real life

How the hell do you make friends as an adult?

People of the world with more advanced social skills than me: I need your help.

I’m 28 years old, and I have no freaking clue how to make friends.

Now, considering I recently decided not to look for a new housemate because I like drinking wine in my underwear too much (I am literally paying double rent just so I can sit at home alone and avoid putting on pants), I fully accept that it’s my fault that I lack friend-making skills. I’m not the type of social butterfly who thrives in social situations. I’m definitely a homebody, definitely introverted and definitely very, very shy.

Read more: I am an Anti-Cool Girl

I’ve accepted those things about myself, and because of that, I’ve spent my entire adult life trying to trick the friend-making system. When you’re a kid, making friends is easy – you see another kid and that kid is automatically your friend because they just are.

I DON’T GET IT.

But as an adult, things get a whole lot more complicated, and I’ve managed to bypass those complications by only being friends with people who fall into my lap: People I studied with, people I work with, and, well, that’s it. My adult friend-making strategy has so far involved only people I’ve been forced to spend extended periods of time with, and if we happen to end up friends, great. If not, I’m happy to go home and watch TV in my knickers by myself. (And if I’m feeling really fancy, I might even put the pizza I order on a plate instead of just eating it out of the box while standing at the kitchen bench.)

This strategy has mostly served me well (there are, surprisingly, a couple of people in my life who put up with me and whom I’m willing to put on pants for). And while I’m sure that being this socially inept has meant I’ve missed out on some excellent friendships along the way, again: there’s always TV.

But.

My one true love.

I recently met a person. A person with whom I’d like to be friends, and now I’m cursing myself for not knowing what the hell to do. Why did I spend my time after school watching Round The Twist instead of learning how to socialise?!?

I met her while doing a media thing outside of work, which was my first major hurdle. How the hell do you pursue a friendship with someone if you don’t see them all the time? We didn’t study together and we don’t work together, so there’s no opportunity for me to sneak my way into a friendship by just being around her all day. And since that’s been my only friend-making strategy for my entire adult life, I’m officially all out of ideas. Do you literally just have to say to a person, “Hey. Um, wanna be my friend?” Is that what proper grown-ups do?

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Read More: I’m 28 years old, and last week I went on my very first date.

Here’s the situation: I’m pretty sure she wants to be my friend too. After we finished our media thing, she asked if I wanted to get dinner. Normally, that’s where I’d bail and say I need to spend the night trying to force my cat to hug me write an article, but this girl is really cool and funny and I liked her enough that I was willing to socialise, so we had dinner.

We followed each other on Twitter, and she sent me a private message that said “It’s happening” with her phone number. How smooth is that? She basically initiated a friendship in the coolest possible way. I felt way out of my league, but I decided to try and return some smooth moves. So, I moved things up a notch, and sent her a text that said, “It’s happened.”

I was trying to look cool. Cool, like, “I’m defintiely not very excited about the prospect of being your friend. Just sending this txt like whatevs. NO BIGGIE.” But then she didn’t reply, and I PANICKED. Here is my self-destruction:

Yeah. I tried to be cool and I blew it, as is my life’s curse. But, I think things ended okay and now I don’t know what to do.

So help me, socially gifted friends! I’m frightened! Do I just ask her to dinner? Is that how this works? How do adults do this stuff?

How do I make the next move? HOW?

Like Rosie Waterland on Facebook right here. (She quite obviously needs the friendship boost.)

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