Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How My Friend Picker Got Broken

Oh, gosh, this is hard to write.  Linus and me, we have a lot in common.  I feel like I'm back in high school with this friendship quest.  I was not popular then.

This post is about my friendship flops, how I knew and when I knew my New Friend Picker was broken.  It all started when I took the easy road.  Well, no road in widowhood is easy, but you get what I mean.   This is what it looks like.  First, stick with who you know.  Second, go to so many groups your head is spinning.  After that, solo dining and traveling feels soothing.  Third, consume yourself with meeting a new partner. After all,  24/7/365 with one man is easier than herding cats, which is what making dates with girlfriends feels like.  Fourth, turn to sharing who you are through blogs, because that's where the wonderful women are.  

But that doesn't yield a girlfriend joking over pasta at that great new Italian restaurant.  So, here's the report on my friendship quest.  Time period: nine years.  Four new girlfriends total, one of whom has died.  The other three, well, here they are.  To protect the names of the innocent I'll call them Sally Sunshine, Suzie Starburst, and Queen Mary.  Anyone would say they are lively, confident and bright.  One never encounters a lull in the conversation.  So easy to be with.  They were all single and they had free time to go out to dinner. Still, I'd call them the low hanging fruit of friendship.  Why?  Because all they needed was an audience, and almost anyone would do.  They will, and they did suck the air out of a room whenever I tried to turn the conversation back to me.

Be relieved.  I am no longer friends with them.  For a while I confused being a wingman with being friends.  Oh, God. You know that sinking feeling we had in High School?  Or were you one of the popular girls? 

See why I needed to hire a Friendship Coach?  I am a nice, decent woman with lousy girlfriend picking skills.

I tell myself, we widows really do have an ace in the hole when it comes to making friends. We obviously had great husband picking skills.  If I had to choose between having a great husband and lousy girlfriends, or a lousy husband and great girlfriends, I'd pick the first.   That way, you have 24/7/365 covered.   My point is, these great skills can be transferred.

As my Friendship Coach says "Be in the room". To which I add "Be the one to break the ice."  I've been doing that more frequently.  Feels good.

Best wishes to you in your friendship quest, my online buddies.  I would so love to know what you've learned since you've been widowed.  It's not hard to do better than me!


  1. It seems every woman I have met in the last few years is an "interuppter", "all about me", "I'm not listening to you because I have something better to say," kind of person. Rude, Ruder and Rudest. I have no desire to find new friends. I have no desire to go to groups, meetings, or the Senior Center to find new friends. I like women I have known all my life--they are leaving on a regular basis, but the ones still left are good to get with---once a month. Quite enough for me. However, you are much younger than I am, so---keep looking!

    1. I really feel better hearing how common these women are. Some men I've dated have told me they're meeting the same kind of woman you speak of. And that I'm a welcome oasis. Seems like the cream isn't rising to the top in women; the spoilt milk is.

      Sounds like you are a gentle soul, too. Perhaps we have the 'too nice disease'! We're not greedy. A few really true blue friends is all we need and I'm happy you have enough. I have only one local true blue friend. Knowing there's a premium on our type will help me weed out the spotlight grabbers and welcome the listeners.

  2. I've always been a person who asks a lot of questions, then let the other person/people talk so I can't really blame them if they take over the conversations. I'm a born listener. But that doesn't get me anywhere in the making new friends department because they don't really get to know me. I've come to realize that my husband was my "press agent" of sorts. He'd be the person to tell people what I'd been doing, etc. and draw me more into conversations.

    We meet hundreds of people over our live times. We can't possibility mesh well with them all. And I don't think we can call those we try to mesh with but don't "failures" in the friendship department. It is what it is. We tried. It didn't work. Big deal. We go on to try again. I also think it's MUCH harder to relate to other women than it is to men----at least that is true for me.

    Best of luck with your life coach.

    1. I agree with Jean. I really enjoy being with and talking to men much better. Perhaps because they are discussing sports? I've always been this way.

    2. Ditto with both of you. It is much easier for me to relate to men than women. Perhaps because they don't talk as much?!? When meeting men as dates, it's always clear we're trying each other out, no hurt intended. Pick and choose is my motto there.

      I never thought of my husband as my press agent. He did make plenty of room for me to speak up, though, so he actually was. Now, at this point in time, I'm thinking of reorienting myself - start posting out loud - get the mouth moving around women more. Will have to forgo as much editing, though -

      My Life Coach is super; she's got a strong personality which she tells me she tempers. She must, because she genuinely listens and helps. Like you two :-)

    3. I don't talk sports, Judy, so that isn't true for me. But I can see that being true for you. For me, women's conversations center on topics that I can't relate to---children, grandchildren and church---although I say all the right things in the right places in response.

      Life coaching is an interesting, 'newish' occupation. You're the first person I've known to use one so this fascinating to read about.