There’s a lot of cynicism dressed up as advice out there. It’s in books, it’s on the internet. Once you hit a certain age, new friendships are of no value to you anymore *repeat to self*
You know who you are, they know who they are. You already have all your friends in different circles, what could you possibly want with new friends?
No one has time for new friends because we already have all the real friends we need and we should concentrate on nurturing those friendships because otherwise, we’re a s-h-i-t friend.
Starting up new friendships just complicates the old, sturdy ones. You don’t wanna spread yourself too thinly and be a flakey friend to 20 when you could be a great friend to 5.
Making new friends means more effort and more time and who can be arsed with that?
They can’t possibly be good friends, not in the long run – because, they’re new. Duh! They’re not going to enrich your life in anyway.
Except they obviously can.
EURGH. Stop. Is it just me or are people overcomplicating friendship, here? Just a wee bit.
Sure, we’re all tight on time and we’re constantly trying to outsmart the day by packing more hours in than is humanly possible but nurturing social connections, in all different capacities, is never going to be bad for us.
I for one am thankful for the new or ‘newer’ friends I have made.
Just the other day, I went for an impromptu lunch with Liv – she’s one of my closest friends now but we met through a little fella called W – aka work.
I approached her about taking my blog photos and two years on, we’re finishing each other’s sentences. She’s the new(er) friend I never knew I needed. And I thank my lucky stars for her every day. *No you’ve got something in your eye*
She’s seen me strip off in the car for an outfit change one too many times and let me tell you, it takes a special kinda person to keep watch while your tits are flapping about all over the steering wheel.
Antonia – a pal I made through Instagram – joined us on that same impromptu lunch. Until then, I had only bumped into her a few times and unfortunately for her, I’ve always been sweating my arse off on my way to or from the gym. What’s a little bit of perspiration amongst new friends, eh?
Anyhow, last time I bumped into her in the street we gave each other a massive hug. I went to yoga. She went to get a coffee and clear her head from the freelance fog and I just felt an instant affinity towards her.
I’ll always have time for warm people. I like cold people, too actually. I like finding their warm spots.
That sounded less weird in my head but do you know what I mean? Cold people are ultimately warm, we all know that. It’s just harder for some people to show it.
Fast-forward a few weeks and me, Liv and Antonia are all sat having some sort of cryptic egg dish together. Mine consisted of boudin noir and angel hair… don’t ask.
Note to self: don’t take a wild stab in the dark and pick a dish based on its bougie name. Black pudding is still black pudding, you can’t just stick a noir in there to make it sound more Marilyn Monroe. Although, that’s exactly what they did. And it worked.
We laughed about, well, very ordinary 20-something-year-old-girl stuff, really. Selfish arseholes, food, the perils of social media, Labrador behaviour in humans, refreshing hibiscus Pressé and MOT evasion.
And it was bloody lovely.
So what if new friendships aren’t the same intense, I-know-everything-about-your-life type of F’ships? Who says that has to be the only benchmark for true friendship?
You need different things from different friendships but every friendship has the potential to be great, if only you’re willing to have the confidence to pursue it.
Ultimately, if you really don’t give a fuck about making new friends then that’s fine, you know what’s going to benefit you and if it doesn’t feel right, I won’t judge you for exercising your right to just ignore allll of this.
But shying away from potentially amazing bonds with other women simply because a couple of self-help books said you should say no more often?
Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot here.
This quote from Lily Pebbles’ The F Word will wrap things up nicely I feel: “It’s normal to feel like, that’s it. You’ve missed your chance to make new friends […] As we get older the idea of new friendships seems less accessible.”
You’ve never missed the boat. New friends can be found in the most unlikely of places and when they’re the right friend for you, they don’t feel so new after all, actually.
So, shall we stop treating friendship like it’s some kind of full capacity event? Yes, let’s.
Here’s to new friends: may we make them, may we know them and may we love them until they’re comfortable enough to tell us to shut the fuck up. Love you bye.
Photography by Olivia Foley
Suit: Miss Selfridge