I felt sorry for myself that I moved into a neighborhood with several families that I knew, expecting to become best buddies with all the women, and not seeing it happen instantaneously like I hoped it would.
I just felt kind of alone, and unwanted, like I wasn’t good enough for anyone to want me as a good friend.
I have always been kind of shy of meeting new people, and I feel very uncomfortable in large group settings where I have to be social. That is one of the reasons I longed for a best friend so that if I were in a social setting, I could just spend time with her and not worry about anyone else. No awkward situations required.
I actually did have someone I considered a best friend several years ago, before I remarried. She and I would hang out at all the church Young Single Adult activities, go to the dances together, go shopping together, go out to eat together, talk on the phone late at night, talk about boys and look at engagement rings for fun – you know, normal best friend stuff.
I was heartbroken when she moved away and decided not to remain my friend. I have never known why, and have reached out several times to try to reconcile. Nothing worked, but ever since that awesome friendship, I had hoped to find another such best friend.
That is understandable, right? One day, when I was really down about it, I posted this on Facebook:
October 19, 2012
Does anyone else wish they had a best friend? I feel like I haven’t had one of those in years. It’s not for lack of trying because I try really hard to genuinely be kind to everyone and help everyone, not to mention get to know people whenever I can by inviting them over. I never seem to get past the friendly acquaintance or friends when we have time stage. What I need more than anything is someone I can call any time I want to talk (and it can be about anything), or want to hang out, and it will be welcomed with enthusiasm and joy. I want someone to see me that way too. We would actually do the things we say we want to do together (make an actual plan) – we wouldn’t dream of letting it slide. Forgive the self-pity. I’m just really feeling it today. I hope I am the only one that feels this way, because it really stinks. If you are in the same boat at me, just know I am happy to be your friend.
When I posted this, nearly 20 women responded to me saying they knew how I felt, because they were there, or had been there, too. It touched me, and saddened me at the same time, that so many women were feeling like me.
After I saw that I wasn’t the only one, that gave me strength, and I started to pray for help to make friends, and to be a better friend myself.
I don’t know how those lovely women are feeling now, but I want to make an update to my feelings from almost 2 1/2 years ago.
My problems aren’t over. I am still so uncomfortable in large social settings. I still don’t have someone I can call my best friend. However, I have been blessed as the Lord has answered my prayers and brought understanding to my tender heart. Here are some of the things that I have learned:
1. Though having a best friend is a really beautiful thing, I personally cannot grow as well as a person if I cling on to one best friend. Because I am sometimes socially awkward, I need to be stretched and pulled out of my comfort zone.
2. As adults, especially with spouses and kids, we are really busy. We are pulled in so many directions, and our priorities are different than they were when we were younger. However, it is possible to care deeply about someone even if we don’t have time to talk on the phone or spend time together on a regular basis.
3. It is a good thing to befriend as many people as you can, and touch as many lives as possible. I have felt so blessed to be given the desire to have different people in my home for dinner, play dates, and girls nights. I have come to know so many wonderful women this way. I can call all of them my friends, and I hope they know that I am there for them when they need me.
4. You can have special friends of all ages, races, religions, political affiliations, cultures, and personalities. As long as we respect one another, our differences make us uniquely able to build each other up.
5. I have a husband, and he can fulfill most of the criteria for a best friend. In the areas he can’t, I have my other friends.
6. Your parents, siblings, in-laws, and children can be some of your closest friends because they know you the best and need you the most.Make them a top priority.
7. I have, just like each of you have, special gifts that I can share with others to help their days be a little brighter. I don’t have to be called someone’s best friend to be admired, appreciated, and loved. If I do my part to bring joy to others, they will call me friend.
8. People are put into your life for a reason. Instead of feeling sorry for myself that I don’t have a best friend, I should feel honored that God loves me enough to put special people in my path, and trusts me enough to put me in theirs. I may not be close friends with everyone I meet, but we have something we can give to each other.
9. It is much more fun to have many women to call my friend. There doesn’t have to be special rules around what makes a friend. If you welcome me into your home, you are my friend. If you exercise, bake, go to movies, chill with me, you are my friend. If you love my kids, you are my friend. If you listen to me and give me advice, you are my friend. If you give me a smile and a hug, you are my friend. If you laugh with me and cry with me, you are my friend. If you help motivate me to be a better person, you are my friend. If you appreciate my gifts and talents, and help me feel good about myself, you are my friend. If you share your love of God with me, you are my friend. If you do any of these things, you are my friend.
10. Whenever I feel sad or alone, I always have Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father as my true friends who love me, are there for me, and want what is best for me.
To all of you reading this, you are my friend. Thank you for your support.