I’ve always been kind of terrible at making friends. Like, actual friends. When put in a classroom or work environment, I’m usually quick to befriend my peers, but not in an “I can hang out with this person on my time off” sort of way. It wasn’t until I moved to California from New York 2 years ago – leaving behind all my established friendships with people I could hang out with – that I realized how difficult it is to make friends. And being an introvert doesn’t help at all, since large amounts of in-person social interaction usually give me a mild headache (no matter how much fun I’m having) and I always need a day or two to recuperate. Top it all off with just being terrible at making plans, and I’m usually left sitting at home in my downtime, wondering why I never have anyone to hang out with.
I have made a few attempts to make friends and hang out with people since I’ve been out here, but making and maintaining friendships actually requires effort, and the results have been discouraging. A girl I was friends with in high school lives near me, and we’ve been saying for months that we’re going to get together for lunch, but it hasn’t actually happened yet. I met a girl through reddit who lives on the other side of Los Angeles from me, and we had lunch once, but I haven’t been able to hang out with her since. I thought we had a lot in common and she seemed like awesome friend material, but something always comes up on her end when we make plans, and sometimes I wonder if she was just trying to be nice about not hanging out with me. I’ve since stopped making an effort to make plans with her, and she hasn’t made any effort. Kyle made friends with a couple through a chat he joined, and we hung out with them the other day, and that was a whole other level of maybe-I’m-just-not-cut-out-for-real-life-friendships. They were both very nice people, but the girl’s extrovertedness was way too intense for me, to the point that only a few hours gave me my signature headache and I ended up with an IBS flare-up halfway through lunch from the stress of the social situation.
I’m starting to wonder if I’m just not cut out for making friends, or if I’m not putting enough effort into it. Since I moved to California, this is the first time I’ve had to make friends from scratch, instead of knowing people from school or through other friends. To be completely honest, I’m easily just as content spending all my free time playing video games, or going for solo hikes, or just spending time with Kyle watching Netflix, and reaching out to my long-distance buddies when I feel the need. However, it would be nice to have some local girlfriends, someone to get coffee and pedicures with, or to just come over and play video games or watch movies with.