I remember scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram feeds, as one does, and being bombarded with pictures of groups of friends and captions about various social gatherings. Honestly, my first reaction was always jealousy of these women for having so many friends to hang out with. That must be nice. I wish I had that many friends. I don’t have a lot of friends. In fact, I don’t have any friends to call on a Saturday to invite out to lunch. My only real friends don’t even live in the same state as I do. They’re a plane ride away. So naturally, seeing all of these photos of smiling women, hanging out and having fun together, made me feel a bit envious.
Aside from envy, I always felt like there must be something wrong with me for not having a lot of friends. I could make excuses for myself and say that I don’t have a lot of friends because I’ve moved several times in the last few years, but so have a lot of these women. They were somehow able to make fast and furious friends in new states or at new jobs, so why wasn’t I? I’ve been living in my current state for over a year now and I still don’t have any friends. Before I moved here, I was living where I grew up and still, I didn’t have many friends. Surely that must mean there’s something wrong with me, right?
It’s not all in my head either. Other people act like there’s something wrong with me, too. Whenever someone asks me if I’ve made any friends since I moved to Florida, they’re shocked, and some are even appalled, to hear that I have not. Even just two months after I moved here, people expected me to have friends already. In two months?! Who the hell makes friends in two months?! Not this girl! But that doesn’t make sense to some people. They make me feel like it’s weird that I don’t have any friends, like it’s a sociopathic trait or something.
So anyway, there I was scrolling through these pictures, feeling jealous and wondering if I might be a sociopath, when it hit me. I don’t have what these women have because I would hate that. I don’t have a lot of friends because I don’t want a lot of friends and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
You might be surprised to learn that I was in a sorority in college and had a ton of friends. But that was in college! I was a hot, drunken mess, who liked to party. Of course, I had a lot of friends! I had a lot of friends because I wanted a lot of friends. Back then, I couldn’t have imagined sitting at home, alone in my pajamas, with no plans. Now, that’s literally all I want to do. I am a homebody. I like to do nothing with no one. Well, no one except my husband and two dogs that is. Going out anywhere ever is my worst fucking nightmare. I don’t want to do my hair and makeup and wear real clothes. I barely even own anything besides gym clothes and pajamas. I also don’t drink and I don’t party, unless you count falling asleep on the couch at 8:45pm as partying.
Some people might say that I’m boring. They try to convince me to go out, make friends, and have fun. First of all, I don’t do peer pressure so don’t even try it. And second of all, what do you give a shit if all I do is sit at home and watch movies? That’s what I like to do. There’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe I like to be boring. We can’t all be out raging on a Saturday night. Some of us need to be at home in our pajamas. The world needs balance.
I guess it’s difficult to make new friends in your own house though. I do go out sometimes, but I prefer to spend most of my time at home. Whenever I do make a potential new friend, I immediately worry that she will start inviting me out all the time and expecting me to go. I want to be invited to go do things, but I don’t want to actually go and do them. I wish more people understood that. I’m sure I come across as an anti-social bitch and maybe I am one. I’ve just reached an age where I know what I like and what I don’t like. There’s nothing wrong with that. I also know who I like and who I don’t like. I don’t try to force a friendship with someone I don’t feel a natural, genuine connection with. There are plenty of nice women out there, but not all of them are meant to be my friend and that’s ok. If I’m just not feeling it, then I’m not going to be fake or force a friendship. I would rather have no friends than fake ones.
I have learned that I’m just not the kind of person who likes to have a lot of friends. Between keeping up with everyone and going out all of the time, it’s just not for me. I like to have a friend here and there, but I prefer not to hang out in big groups of people. I would rather have one or two deep, meaningful friendships than a bunch of acquaintance-type friendships. And that’s ok. I like to spend a lot of time by myself or with my husband and two dogs. And that’s ok, too. Maybe you’re the type of person who likes to have tons of friends and plans every weekend. Maybe you like to go out all the time and hate being at home alone. That’s also ok. Everyone is different. We like what we like and there’s nothing wrong with that. To each, her own.
I look at those pictures of groups of women differently now. I’m not jealous and I don’t feel like there’s something wrong with me. I’m doing what I want and they’re doing what they want. Good for us. If you’re in those pictures, then keep doing you. The rest of us will be holding it down in our living rooms. If you ever want to come over, order pizza, and talk about how messed up your childhood was, we’re here for you. And to my people, the no-tribe people, you probably don’t have a tribe because you don’t really want one. That’s ok. I’m 99% sure it doesn’t mean you’re a sociopath.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Do NOT at me about the use of the word tribe. I was exhausted last time educating people about why tribe is an appropriate term to describe social groupings and not Native people whose complex and sophisticated societies are more accurately described as nations. That is not my job as an indigenous person. Google. Learn. Well-meaning but uninformed comments will be deleted. XOXO, Nanea Hoffman, your Sweatpants & Coffee mom
Lauren Dykovitz lives in Florida with her husband and two black labs, Oakley and Lucy. Lauren is a writer, wife, dog mom, sister, aunt, and Alzheimer’s daughter. Aside from writing her own blog, Lauren has been a contributing writer to several other websites and blogs. Lauren also self-published her first book, “Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s.” It is available on Amazon. You can buy it here.