who likes the same snacks as you, and boom! Besties for life! As an adult, your full time job is actually, a job. Add in your home life, eating organic, taking your kids to all the things, having a date night, and making time for yourself. Where exactly do you fit in making and keeping up with new friends?

My older, already broken-in friends are used to my shenanigans. If they don’t hear from me for days, no one freaks out. They are so well broken in that we can exist solely on a text message friendship for at least the next 10 years. Is this ideal? Absolutely not! I want to see their faces, eat dinner with them, and enjoy a long, uninterrupted conversation with them. The amount of scheduling involved in making this happen feels like an Act of Congress. We all know how that’s going. How am I supposed to foster new friendships?

The thing is, that in order to not lose your ever-loving mind as a parent you need friends. Like, need them! As a parent, friends should be considered a basic need. Air, check. Water, check. Shelter, check. Friends for mental well-being, (insert crickets chirping noise here). Y’all it’s really important.

I, for one do not want anyone to lose my mind. So, what does one do in 2019 when you need help with something? You ask social media of course. Since I’m so terrible at this I knew I’d have no brilliant suggestions for making new friends. I asked my Instagram people for help. Before I launch into their suggestions on where to make new friends I going to lay some hard truth on you. Are you ready? Trying to make new friends is going to be weird. You are going to feel incredibly awkward. You are going to have to put yourself out there, be willing to get rejected. You are likely going to have to make the first move. It’s terrible, it feels awful and no one likes it. But if you want to find your people, you just need to do it. I promise finding your people will be worth all the weirdness.

Now, where do we find soon-to-be friends? I don’t how to break this to you so I’m just going to say it. They are everywhere. Your kids’ school event has great potential friends. Look around for the other bored parents. Start there. Church is another great place. Do you really love the communion wine? Take notice of another person enjoying it as well and you may have just found a friend. Kids’ sporting events are basically just a field of friends waiting to happen. Who else is just as excited as you to be up at dawn in the rain? That’s a special someone just for you! The reality is its not really the location and there aren’t any real tips for making friends. It’s all about effort. Which is sometimes asking a whole lot when you don’t have a whole lot left. It will be so worth it though. Just remember that for some people you will be too much. For others you will not be enough. The ones that find you just right, imperfections and all, those are your people. Find them and hold on tight.

Erin Spatz lives in Pawleys Island and is the author of the book, “Who Left Me In Charge.”