22 January 2013

speed dating


 no no, don't worry I'm not single and ready to mingle, far from it, but have just been thinking lately about being a mum and making friends, and how it weirdly feels a lot like dating.

I can't really remember how I used to make friends pre baby, but it probably went along the lines of them being in the same class/workshop group/year group/colleague type of thing, and then we'd go and get drunk. Isn't that how most friendships are formed? Once you've made a tit out of yourself in front of them once, and they still want to hang out with you - friends for life...

But now it's a little different, I can't really rock up to playgroups drunk to enhance my chances of making friends now can I? Online friends are a little different because you can find out so much about their lives (or how much they share of them) before you even speak to them..that sounds a little creepy doesn't it? Not that I like to stalk my prey before I attack but you know what I mean. People share glimpses into their lives, personalities and tastes online through blogs and instagram or whatever, and it's easier to know whether you're likely to get on with them before you take the plunge to befriend them. I'm terrible at taking the plunge online as it is, there are so many awesome people who I wish I had the guts to make contact with...but I don't.

So when it comes to real life, and meeting new real life people I find it to be a little strange. Now that I've moved to a new area I really need to make some new friends, as I currently have one friend who I see regularly and a few others not so much. Most of my friends who I made through pregnancy and early baby life have moved away (hope it's nothing I did?!) and I feel I should probably make the effort once more to make some new ones. I've been going to a few new places to 'meet' new friends (gosh this sounds so desperate!) such as a children's centre near me and a few new playgroups. There are lots of friendly looking mum's there, it's just about making the first move...

I mean we all have at least one thing in common; we're mums, but then how do you know where  the similarities end? This is where the game begins...you have a scout around the room, pretending you're looking for your child hoping he's not biting someone in the corner, and try and pick out who you think you'd get along with and what you might have in common. Yes it's totally based on looks and I guess you do judge people on that, well on their looks and the way act as parents. I hate that it is, but then you don't have much else to go on do you? So when you eventually spot someone you think looks agreeable, you try a smile and a little eye contact (flirting?) and wait for an opportunity to make conversation. Perhaps it's stopping a fight breaking out over a toy, or a compliment on their child's looks/outfit/behaviour...you cover the usual ground of how old are their child is, what's their name, do you come here often etc (I guess you could try some other chat up lines at this point?) and hope that the conversation takes off! If it does, success level one complete!

But then it gets tricky, how long do you keep the conversation up for, you want to put effort in but all the while watching your little darling out of the corner of your eye edge a loaded paintbrush closer to his open mouth, and have to be ready to leap up at any second therefore breaking the conversation. Do you go back? If you do, do you pick up the same conversation or try another subject? So say you get through all of this successfully, and you feel like you get along, you start to wander if they think you are nice too, and then you wander if you'll see them again next time (and if you'll remember what they look like/their name/child's name) I feel bad if I don't see them leave and say goodbye, but you know, you want to keep it casual too. So fast forward a week, you see them again have another few conversations, still get along...but when is appropriate to ask for their number for a coffee date? Then maybe a play date? Do you need to do a few more sessions of bumping into each other and small talk? Going to each others houses is a long way off, but you have it in your head anyway. This really sounds like I'm a weirdo doesn't it?

Obviously I'm not this neurotic and weird when attempting to make new friends...or maybe I am that's why I don't have any?

But you get what I mean right..........right?

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14 comments :

  1. Love it! It's exactly how I feel about trying to make friends now I'm a mum. When is it appropriate to go
    In for the phone number?! Hehe.

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    1. oh good, glad I'm not the only one!!

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  2. Ha ha, this made me smile, you have it spot on! I have made some amazing friends as a mum, but it def takes time, effort and some of those awkward toddler group chats :) Laura x

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    1. hehe, yeh it takes time doesn't it? it's just a little scary starting all over again when you've done it all before!

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  3. It is difficult, isn't it? For a long time, I felt I didn't have the time or energy to dedicate to holding a conversation with other mums at playgroups, baby classes, etc, as Arlo usually cried throughout the whole session and required my full attention. It's a lot easier now that he happily plays by himself, but these days we tend to go to less groups anyway.

    I never had loads of mum friends, but the most of my small group have moved away. I have two people I would class as 'mum friends' now, and we don't see each other all that often. It can get a bit lonely during the week, and on top of that I have guilt that Arlo isn't getting enough interaction with other children his age.

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    1. yeh it's really hard when what friends you did make the effort to get to know all move away, that's pretty much what's happened to me! So suddenly I feel like i don't know that many people and it's hard to start again trying to make new ones!

      yeh i feel guilty too and need to get out the house that's why we go to playgroups, but I often feel a bit silly when i go by myself and don't really talk to anyone! fingers crossed i will get to know some people soon.

      do you have groups going on near you? i know some people aren't a fan of playgroups, but I guess they are good for getting out the house and being around other people? xx

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  4. HI!

    I have this problem and I am not a mum. Its hard to meet people and takes a long time and lots of effort. I find its especially hard when you don't have the natural connections of being from the same place, or going to the same school. I also find that when you have a new experience it changes everything as well of how you are and once viewed friends. Mainly though it takes years to get to a level of good friendship, and thats done by experiences and memories etc. Just have patience and its like love don't look too hard for it!
    You're my best friend anyway (and vic-if you're reading this).

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    1. oh sister, that's why you should come and live in bristol, then we can be besties here!

      i can't imagine what it's like not having the excuse of a child and that in common when it comes to meeting new people, but i guess it takes a lot of effort and time whatever your circumstances.

      don't worry i'm not looking too hard, haven't stalked anyone....yet
      xxxx

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  5. :) Yes I feel just the same, not being in the place I grew up. I think the reality is everyone has a handful of true friends. At times (maybe because of babies or illness) it feels like everyone is doing more, going out, or generally being adored. But I know that some of my friends are there no matter. They are real friends and putting energy into them feels worthwhile.

    I love meeting new people and am great at the first talking bit/making acquaintances, then I struggle to take the next step. How to get intimate? Hmmm.

    Yes sisters are like bonus besties you get for free :)

    oh and Sarie blog post ahem. xxx

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    1. i know I have a good group of friends that will always be there for me, but it's just a shame we all live in different places, but all the same I'm still thankful for them! it would just be nice to get to know a few more people in my area, and hopefully eventually be friends, but I know that takes time. I've been friends with owen, jonny anna and tilly now for over ten years and I know that's how long it takes to build up the friendship that we have!

      and whats this blog post? xx

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  6. It is a funny old business, making friends. I have a Mum I see every week and I have her number (woohoo) in fact we always do something pre/post swimming lessons. The other day she was at my house and got a phone call and she stepped into the hall as the kids were being noisy and I heard her say "I'm at a friends house, well, not a friend a swimming buddy". I felt a bit sad that she couldn't call me a friend... oh, well I'm sure I'll get her in the end!

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    1. that makes me sad that she didn't call you her friend! If i saw someone every week and we go to each others houses i would definitely call them a friend, but maybe she was unsure of what you see each other as? whether you'd call her a friend back, it's hard making the first move...like when you say i love you for the first time!! see it's so much like dating!



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