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I'm a 36-year-old grown woman and I have no long-term friendships. There, I said it.

I’ll be there for you…maybe.

I have over 300 Facebook friends, but when it comes down to it, I don’t have a friend who I could call and say, “I’ve had the worst day. Can you come over to my place in five minutes, with a bottle of red wine and a litre of chocolate icecream?”

Not having close friends has started to really get me down. I’ve tried to make new friends, but I’m struggling more than I’d like to admit. People find this hard to believe, as I’m friendly and bubbly. But it’s true. I don’t have any friends.

If you’d attended my 21st birthday party, you wouldn’t believe that I would be in this friendless situation, 15 years later. The boozy party that my parents threw for me at the local pub was attended by over 70 friends. My pals gave impromptu speeches about how much they loved me. I’m not in contact with anyone who made a speech, these days – not even on Facebook.

Related: How to say ‘no’ to your friends and not feel guilty about it.  

I’m not boasting, but I was popular in high school and made plenty of mates at uni. I guess it was easy to make friends when I was seeing the same people everyday, and when we had so much in common – a love of partying, and we were all studying the same thing.

But now we’re all grown up, and things are different. (Post continues after gallery.)

Out of my high school friendship group, I was the only one who went to uni. The others got jobs straight away, or went to TAFE. They didn’t understand that I couldn’t catch up with them when I had exams.

When I moved out of my childhood suburb and started spending more time in the city, we fell out of touch. I saw them at a wedding last month, and we said hi, but we didn’t make plans to catch up.

My friends at uni were the ones I could relate to the most, probably because we were studying the same thing and had that in common.  But when uni was over, we all moved out of our sharehouses and to different parts of Australia, or even overseas. The uni friend who lives closest to me is a 45 minute drive away.

Related: “I’m an adult man and I found out I had worms.”  

As I’ve grown older, life has taken me in so many different directions. I was making new friendships easily, but I couldn’t maintain a stable group of friends.

Do you think "The OC" characters stayed friends, decades after they finished high school? (We know Marissa didn't...)

There was that gap year I spent travelling through America and helping at a summer camp. I waitressed at different cafes for a few years. I worked in a city office. Then I went to TAFE and studied again. I’ve lived and worked in so many different places that no-one knows where to find me any more.

Each time I’ve left a job or place, people ask me to keep in touch, but something stops me from going back and saying hello. I feel like deep down, they don’t really want to stay friends with me – they’re just saying it.

And finally, when I had my baby and then fell pregnant soon after again, I thought I’d be in a place where friendships were easy. Everyone makes friends at mothers’ groups and playgroups, right? Well, everyone except for me. (Post continues after gallery.)

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I just couldn’t seem to meet any mums (or dads) who I connected with. I made a few tentative friendships, but as soon as my business picked up (I sell hand-made items on Etsy), they didn’t understand that I had to focus on my work and that I couldn’t have playdates that week.

Related: 5 things every pregnant woman needs to know about exercise.  

When I did have time to catch up, these mums turned the cold shoulder. I had hurt their feelings, without meaning to.

Maybe it's easier for dads to make friends. (From "What to Expect When You're Expecting" movie)

I did have one very close friend – she was almost a best friend – who would talk to me on the phone almost everyday. We caught up all the time, and even went on double dates with our partners.

But when I confronted her about a serious health problem – her alcoholism – it was as though we had “broken up”. She did go to rehab, and she did apologise to me when she got out.

We tried to rekindle our friendship after that, but it was never the same.

Related: “Confession: I have a lover. And my husband approves.”

Now that both of my kids are in school, and I’m trying to get back into the workforce, my lack of friends is bothering me. Everyone needs a friend to talk to, or go to the movies with, or even just text.

My dream would be to have a core group of friends who I could catch up with... just like in the TV show, Friends, I guess. Hanging out once a week would be great, but each month would be nice too. Heck, even one close friend would be nice.

I'm worried that I'm setting a bad example for my children. I don't want them to be social outcasts. Does any mother want that? I imagined that they would grow up surrounded by my friends and their kids, but our home is so quiet.

"But when I confronted her about a serious health problem – her alcoholism – it was as though we had 'broken up'."

I’ve talked to my partner about this, and he’s supportive, but he doesn’t understand. He makes friends easily and has had the same best friend since kindergarten – and they’re still best mates at the age of 40. His work and background is completely different to mine – he’s an investment banker – and I don’t seem to have anything in common with his friends or their partners.

How do you make friends when you’re a grown woman? The mums and dads at the school gate are often too busy to chat. I’ve even started to research local groups and clubs, but that feels strange. Should I put an ad on Gumtree? I’m stumped. I don’t want to be friendless forever, but I also don’t know how to fix this. Maybe I’m just too old to make new friends.

Related: Alcohol makes you friendlier, but only to certain people.  

Do you have any advice on how to make friends as an adult? Have you experienced a similar problem, yet managed to make friends? Tell our anonymous writer your thoughts in our comments section.

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