Wanna Play? Making New Friends as Adults

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When I was four years old, sitting in the tree house of my first childhood home, I looked over the fence and saw a little girl of four in her own backyard playing on an old metal swing set.  A tiny, strong voice, already thick with Alabama twang, called to me, “Hey! Wanna play?”  From that simple question my first friendship immediately formed.  Two summers later, my family moved forty-five miles away, leaving Angela and her swing set behind.

Now, as an Army Spouse, the devastation of moving occurs nearly every two years.  Jay and I recently unpacked the boxes from our latest move, and I feel a nasty case of Friendless Loser Syndrome coming on.  After so many moves, I still have the desire to walk out my new front door and ask the first woman I see if she wants to play.  However, I have never had the courage Angela had when she was four.

So, I ask you, why is it difficult for adults to make new friends?  At what age did the idea of approaching a stranger and requesting friendship become bat-shit crazy?   Continue reading »