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My Life Changed When I Started Friend Dating

What ever happened to bridge clubs?

When I was growing up, my mom always made time for her friends. They’d play tennis together, play bridge, meet on Friday afternoons for a potluck lunch and other things.

It wasn’t because my mom was a rich stay-at-home mom either. We lived comfortably, yes, but she worked. Again, she made time for her friends. Made being the operable word.

I realize we live in a frenetic world but there is also value in what you prioritize. Or, should I say, you are showing value in what you prioritize. If you don’t call your lady friends up and ask to hang, you are showing them they aren’t important to you.

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No seriously. You can argue with me that you are too busy with kids and work. But you know if you could really make something happen, if you called them up and said, “Let’s hang, it will be immensely cheaper than therapy.” And it’s just as beneficial. Don’t quote me on that. Though I have read that feeling as if you are a part of a community increases your overall happiness.

I live in a city that is widely spread. My friends live all over Los Angeles. But I just told my good friend, “I’d drive to the West Side Just. For. You.” I’m making that into a T-shirt BTW.

I finally realized, though, that I needed to branch out. I need to start friend dating, if you will.

Also, we aren’t too old to make new friends.

I lost my closest L.A. friend to a car crash nearly seven years ago. It was during ’08, which was a horrible financial year, obviously, but even more so in L.A. since it was preceded by the writers strike. My remaining living L.A. friends didn’t even have money to go out to dinner. We should have just had potlucks.

I had a few very sad years.

I finally realized, though, that I needed to branch out. I need to start friend dating, if you will.

I had a few good friends in L.A., but everyone seemed too busy, so fuck it: I went out to make some who were lonely and willing like me. Spending some time laughing over food and a drink has always led me to come home happier to see my husband.

Bonus for him. It makes my heart lighter.

Over the past week, I dropped off soup at a friend’s house, went on a walk with her while our kids were at school and went out to a macrame class with another friend. I felt guilty for about a minute.

Yet, here I am on Day 4 with no break from my kids due to illness. I’ve barely changed my clothes, I think I’ve gained four pounds and I’m thankful I had that time with my friends to re-charge my mental batteries.

I also started to feel less lonely when I really was with my friends in face-to-face situations.

Kids are awesome. I love mine with all my heart and soul. But I also think friends are awesome.

One day, my kids won’t want to hang with me. I better have nurtured some friendships, so I can have someone to hang with and talk about how crazed we feel now that we don’t know what our kids are up to all the time.

I’m not part of a bridge club, but I am part of a community that I’ve worked hard to forge in this vast city I call home.

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Social networks are great, but we need real actual people to bring us soup when we get sick. At least that’s what I think. I also started to feel less lonely when I really was with my friends in face-to-face situations. Not just via Instagram.

Hope you get some hang time with a new or old friend soon.

Stay sane, mamas!

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Image via Twenty20/Miss_Bones

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