My wife and I had a conversation the other day that led me to a rather startling realization.
We have no friends.
Well, no. That isn’t entirely true. We have a small handful of close friends from college that we keep in pretty steady contact with, but that’s mostly through electronic means. Now that we’re all grown up, have families of our own, and no longer live a few feet from each other in a dorm building, we don’t spend a lot of time with each other physically.
In terms of actual, adult people we ‘hang out with’ or even socialize with, there are literally….none.
We live in a very small, rural town on a dead end road with no other full-time residents on it. I work at night and sleep during the day. We have two small children. She runs a crafting crafting business that keeps her busy into the night after the boys go to bed.
As a result, we don’t get out much.
I don’t socialize with anyone I work with, for no other reason that I don’t live anywhere near them. Even when I worked local though, I wasn’t much of a socialite with the other officers. When we DO go out, it’s her and I for a short period of time. Usually to dinner or something the like, and there’s never anyone we go WITH.
The last people we spent any time with socially was a young couple that was renting the house across the street from us, and the only reason we did was because of proximity. Again, with nobody else around, we sort of spent time with them out of a desire to make things not awkward. They were nice people, but a lot like we were; and they spent a lot of time to themselves.
After they moved out, the person that owned the home decided not to rent it again. Instead they opted to use it as a weekend getaway for themselves. They’re up sporadically, but we don’t speak much beyond the pleasantries exchanged when we happen to be outside at the same time.
We have no social life. When the rare wedding invite comes up, we make conversation with the people we’re tabled with, but again we keep to ourselves. I don’t know if we’re just prone to social awkwardness, or we’re just so badly out of practice that we don’t know HOW to make new friends.
At first this didn’t bother us. I mean, we have each other, and we’re happy together, so what else do we need?
Now though, I’m starting to sense that this could actually be an issue. I just feel like we need….human contact. It isn’t that we’re getting tired of each other, but things are just so damn stale on the social front. Your kids don’t count as friends. Your families don’t count as friends. If that’s all you’ve GOT…..then….well….you don’t have any friends.
I spend a lot of time in light-hearted banter and conversation with my partners at work, but I still don’t know if count them as anything more than co-workers yet. Aside from them though, the only people I talk to are the ones that DEFINITELY don’t want to be my friends. (Read: suspects.)
Do any other adults have this problem? I know using facebook as a social barometer is pretty dumb, but it seems like nobody else I know is suffering from a social slump like we are. Does anyone else seem to have work and family time taking up all the space in their lives, leaving little to no room for anything else? How many of you would have a hard time finding someone to go have a beer with this weekend? Tomorrow? Right now?
I don’t know of we’re doing something wrong, or if focusing on ‘us’ right now is what we need to be doing. I mean, my wife’s brother is a social colossus, traveling everywhere, visiting clubs, bars, other countries, and parties with his work friends all the time…but his marriage fell apart and he’s kind of a self-absorbed a-hole.
I can’t speak for my wife, but while I’m not necessarily unhappy with things the way they are, I just feel like something is missing, and I don’t know how to go about fixing it.