Coffee Talk: Why Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

In the world of #squadgoals and #girlgangs, it’s hard feeling like you don’t have a crew you can always count on. I assumed that when I moved to Chicago years ago I was going to find my people, and we would tear up the town and have Sunday brunch and our lives were going to be very Sex in the City-esque. I imagined that we would found “our spot”, a cute little cafe in the city, and spend every Sunday morning eating waffles, laughing about our escapades the night before and telling each other our deep dark secrets – all over one too many mimosas, of course. We were all going to be in each other’s weddings one day, share going out clothes clothes on the weekends and always count on each other when the going got tough – like when “Lisa’s” boyfriend broke up with her and we all stayed in all weekend watching romantic comedies – and eating ice cream – and then drunkenly prank calling him after drinking a few too many bottles of wine. You know, things your squad always do together, or at least I assume they do together.

But like everything in life, friendships get sticky – and the older you get the harder it is to find new friends. I’m so lucky that I have so many amazing women in my life, and if we all lived in Chicago we would have the most epic of girl gangs {obviously I’d make them all be best friends with each other, because I can be optimistic like that in my hypothetical world}, but the reality is that it’s all a lot more complicated than that. Making friends when you’re an adult is hard, and finding a group of ride-or-die girlfriends is even harder.

Honestly, I’ve thought about approaching that impossibly cool group of girlfriends at a bar, and being like, “Hey, you girls seem cool. Could I join your awesome girl gang? I promise to bring laughs, wine, and ice cream for when one of us has an inevitable crisis”, but it turns out that’s really, really creepy – so it doesn’t quite work out the way you intended it to. I’ve tried to join book clubs {still working on inching my way into that one}, invite people over on a Saturday night, call up everyone I sorta-kinda know from  high school, but honestly – it’s hard between life, and relationships and work to get everyone together to create the ultimate Sex in the City girl gang. And it feels even worse when you see everyone else, especially on social media, seemingly having the best time with their ultimate girl squad while you’re recapping Real Housewives to your boyfriend and talking about them like they’re your real life besties. Please tell me I’m not the only one.

I wish there had been a crash course in college called “Adulting 101” where a professor with the heart of Lorelai Gilmore sat everyone down and explained how being an adult would go. She’d tell you about the fact that as an adult you work…a lot, that paying bills is hard {and taxes are harder} and that finding your people is not as easy as Sex in the City makes it out to be. I would have appreciated if someone would have told me that being an adult can be lonely, because no matter who you are or what friends you have, it really can be. And I find myself being a lot more lonely than I thought my 28 year-old self would be.

Believe me, I’m not trying to throw a little bitty party over here whatsoever, because that would be a brazen abuse of my little corner of the internet. I’m really just talking about it now because I think feeling lonely or feeling girl gang FOMO is a bit more of a universal truth than we give it credit for. I know I’m not the only one out here feeling like they’ve been burned by TV shows like “Friends” and “Will & Grace” that makes it seem like having a group of friends as an adult is just an inevitable part of life. Part of us all expected to be super successful at our dream job when we grew up, living in an giant apartment in a big city, and hanging out in a coffee shop with our crazy friends Joey, Rachel, Phoebe {et. all} and their crazy antics. But the truth is, life is a little more complicated than that, and finding new friends and a group to call your own isn’t something that’s handed to you on a silver plate. And if that’s how you got your group of besties, please let me know – and also, do you have room for one more? I hope that didn’t come off as creepy because I promise, I’m really, really cool…ish.

So I guess I’m still looking for the Miranda, Samantha and Carrie to my Charlotte, and I’m hoping that there’s still a chance for my own Sex in the City girl squad goals to come true. And if you are too, I think that’s probably more common than you might think – so no need to panic that you’re a weirdo quite yet. And if you need a friend – shoot me an email, we can both bring a friend and start our own awesome girl gang together. Or a book club, because I still really need to find one of those…xx

image via

Share:
  • Maya, I love this post so much! I completely agree that it can be so tough to find friends in adulthood. It was hard for me in college to find my girlfriends because I transferred schools, and lived off campus, etc. I now work at a place where I’m the only lady at the office so, not meeting any new BFFs anytime soon. My favorite friends from high school are spread out and busy. Even in our neighborhood, the couples who seem to be about our age stay inside their houses. We brought one new couple a welcome-to-the-neighborhood treat and never heard from them again! I’d have thought I was a terrible baker or we gave a poor first impression if I didn’t know better!
    Thankfully, we’ve found some friends along the way- but still looking for those #squadgoals moments dreams are made of. I agree with you and think we are more the norm than the tight-knit group of friends we think everyone else is brunching with on Sundays. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    • Oh my goodness, our stories are so similar! I transferred and went to 3 colleges, so it was hard to find a group of girls in college since I moved around so much too. And if you baked me anything I would invite you to come over ANY TIME! xx

  • This is a great post, Maya! I totally remember being there in my late 20s too. When my last friend from undergrad moved out of the city, I panicked because seriously how do you make friends as an adult?! I was really lucky to meet a group of really awesome girlfriends though. Part of it was forcing myself to join stuff and go solo (which can really suck) and part of it was dumb luck. If you were in Boston, you could totally join our girl gang!

    Caitlin | http://sunnystyleblog.com/

    • Awwww, you are the sweetest! If I find myself in Boston I will definitely let you know (I’d love to meet your girlfriend!)

  • Maya, this is one of my favorite posts from you! This all is so true and so relatable. Ever since my husband and I moved to Wisconsin, we’ve struggled hard to meet new people and make friends. Truth – my dog is my best friend. 😉 It’s so hard as an adult since you’re not forced into social situations like when we were in school. So, I’m with you on still finding my SATC squad. And, I’ll start a book club with you! 🙂

    • I am so happy to hear I’m not alone, it’s honestly made me feel so much better! And I’m sorry to hear it’s been hard to meet new people in Wisconsin, it’s always hard moving to a new city. You should come down with your husband to spend a weekend in Chicago sometime! I’d love to see you and hang! xx

  • GIRLFRIEND! This post just made me love you even more – which I did not think was possible! I recently wrote a similar post and so did Kelly – I wonder if there’s something in the air lol 😉 Also, I kid you not, I have come thiiiiiiiis close to ordering business cards that read “Hey you seem really cool, do you wanna be friends?” to hand out to those cool girls at bars and coffee shops. And last thing – if you do find that killer girl gang, I wanna join too!! xoxo

    • Haha I <3 you too! I am very lucky to have you as a friend and I'm so excited to hang this weekend! xx

  • i totallly feel you on all of this and i wish i lived downtown so we could hang out! it’s been sort of difficult to find other SAHM to be friends with in the suburbs. I’ve met the nicests nanny’s and grandmas (not kidding!) at the library and I love seeing them and their kids but it’s not really the same as having close girlfriends that you grab brunch with on the weekends or go shopping with (i cant remember the last time i went shopping in an actual store that isnt target or the grocery store!) xoxo

    • Girl, I wish you lived downtown too (but it looks like you’re having a blast down south!) And I totally would have a friendship crush on a sweet grandma – so I can totally relate. I hope you find some other awesome SAHM friends because I’m sure there are so many other people feeling the same way! xx

  • Girl I feel the same! If you’re ever visiting Omaha, I would LOVE to hang out! 😀

    • Yes yes yes! I’ve heard Omaha is so much fun, so if I’m there I’ll definitely reach out! xx

  • Anna Wagner

    Totally feel ya on this! I’m still hoping to someday have my “gang of girls” and for some reason it seems even harder to make girl friends now that I’m married (I swear not all married people stay in all the time! I don’t!). I do envy people I know who have super tight knit “gangs” and, yeah, it totally is hard making friends as an adult and especially when you move. I met most of my friends in previous cities through 20-something groups on Meetup.com and started my own group when I moved to Minneapolis. I’ve made some good friends, but still no #squadgoals.

    • I’m so encouraged that people have been coming out of the woodwork telling me that they’ve used meet up of Bumble BFF! I was so nervous about doing that before, but everyone’s who’s told me that they’ve tried it are people who I truly like! I’m so happy you’re making good friends in Minneapolis 🙂 xx

  • Mandi Moran

    I just moved to Chicago with my husband a couple months ago and its has been the hardest to find girls to hang out with! I’ve tried apps like Vina, going on “blind dates” with friends of friends, meeting up with old college buddies. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one trying to find some solid girl time. I’m also currently looking for a new book club to join, if you ever want to join forces and create our own 😁

    • Yessss! I’m actually starting a book club with a girlfriend and we would love to have you join! Wanna send me an email at mayamcdonald89@gmail.com and we can make a super book group? I’d love to meet you in person and have you join! xx

  • Kalie Wenderoth

    I moved to Chicago a year ago and was afraid I wouldn’t make any friends. It’s really hard! I realized that I had to go WAY outside my comfort zone and went on a lot of friend blind dates. It was awkward at times when you just didn’t click with the person (much like I’d imagine real blind dates are like). But I also met great people from it and have slowly started building a group. I think the thing that holds people back is actually communicating that loneliness. I’d wind up not having any plans for the weekend and was too proud to reach out to friends last minute assuming they already had things going on. I’m slowly getting over that. I’m always looking to make more friends and would love to join a book club if you find a good one or start one!

    • Friendship dating is SO real! And I’m the same way – when I don’t have plans on the weekend I feel like I should have plans, and then I’m too embarrassed to reach out and ask people what they’re doing because I don’t want to feel even more like a loser (or face friend rejection, eeeek!). I’m happy you’re getting better at getting out of your comfort zone and making it happen, I’m definitely going to take your advice! xx

  • GIRL! I don’t think I’ve ever read something so relatable. In Madison, I thought I was lonely because I didn’t have a ton of friends outside of work and I was single. I wasn’t happy in my job (that I went to school specifically for) either, so I decided I needed a change of scenery. I really thought that my move to Fort Wayne would fix everything at once. I would have a job I love, have co-workers who adore me the way my LE coworkers did, have an amazing girl squad that I’d spend weekends with, find blogger friends to collaborate with and take pictures for each other, and if I was lucky, find a guy that makes me happy. I had super high hopes obviously, particularly for someone who just isn’t good at making friends. Moving here, I like my job better, but I still have the same issue with making friends. Now I miss my old friends in Madison and feel so lonely here — which like you, I don’t want to complain. I did meet the guy (finally) and he makes me happier than I’ve ever been. So it can be hard to explain to him sometimes, that although he makes me so happy, I have this gap in my life that I fear never will be filled. Sadly, I think I’ve made more friends in Chicago through my job and meeting awesome ladies like you than actually in Fort Wayne.

    Whew, that got long. The moral of what I’m saying is that you are NOT alone! This is so common and I feel the exact same way. I seriously relate to this post on a spiritual level. So although this doesn’t do you much good for the “reliable, always there” piece, I will totally be your friend. It’s definitely not the same, but I feel like that’s how most of my friendships have been in Fort Wayne — long distance. Katie Niemiec (you know her, right?) and I clicked when we met last year and we’ve only hung out twice in person, but we snapchat everyday and I’m going to visit her in May (you should meet up with us)! These friendships aren’t ideal, but they’re the ones I’ve had to accept in my new life here. I’m still crossing my fingers that I meet the Rachel to my Monica, but until then I’m (just like you) grasping for any amount of friendship I can get — even if it is long distance.

    P.S. If you start a book club and have an online component, I am ALL IN.

    xo,

    kaylee

    • Awwww I heart you so much! I feel the EXACT same way! And I’m lucky to have an amazing boyfriend and great job too, but I definitely feel like the group of friends I dreamed of hasn’t quite happened yet (don’t get me wrong, I have friends in Chicago, I just wish they were all besties so I could have a girl gang too!) Next time you’re in Chicago I would LOVE to get together – I feel like you are my spirit animal too 🙂 xx

  • Blondes & Bagels

    THIS. I feel you. When I went to NYFW it was one of the best times of my blogging life…but also one of the worst. Because the girl gang game there was STRONG. And I went alone. It’s really hard to find your little group! And I’m with you – all I want is to be able to have that tight knit little community – ESPECIALLY when it comes to blogging! You’re not alone 🙂

    xoxo Kelsey
    http://www.blondesandbagels.com

    • I always think how much I would love to go to NYFW, but being alone for an event like that would seriously stress me out! I’m so impressed you did it though – talk about breaking out of your comfort zone! xx

  • Love you girlfriend! You know I’m always down for a night out if you’re looking for a partner in crime 😉 Text me any time, seriously!

    • Giiiiirl, I <3 you too! We need to get together with the girls soon and have a ladies night! I'll send out an email 🙂 xx

  • I seriously could not agree more. I remember thinking that it would be so easy to make friends at work or at the gym but it’s HARD. And it’s hard to balance work, a relationship, time to yourself, AND then new friends on top of it. I don’t know about you, but I love my alone time. So whenever Pat has plans with his guy friends, I love being home by myself… but he has been really pushing me to put myself out there and reach out to people to hang out. A little over a year ago I joined Bumble BFF and honestly it was awesome. I definitely went on some weird and not-good ‘first dates’ with girls who I just didn’t click with. But I did come away with two new friends. Both girls have husbands/boyfriends and jobs and so much going on in their lives that I see them each once a month and that’s good for me! I would love to get together again sometime if you are looking for a girl date! xxoo

    • Awww Ellie! You are the best, and it’s been forever since I’ve seen you! I would love to get together soon and have a lady date! Let’s do it 🙂 xx

  • Ashley La Fleur

    Girrllll THIS. PS I’m emailing everyone shortly about the book club 😉 I haven’t forgotten!!

    • I was SO excited about that email this morning! I seriously cannot wait! xx

  • Oh my gosh this is SO relatable! Loved this post so much, Maya. It feels like the older I get, the harder it is to have a close knit group of girlfriends. I think for me, having kids definitely is a huge factor there, but it doesn’t change the fact that you still feel lonely sometimes! Especially with social media, when you see everyone seemingly hanging out all the time without you. Sometimes, even if you can’t make it, it’s just nice to be invited, you know? Anyways, I love you so much and you know that I’m ALWAYS down for some Maya time! xoxo
    Isn’t That Charming.

  • Oh girl, I feel ya. It’s silly to think I have no friends, but it’s just not what I pictured when moving to the big city either. Truth be told, so many of my gal pals have serious boyfriends and I always feel like I’m third wheeling it. Or on the other hand, the girls I do meet already have their “squad” and while they are so sweet and nice, they aren’t always welcome to have any new friends join the group, ya know? Anyways… what I’m saying is, let’s be real life friends?! xxx

  • I can relate to this post so much, I thought that friendship while a teen was hard but sometimes I think that its just as hard in your 20’s! I’m sorry I missed your last wine night, but please text me for the next one! I always love hanging out with you girl!!

    xo, Sarah