ForeignMom's Blog

Bicultural mom adjusting to motherhood in a foreign country

More Friends, Less Stress March 31, 2011

Filed under: Living Abroad,Living in the US,Making Friends,mom dates,Motherhood — ForeignMom @ 12:17 am

Turns out I’m not the only woman searching for friendship in the world -not even the only one in my community. As we grow up and our priorities change in life, we become more selective of the people we associate ourselves with and thus, making friends turns out to be a very complicated process. Why do we get so picky?

Over the past weeks, this particular topic has been part of many conversations with other moms and even Parents magazine had an article on it. I’m beginning to think that the universe is trying to calm my anxiety down by showing me that I’m not alone in this quest. Where was this article when I was a mom rookie? It would have been very reassuring and useful. Especially because it describes exactly what I feel:

“…making mom friends can feel mysterious, awkward and downright lonely before you’ve hooked up with one or two good pals you can really talk to. So awkward, in fact, that is easier to fiddle with your cell phone than to introduce yourself to another mom while your kids hang out together on the local monkey bars.”

But if it is that awkward and difficult, why do I insist on meeting people to eventually develop friendships? It turns out that is not only because I am a social butterfly but this article by Francesca Castagnoli also says that studies have shown that women who have close friends are less stressed, healthier, and actually live longer than those who don’t. I can totally see that. When I actually have deep conversations, I feel happier, better, complete.

Lets face it, it is awesome to have my life-long friends available over the phone or Skype, but that can never replace face-to-face contact. In fact, Paul Dobranksy, M.D., author of The Power of Female Friendship, states that we need visual, auditory, pheromone, and body-language cues to connect with another person. So while is great to meet someone and then Facebook with her back and forth, a friendship can’t really be developed unless you actually interact with her.

We really are so dependent on technology and the Internet these days that at least in my OB’s office, they promote web sites to connect with people more than any other way to meet other moms. I really don’t like that approach. It feels like online dating.

Remember my post about blind-date-mom? It was the most awkward thing in the world! So when Francesca recommended a website to connect with people I had to go check it out and see for myself if it really was that different from momslikeme.org. It was, but in a weirder way, it definitely made me think about e-harmony. There isn’t anything bad about online dating when looking for romance, but there is just something creepy about making friends through a website. Check this page out and tell me what you think: http://girlfriendcircles.com/friendsFind.aspx

I just feel like making a profile to be later match with people who can potentially be your friends is weird.

I feel like I just need to continue in this quest until solid friendships develop and I find people who can really be friends and who I don’t have to ask myself whether I can call or text them any time. I totally agree with Francesca when she says that:

“…when it comes to friendship, women require something more nourishing and consistent than a girl’s night out every now and then and a few text messages exchanged on the sly…”

I need more and I know other women out there need that too but I’m sick of being the one who calls, the one who looks for the opportunities to introduce herself and for once in these 13 months of motherhood, I want to be the one approached by someone else.

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4 Responses to “More Friends, Less Stress”

  1. Stephanie P Says:

    oh girl…i feel like you’re speaking right to me. you have gone above and beyond to make an effort, and i just plain suck. i WILL try harder…i will [gulp] pick up the phone and welcome you into my house, even when it’s a mess. you are a great lady…who wouldn’t work to be your friend!? 😀

  2. Sonya Says:

    agreed!

    It’s hard for me, because I often times rely on other people to initiate. I have always been that way, since I’ve had my first friend, I think. And since high school I’ve moved every few years, or have had majority of friends move away and I find myself in situations where…I long for true friendships but can’t seem to initiate them myself.

    I read the same article, and am relieved as well, that I am not the only one.

  3. mary Says:

    I think we did pretty good at the library!


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