Sued51's Blog

{August 3, 2013}   Different Kinds of Friends


My “hangout” friends from my twenties

I’m a very fortunate person. Many people in my life have been there for more than 20 years…some for 50! I love my friends and always look forward to seeing them. Here’s my dilemma: my friends have very full lives. They have great, responsible jobs and families and interesting hobbies; that’s what makes them interesting people to be around. The flip side is that I have to make plans to see them weeks in advance. There is also the distance factor; many of them live more than one-half hour away; some more than an hour (when we make plans we meet somewhere in between).

I really don’t have any “proximate” friends, especially now that I have moved. Nobody to just spontaneously say, “Hey…you want to go get a cup of coffee?” This has been the case for most of my grown-up life. So I have learned to go for walks alone, go shopping alone. I certainly don’t want to let it keep me housebound. But here’s the chicken-or-the-egg aspect: Do people not invite me to do things because they think I am self-sufficient? That I WANT to be alone? Did I create this persona? Sometimes I wonder if I didn’t cause this in some way (certainly it is too painful to think that nobody wants to be around me…I try NOT to go there).

I have to admit, it bothers me that I don’t have any “hangout” friends anymore, like I had in my twenties. We were single and went out to clubs every weekend…until the boyfriends came into the picture and “grown-up” life took over.

But it isn’t necessarily an age thing. My brother and sister-in-law are middle-aged and they have “hangout” friends; people they see just about every weekend. There’s no need to make plans; it is just assumed they are going to see each other. One of the people I would call one of my closest friends (the closest thing I have to a sister) has “hangout” friends, who happen to be family; they are her cousins. Every weekend they are at her house. If I were to call, she would invite me over too, but I’m not part of the “group.”

I know I’m not alone in this. I remember an episode of the 1990’s TV show, “Wings.” The couple in the show wanted to find another couple to do things with: they were looking for “hangout” friends. They met a couple they thought could fit the bill. They did a few things together, but then all of a sudden the other couple started making excuses, and they wondered what happened. It came out that their new friends felt they were too “desperate” and “clingy” and didn’t want to be around them.

So what’s the answer? If you are self-sufficient and try to enjoy your own company, people don’t think you want to see them or don’t need them. Yet you don’t want to have people invite you to do things out of pity or duty.

Just wondering…how many of you out there have “hangout” friends, and how did you meet them?

It is a conundrum, isn’t it? There’s probably a lot that goes into the scenerio, not the least being that if you move you have to befriend people who already have established hang-out friends and we can all only do so much. Have faced this unsuccessfully myself and so it’s mostly me and my shadow. LOL!


sued51 says:

Thanks so much for your comment, Jamie. I think as writers and readers we are more solitary by nature (we enjoy solitary pursuits), but we don’t want to be alone all the time!! 🙂


Peter S says:

Good for you, for keeping up with your friends! It seems as though the older I get the fewer friends I have. My wife and I are close with another couple, who I met through work about 12 years ago. Though it can be hard to maintain contact since we both have young kids and every weekend seems to get scheduled with some kind of kid related thing. One time we kept having to reschedule a get together with them so often that it ended up being three months later before we ended up seeing them.


sued51 says:

Thanks for commenting, Peter. It is hard when the kids are little. At least you kept trying until you made it happen! My grammar school friends and I used to get together a few times a year for “games night” (with spouses). Their kids are grown up now…It so happens I am going hiking with my friend’s daughter tomorrow!


frizztext says:

hangout with your blog-contacts!


sued51 says:

LOL, Frizz! Actually, I have a plan for another post on just such a subject…:-)


Jo Bryant says:

It is hard. As I get older I find that I don’t make ‘friends’ as easily. Acquaintances yes…but friends are much fewer. Of course being single is also a bit of a disadvantage when so many around are couples and at this age their kids are gone so they hang out together a lot. But I think you have to make the effort to go hangout. Through a blogging friend I met I have started talking to people more. I wander a lot on my own…these days when I spot someone I start a dialogue…who knows…enough dialogue and one day they too might be considered a ‘hangout’ friend.


sued51 says:

Jo, thanks for visiting and commenting. I’m torn because I like to go out on my own to take photos, etc. but…I guess we have to use whatever resources we have (sometimes that is bloggers!) to find new kindred spirits…


[…] was telling my mother (currently my best friend) about my last post on different kinds of friends. My mother said, “Well I can’t read it because I don’t have a computer.” […]


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