I’m not one to use my blog for venting too often as I find it too much like the social media drama I left behind when I quit Facebook almost two years ago. That said I have had a very tough day emotionally for a wide variety of reasons (including hormones) and felt I needed to use my blog as an outlet. Apologies to those of you who much prefer the running related posts, I’m sure I will snap out of this soon enough and return to my usual running writing.
I’ve read various articles over the years about loneliness being an unaddressed health concern in this country. With so many people working 40+ hours a week, kids being over-scheduled with activities and the general disconnect of people from one another it’s no wonder. That said, I have noticed many people I know have a best friend or friends who they regularly spend time with. By regular I would say around once a month or at least several times a year. The type of friends who are there for important life events as well as casual fun ones.
Unfortunately Jason and I have not been so fortunate as to have found these type of friends in either area we have lived. The couple we connect best with lives near Chicago, a high school bestie of mine, Alecia, and her husband, Ryan. We visited them in 2016, Alecia visited us twice in the past four years (thanks to work trips bringing her nearer to PA) and the four of us took a cruise together in 2017. We planned to visit them fall of last year, but when our flight was cancelled and rescheduled until evening we realized we wouldn’t even get to spend 2 full days together. We decided to nix the trip completely as it wasn’t worth the money and they completely agreed.
As I put it to Alecia today via a text vent – I often feel like we’re in this awkward world of not wanting kids, not wanting to climb a corporate ladder, not Trumper enough to live in this area but too nature loving to want to live in a city. I know Jason wants to move but I feel we’ll be in that boat no matter where we live. We’re just misfits.
It’s hard to make friends as an adult and even harder to find couples to befriend. Most people our age are consumed by debt, children, work or all three. We’ve struggled in vain to branch out and connect to people through other channels in hopes of “getting lucky” and clicking with another pair. This has been especially challenging for Jason who is naturally an introvert.
We began attending a Unitarian Universalist church in November, but over the months decided it wasn’t the right fit for us. Like most churches I’ve attended, the majority of attendees while very nice, consisted of older people and families. They were certainly more liberal than most people in our area, but actually bordered too far left in terms of political activism, something that Jason and I don’t regularly participate in beyond my involvement with Citizens Climate Lobby.
We run with a group sometimes, but it consists of my dad, one of his close friends (father to guys I attended high school with), my hairdresser’s husband and and an older guy. While they’re all great and fun to run with, they’re not exactly looking to hang out regularly with two 30-somethings. We usually all attend a pizza and trivia night once a year which is fun, but not something we get to do regularly.
We go through cycles of contentment with it just being the two of us and periods of irritation that we have no friends. We recently visited Kennett Square for a day trip and I saw a poster for a murder mystery art stroll and immediately thought of how fun that would be to attend if Alecia and Ryan lived in the area. At those points I’m reminded of how expensive airfare is and how far a drive Chicago would be if either of us could even handle the insanity of its highways. That’s when the loneliness hits.
Texting is a wonderful modern way of staying connected. Phone calls and hearing someone’s voice do help to make you feel closer to them. At the end of the day though nothing beats face to face chatting and laughing be it over a nice dinner or a board game. In a world where we can so easily connect to so many, it’s incredibly hard to find the deeper connections and makes for some very lonely times in life.
Do you have close adult friends? Do you and your significant other have couple friends?