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Making Friends Isn’t Easy

I’ve considered myself pretty fortunate to have always had the same best friends since high school. Which is an anomaly, apparently. According to NYmag.com, one percent of friendships survive to 12th grade. According to sciencedaily.com, only 5 percent last past high school.
I’m fortunate because I met two of my best friends in middle school.
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Even during college, we remained close. In fact, Claire and I have worked at the same job for the majority of our lives (first at a restaurant then FedEx). And I’ve lived with both of them during my adult life (Shanna in college and Claire after her divorce and my nasty break up).
As an adult, I’ve made more friends and some have become super close (like Jessica). We’ve been friends for the last seven years. I’ve never had to worry about making friends because my closest ones were always nearby.
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Until now. Now, I’m living eight hours from them. Alone.
At first, it was okay. I was in the blissful honeymoon phase with Nashville. But after going home and visiting them for almost a week, it’s blindingly obvious how alone I am here. I think I’ve moved out of honeymoon eyes to “real life” eyes.
So, my thoughts and attention have been focused on making friends. And with so much attention on the process, it’s made me question so much about the process and the definition.
When do you get to label it “friendship” and what constitutes a friendship? 
I’m constantly getting the same question from people back home, “have you made any friends?” Which you’d think would be an easy answer but I like to make it complicated.
I never want to assume someone calls me their friend, so if we’re referring to strictly a one-way label here, then the answer would be “yes.” I’ve made some friends here. But I haven’t made any that I hang out with regularly.
A few weeks ago I won four football game tickets and had to trade them in for something else because I didn’t know three other people. Pitiful. I live in a city where there are so.many.things to do and I’m spending a great amount of time at home. When it was warmer, it was easier because I would just go out and explore on my own on the weekend. But the winter seems to be turning my solo self off.
How do you do make friends as an adult? It felt so much easier when I was younger. But then again, I’ve always had my core group close by.
I’ve tried the Bumble BFF option. And nothing. I’m so bad at conversation these days. I’ve tried volunteering at church (and will continue). I’ve tried finding small groups = nothing.
On deck now: MeetUp.
Apparently someone else felt this way and has created an app to connect people in like-minded groups, whatever those may be. Book club? They’ve got it. Active dog? They’ve got it. Blogger? They’ve got it (<–but I’m not joining that one yet.)
Wish me luck.
Because I’m ready to have a social life.

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