New Friends (real-life ones)

One of the things I am most proud of recently is, (and if you’ve talked to me in the last month you will be well aware) that I have made a new friend. When my mum rang I told her as proud as a five year old that “I have a new friend and she’s really nice and we went to a fair together and we have classes together and we go to Zumba together and now we have matching glasses because I accidentally bought the same ones as her.” It’s been ages since I’ve had a new New Zealand friend (obviously I had to make friends overseas, I wasn’t going to spend an entire semester being a lone wolf, or loner as some would call it.) We make our new friends every time we do something new: start school, start uni, join a club, get drunk in a club (where everybody is, for one night, your best friend) and are forced to enter into social situations. But we really do tend to be reluctant friend makers, we find some people who have similar interests, senses of humour and, according to psychology, amount of good-looks and we stick with them. If we remove all these necessary ‘new situation’ friendships, how often does one randomly acquire a new friend, not a potential date, not someone who is going to be able to help you with your study, simply, an amigo? You are, as Frankie magazine issue 46 pointed out to me, probably more likely at our stage in life, to find someone to go home and exchange bodily fluids with than someone to go home and exchange childhoods and secrets with.

Why do we find it so difficult? Is it because we think we have enough friends? Is it because we are afraid that the other person’s not into friendship? Why are we so scared of taking the plunge into the unknowns of human interaction. It seems to me that as hard as it is to say to someone, “fancy a ________ (insert word of choice here e.g. drink, date, shag, long walk on the beach) sometime?” It’s even harder to say to someone what my new friend said to me the first day we met, “Shall we be friends?”. So when you go out into the world why not try making a new friend, you never know, they may be the Zumba buddy you’ve always wanted.


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